X. J. Kennedy, known to his friends as Joe, was born in Dover, N. J., on August 21, 1929. Irked
by the hardship of having the name of Joseph Kennedy, he stuck the X on and has been stuck
with it ever since. Kennedy’s first book, Nude Descending a Staircase (Doubleday, 1961), won a Lamont Award; In a
Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New & Selected Poems (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) was an ALA Notable Book. He has taught writing, mostly at Tufts, and has written
textbooks including An Introduction to Poetry (with Dana Gioia) and twenty-four children’s
books. In 2009 he received the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost medal. His work has
appeared in the Atlantic, the New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry, other magazines and 287
anthologies. He and Dorothy M. Kennedy have collaborated on two children’s books and five
children. A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer (Curtis Brown Unlimited, 2015) is his first novel for adults.
Publications and Prizes
Fits of Concision: Collected Poems of Six or Fewer Lines (Grolier Poetry Press, 2014), In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New & Selected Poems (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), Peeping Tom’s Cabin (BOA Editions Ltd., 2007)
2015 Jackson Poetry Prize
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Listing last updated: April 8, 2015