X. J. Kennedy Poems

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X. J. Kennedy
X. J. Kennedy (born 21 August 1929, Dover, New Jersey) is a poet, translator, anthologist, editor, and bestselling writer of children's literature as well as student textbooks on English literature and poetry. He was born Joseph Charles Kennedy known to friends as Joe but not wishing to share a name with Joseph P. Kennedy added an "X" to his first name. Kennedy attended Seton Hall (BSc, 1950) and Columbia University (MA, 1951). After serving for four years as an enlisted journalist with the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet, he studied at the Sorbonne from 1955&nspace;56, and spent the next six years pursuing a graduate degree in English at the University of Michigan but did not complete his Ph.D. He met his future wife Dorothy Mintzlaff while there; she received her Master's degree in English from the University of Michigan in 1956 and completed coursework there toward her doctorate. Kennedy taught English at the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Tufts , with visiting professorships at Wellesley, UCLA-Irvine, and Leeds. He became a freelance writer in 1978. In the early 1970s he and his wife Dorothy co-edited the influential journal, Counter/Measures, a precursor in the New Formalist movement to The Reaper and The Formalist. He served as poetry editor of The Paris Review, and his poetry has been published in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Hudson Review.

nude descending a staircase
Toe upon toe, a snowing flesh,
A gold of lemon, root and rind,
She sifts in sunlight down ... [read poem]
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