X. J. Kennedy

Title: Writer, Poet
Location:  Lexington, Massachusetts, United States

X. J. Kennedy, writer and poet, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in poetry and education.

As a writer and poet, Dr. Kennedy has learned that the attribute that is just as important as talent is persistence. He began writing when he was 21 years old and serving in the U.S. Navy for four years. “During downtime, I would write, and I quickly realized not only did I love it, but I was pretty good at it,” he shares of his early years of writing. Already educated with a Bachelor of Science from Seton Hall University and a Master of Arts from Columbia University, he took on a role With Tufts University as an assistant professor of English upon completing his military service. He remained in this capacity for 10 years before becoming a full-time professor, all the while writing and publishing his own poetry. Prior to 1980, he published eight books, including “Nude Descending a Staircase: Poems, Songs and a Ballad to New York,” “Growing into Love,” “Bulsh,” “Breaking and Entering,” “Emily Dickinson in Southern California,” and “Celebrations after the Death of John Brennan.” In 1980, Dr. Kennedy left his position as an educator to pursue writing full time.

Notably in his career, Dr. Kennedy was the first recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Michael Braude Award for Light Verse. His work has led him in achieving many awards and accolades over his lifetime, including a Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry Magazine, a Los Angeles Times Book Award for poetry, the 1969/70 Shelley Memorial Award, the Golden Rose of the New England Poetry Club Honor, an award from the National Council of Teachers of English, and an Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry. In addition, Dr. Kennedy has earned honorary degrees from Lawrence and Adelphi Universities and Westfield State College. He is a Guggenheim fellow, National Arts Council fellow and grantee from the National Endowment for the Arts. Now at the age of 90, Dr. Kennedy still loves to write. In the years to come, he hopes to continue publishing his poetry and other pieces of writing.

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