X. J. Kennedy (born 21 August 1929, Dover, New Jersey, USA as Joseph Charles Kennedy) is a poet, translator, anthologist, editor, and author of children's literature and textbooks on English literature and poetry. He was long known as Joe Kennedy; but, wishing to distinguish himself from Joseph P. Kennedy, he added an "X" as his first initial.

In his youth, under the name Joe Kennedy, he was an active member of science fiction fandom and published well-regarded fanzines, including Vampire (a quarterly, 1945–47) and the Vampire Annuals. He was a member of several amateur press associations, and co-founded the still-extant Spectator Amateur Press Association (SAPS). During this period he began writing science fiction for pulp magazines.

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 to 56. Kennedy then spent the next six years pursuing a graduate degree in English at the University of Michigan but did not complete his Ph.D. There he met his future wife Dorothy Mintzlaff, who was a fellow graduate student.

Kennedy taught English at the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Tufts University (1963–78), with visiting professorships at Wellesley, UC-Irvine, and Leeds.


Joseph Charles Kennedy Poems

The Devil's Advice To Poets

Molt that skin! Lift that face!—you'll go far.
Grow like Proteus yet more bizarre.
In perpetual throes
Majors metamorphose—... more »

Cross Ties

Out walking ties left over from a track
Where nothing travels now but rust and grass,
I could take stock in something that would pass
Bearing down Hell-bent from behind my back:... more »

A Brat's Reward

At the market Philbert Spicer
Peered into the bacon slicer—
Whiz! the wicked slicer sped
Back and forth across his head... more »

Joseph Charles Kennedy Quotes

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