Rob A. Mackenzie is a Scottish poet currently living in Edinburgh, and The Opposite of Cabbage is his first full collection of poetry. Published at the same time as Andrew Philip’s The Ambulance Box — and by the same publisher, Salt — The Opposite of Cabbage is currently on tour, and today One Night Stanzas is receiving a visit!
- Was there something specific that inspired you to begin writing, did it just begin of its own accord, or have you just always written poetry?
- … it seems that nowadays, releasing a pamphlet prior to a first collection is an attractive choice for a lot of emerging poets. Do you think this is a good idea, based on your experience? How do you think The Clown of Natural Sorrow informed and influenced The Opposite of Cabbage — was it a natural progression or a great leap from chapbook to collection?
- … your poems don’t often make references to faith or the church … given your “day job” as a Minister of the Church of Scotland. I’d like to ask about this too — do you find that being a poet helps you to do your job, and if so, how? Does it ever hinder you?
- … you’re very pro-blogging in general. Why is this? Is it a good idea for writers to have their own blogs?
- I was wondering if we could talk a little bit about your two publishers — Happenstance, who published The Clown of Natural Sorrow, and Salt, who published The Opposite of Cabbage. What attracted you to these publishers, and what did they bring to the publishing process — and indeed to the books?
Edit – Rob on fundamentalist Christianity and poetry – “… there are no great fundamentalist poets.” Hm. Not sure I agree. I would count Milton, Donne, and Herbert as great to mildly great, and pretty fundamentalist in their Christianity.
But then I could be wrong.