X. J. Kennedy

1929 –

Poet X. J. (Joseph Charles) Kennedy was born in Dover, New Jersey on August 21, 1929. After studying at Seton Hall, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan, Kennedy served four years in the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet as a journalist, and then attended the Sorbonne in Paris for one year in 1955. In the early 1970s, Kennedy published Counter/Measures; a magazine devoted to the use of traditional form in poetry.

Kennedy's first collection of poetry, Nude Descending a Staircase (Doubleday, 1961), won the Lamont Poetry Selection. His awards include a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Bess Hokin Prize for Poetry magazine, and a Los Angeles Times Book prize. Kennedy has taught at the Universities of Michigan, North Carolina (Greensboro), and California (Irvine), as well as Wellesley, Tufts, and Leeds.

He is a former poetry editor of The Paris Review. In addition to his collections (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007); The Lords of Misrule: Poems, 1992 - 2001 (2002); Dark Horses: New Poems (1992); and Cross Ties: Selected Poems (University of Georgia Press, 1985), Kennedy has published numerous works for children, including more than ten collections of verse and two novels over the past two decades. Recently, Kennedy and his wife Dorothy have collaborated as editors on several textbooks, including Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry (Little, Brown & Company, 1999).

Kennedy lives in Bedford, Massachusetts, with his wife and their five children.