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Ted Hsu for MPP

Kingston poet launches new book ‘Footsteps in the Garden’ with international publisher

Bob MacKenzie; signing one of his books at the Juniper Cafe pre-Covid.

Bob MacKenzie has been in the creative writing, poetry, and teaching arena since 1965. He has published nine poetry books and has contributed to various anthologies worldwide. He also owns two publishing labels, namely Poet Pourri Entertainment and Dark Matter Press, and ran publication The Sarnia Entertainer from 1972 to 1973. 

His most recent work, footsteps in the garden, was published by one of India’s largest publishing houses, Cyberwit, in 2021. MacKenzie describes himself as a multidisciplinary artist and credits his talent to the encouragement of his parents. 

“At the center of my work is always a story. I was fortunate to have as my parents two artists, both working in visual and other arts. They encouraged my sister and me to see the other worlds within our own and to appreciate their beauty and magic,” he said. 

MacKenzie has been in the creative industry for the last fifty-six years. His first job was as a writer in the newsroom of the Calgary Herald while also following his poetic muse reciting his work in the city’s cafes and on the streets. 

“When I was a child, I began creating stories in prose, verse, photography, and drawings. By the time I was eight years old, I had made a short 16mm movie for which I was producer, director, writer, and actor with my father behind the camera and my mother as technical advisor. All of these things were the seeds that would grow to become the poetry I write today,” he continued.

Footsteps in the Garden cover –

Due to his extensive publications, Cyberwit reached out to him this year and offered to publish his book. 

“On April 16th of this year, Dr. Karunesh Kumar Agarwal, Managing Editor of the publisher Cyberwit.net, wrote to me offering to publish a book of my poetry. This request came out of the blue though I had never heard of, let alone queried Cyberwit.net. It’s flattering to get a request to publish from a major international publisher,” said MacKenzie 

MacKenzie then started selecting poems for the collection, and just in a couple of months, in June 2021, he published his recent title. The book’s primary theme is the dark places in which people occasionally find themselves, and a way out of a black hole or tunnel is marked by a distant light as described by MacKenzie. 

“Hope is a theme closely tied to the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ which we must certainly find and follow out of the darkness,” said MacKenzie

Other titles he has published since 1966 include; ‘somewhere still in the wind the tree is bending‘ by Silver Bow Publishing, 2018, Agapé: Heaven & Earth, Dark Matter Press, 2015, Spirit Quest, (co-author with Sharlena Wood, artist), Dark Matter Press, 2014, On Edge, Dark Matter Press 2012, Songrise, Dark Matter Press, 2012, Innocent (I wasn’t there), Thee Hellbox Press, 2008, Audio-Visuals, Sarnia Public Art Gallery, 1973, and Reflection, self-published, 1966

Purchase ‘footsteps in the garden’ here: footsteps in the garden (cyberwit.net) 

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