Kenneth Mackenzie (author)

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Kenneth Mackenzie
Born Kenneth Ivo Brownley Langwell Mackenzie
(1913-09-25)25 September 1913
South Perth, Western Australia
Died 19 January 1955(1955-01-19) (aged 41)
Goulburn, New South Wales
Other names Seaforth Mackenzie
Occupation journalist, poet, novelist

Kenneth Ivo Brownley Langwell Mackenzie (25 September 1913 – 19 January 1955) was an Australian poet and novelist. His first and best-known novel, The Young Desire It (1937), was published under the pen name Seaforth Mackenzie.[1]


Mackenzie was born in South Perth.[2] He grew up in Pinjarra, Western Australia, and attended Guildford Grammar School. His experiences at Guildford in part inspired his novel of 1937 The Young Desire It.[3] His novel Dead Men Rising was about the Cowra breakout of which he had first hand experience, having been stationed there at the time of the event.

He married Kate Bartlett (nee Loveday), in 1935. Their daughter Elizabeth was born in 1936, and son Hugh was born in 1938.[4]

His life in Sydney included involvement with the world of Norman Lindsay and Hugh McCrae and archival records show significant influence from them.[5]

He received a number of literary grants and awards,[6] and left a number of works which have been since edited and published.[7]

In his later years he was separated from his wife who had moved into Sydney, while he lived in limited conditions in Kurrajong.[8][9] He died by accidental drowning in Tallong Creek near Goulburn, New South Wales, aged 41.

Most of his works were originally published during his lifetime, however, some material has been reprinted by Text Publishing.[10]



As Seaforth Mackenzie[edit]

As Kenneth Mackenzie[edit]

  • Chosen People, London, Cape (1938) [12]
  • Dead Men Rising, London, Cape (1951) [13]
  • The Refuge, London, Cape (1954) [14]


  • Our Earth, Sydney, Angus and Robertson (1937) [15]
  • The Moonlit Doorway, Sydney, Angus and Robertson (1944) [16]
  • Selected Poems (1961) [17]
  • The poems of Kenneth MacKenzie (1972) [18]

As editor[edit]

  • Australian poetry, 1951-2 (selected by Kenneth Mackenzie), Sydney : Angus & Robertson (1952)[19]

Posthumous collection[edit]

  • Rossiter, Richard (2000) The Model [20]

Biographical material[edit]

  • Davis, D (1965) Bibliography [21]
  • Davis, D (1967) Thesis about MacKenzie [22]
  • Jones, Evan (1969) Kenneth Mackenzie: Australian Writers and their Work Melbourne: Oxford University Press.[23]
  • Kinross-Smith, Graeme (1980) Australian Writers Melbourne: Thomas Nelson.[24]


  1. ^ Brady, Veronica, 'Mackenzie, Kenneth Ivo Brownley Langwell (Seaforth) (1913–1955)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, accessed 28 July 2011. This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, (MUP), 2000
  2. ^ "Gold Medal for Novelist". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 27 May 1939. p. 6. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "personalities of the Week.." The Sunday Times. Perth: National Library of Australia. 4 December 1938. p. 24 Section: SPORTING SECTION. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  4. ^ p xi of Mackenzie, Kenneth; Jones, Evan, 1931-; Little, Geoffrey (1972), The poems of Kenneth Mackenzie, Angus and Robertson, ISBN 978-0-207-12407-5 
  5. ^ Kenneth Mackenzie manuscript collection Autograph manuscript of his poems 'The plover's country' and 'Duet for lovers'. Includes personal correspondence. Autograph letters by Mackenzie to Hugh McCrae and a draft from McCrae recalling his visit to Norman Lindsay. A typewritten letter, signed, to Norman Lindsay from Phillip Lindsay discussing Mackenzie's and Australian literature in general.
  6. ^ "LITERARY AWARDS TO THREE AUTHORS". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 15 November 1954. p. 2. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Rossiter, Richard (editor) (2000) The Model: Selected Writings of Kenneth Seaforth Mackenzie Nedlands, University of Western Australia Press. ISBN 1-876268-34-4
  8. ^ p 4. Jones, Evan (1969), Kenneth Mackenzie, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-550025-7 
  9. ^ p. 9 of Diana Davis 'Seaforth MacKenzie' pp.4-14 of the 'Seaforth Mackenzie Issue' of University of Western Australia. Arts Union (1956), Westerly : a quarterly review, Crawley, Western Australia Westerly Centre, the University of Western Australia, ISSN 0043-342X  - issue 3/1966 December 1966
  10. ^
  11. ^ First edition published by Cape in 1937, re-printing occurred with Angus and Robertson in 1963 – Mackenzie, Kenneth (1963), The young desire it : a novel, Angus and Robertson, retrieved 20 September 2013 , then in 2013 a new re-set edition in Text with an introduction by David Malouf Mackenzie, Kenneth (2013), The young desire it, Melbourne, Vic. The Text Publishing Company, ISBN 978-1-922148-54-4 
  12. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth (1938), Chosen people, Jonathan Cape, retrieved 27 December 2015 
  13. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth (1974), Dead men rising, Angus & Robertson, ISBN 978-0-207-12654-3 
  14. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth; Rothwell, Nicolas, (writer of introduction.) (2015), The refuge : a confession, Melbourne, Victoria Text Publishing Melbourne Australia, ISBN 978-1-922182-65-4 
  15. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth; Lindsay, Norman, 1879-1969 (1937), Our earth, Angus and Robertson, retrieved 27 December 2015 
  16. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth (1944), The moonlit doorway : poems, Angus and Robertson, retrieved 27 December 2015 
  17. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth; Stewart, Douglas, 1913-1985 (1961), Selected poems, Angus and Robertson, retrieved 27 December 2015 
  18. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth; Jones, Evan, 1931-; Little, Geoffrey (1972), The poems of Kenneth Mackenzie, Angus and Robertson, ISBN 978-0-207-12407-5 
  19. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth, 1913-1955 (1952), Australian poetry 1951-2, Angus & Robertson, retrieved 27 December 2015 
  20. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth; Rossiter, Richard; Finlay-Jones, Robert (2000), The model : selected writings of Kenneth Seaforth Mackenzie, University of Western Australia Press, ISBN 978-1-876268-34-3 
  21. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth (1965), A Bibliography of the published works of Mackenzie and guide to his manuscripts held in Australian libraries and by individuals, retrieved 27 December 2015 
  22. ^ Davis, Diana (2000), Kenneth MacKenzie, retrieved 27 December 2015 
  23. ^ Mackenzie, Kenneth; Jones, Evan, 1931-; Little, Geoffrey (1972), The poems of Kenneth Mackenzie, Angus and Robertson, ISBN 978-0-207-12407-5 
  24. ^ Kinross-Smith, Graeme (1980), Australia's writers, Nelson, ISBN 978-0-17-005321-1 

External links[edit]