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Rod Mackenzie

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

About Rod Mackenzie

Rod MacKenzie was born in Durban in 1963. He completed a BA degree at Rhodes University and an Honours degree in English at UCT. The Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee was his dissertation supervisor and he encouraged Rod to continue writing. Rod has had one book of poetry published, Gathering Light (Snailpress, Cape Town: 1992) and has had numerous poems published in various magazines and reviewed poetry extensively for the Mail and Guardian in the early Nineties. He wrote a verse play, The Soul’s Attic, which was broadcast on Radio South Africa. A number of his poems have been published online on Litnet. He has lived in China for three years and prior to that lived in England. He has written six other books and is working on a seventh, most of them submitted to various publishers and agencies from whom he is currently expecting an answer (just the euphemistic way of saying he has torn up loads of rejection slips).
These include two novels:
Seeing Darkly and Flowers on Sappho’s Grave
A memoir about living in China, Keepsakes from China. (The South African poet Robert Berold, who had his memoir of China, Meanwhile Don’t Push or Squeeze published by Jacana, praised Keepsakes and said he found himself “absorbed” reading it.)
A fable for adults and children, dealing at a symbolic level with divorce, Ricky and the Musical Stones
A second collection of poetry, Learning to Touch
He has also written a text book for learners of English, Street Talk, Smart Talk, designed specifically for the Chinese market
Rod is currently working on his next novel, provisionally titled Shame.
He also still writes poetry and encourages his Chinese students with their creative writing.
He has lived in China with his wife Marion (“Chook”) since February 2005, other than a two month stint in New Zealand. He teaches English at all levels, preferring primary and high school kids. Chinese kids are fun and cool to work with.


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