Woof! Woof! Woof!

Rob A. Mackenzie


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Salt Publishing
15 July 2023
ISBN: 9781784632809
112 pages

From the publisher

In a radical departure in style and tone, Rob A. Mackenzie’s new collection, Woof! Woof! Woof!, offers biting satire and sweeping social commentary. From the murk of political engagement in an age of offence sensibility, to the bleached-out culture of munificent late-capitalism, Mackenzie’s experimental poems take the reader on an engaging and engaged descent into the sort of purgatory we may never choose to escape from, yet his impish wit offers us all a large dose of saving grace. Sardonic, at times morally exhausted, the poems offer a clear-sighted challenge to the risk of isolationism and powerless relativism.


‘These are Rob A. Mackenzie’s best poems yet. A book of vim and prowess, full of wonderfully crisp phrasing and potent images — poems full of zingers. Fuelled by captivating allegories and mordant satire, Woof! Woof! Woof! casts the bedlam of our world with fresh wit and invention, real insight and heart.’ —Alan Gillis

Woof! Woof! Woof! is playfully, deadly serious. Adventurous in form, reinventive of tradition, Mackenzie’s poetry is intricate, quasi-biblical, pleasurably musical, inflected with the brands and personas of our pop-culture dance of death. These poems read like the soliloquies of a hilariously cantankerous, modern-day prophet, roaring with ingenious indignation for society’s ills and taboos, all counterbalanced by a self-deprecating charm and creeping compassion. The work takes aim at politics, and the politics of art, among other deserving targets. This is a poet in midstride at midlife, at ease with his talents, awake to both the ironies of innocence and the grim inevitabilities ahead. But I have tried to summarize my impressions of what the book means; Mackenzie’s poems are a joy simply for their sound, their evocation of the senses, their echoing mystery.’ —Dan O'Brien