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Lily Iona MacKenzie

Author's Bio

Lily Iona MacKenzie has crossed many borders in her life, moving from Calgary, Canada, to the San Francisco Bay area as a young woman. An avid traveler, she has journeyed all over the world, just recently completing a trip to Scandinavia, St. Petersburg and Moscow. She also travels every night to exotic places and has kept a dream journal for many years. These experiences inseminate her writing, which ranges from poetry, short and long fiction (she’s written four novels), non-fiction (she has a collection of essays), to children’s stories. For two years, she co-created a radio program called “Aunt Sally’s Story Shoppe” in Marin County. She and her partner adapted traditional fairy tales and myths, as well as their own stories, for an audience of children and adults. A high school dropout and a mother at 17, she once was a groupie, hanging out with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks. Levon Holmes and Robbie Robertson were then part of the group before they created The Band with Bob Dylan. Over the years, she has supported herself as a stock girl in the Hudson’s Bay Company, as a long distance operator for the former Alberta Government Telephones, and as a secretary (Bechtel Corp sponsored her into the States). She also worked as a cocktail waitress at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, briefly broke into the male-dominated world of the docks as a longshorewoman (and almost got her legs broken), founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County, and eventually earned two Master’s degrees (one in English with an emphasis on Creative writing and one in the Humanities). She now teaches writing part-time at the University of San Francisco and is vice-president of the part-time faculty association, a position that allows her to fight for social justice. All of the arts inspire her, and she dabbles in painting and assemblage when she isn’t writing, messing around in her garden, working out at the gym, or spending time with her husband.

Publications and Prizes

Fling! (Pen-L Publishing, 2015), All This (Little Red Tree Publishing, LLC, 2011)
Won first prize for the poem “Pursuing Ay” from WTF Magazine. Won third place in the 2007 S. Portia Steele award for excellence in prose. Received honorable mention in “Focus on Writers Contest,” Friends of the Library, Sacramento, for a short story, “Biting Through.” Received honorable mention from 1100 entries for introductory chapter to Fling in novel category “Focus on Writers Contest,” Friends of the Library, Sacramento. Received grant from Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation to compile a poetry anthology of Bay Area women poets. Was a finalist in Marin Art’s Council poetry grants competition.

Lily Iona MacKenzie Resume

Personal Favorites

What I'm Reading Now:
How To Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch, A Poet's Craft by Annie Finch, Quick Question by John Ashbery , American Hybrid by Cole Swenson & David St. John
Favorite Authors:
Robert Bolano, W.G. Sebald, Per Petterson, Alice Munro, Susan Howe, Anne Enright,

Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Listing last updated: June 17, 2015

More Information

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Born in:
Edmonton, AB
Raised in:
Calgary, AB

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