X.J. Kennedy is the author of six volumes of poetry, including Nude Descending a Staircase, which received the 1961 Lamont Award of the Academy of American Poets, Cross Ties: Selected Poems, winner of the 1985 Los Angeles Book Award for Poetry, and, most recently, Dark Horses. He has taught English at the University of Michigan, at the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina, and at Tufts University. A free-lance writer since 1978, he has also authored eighteen children’s books and several textbooks, including An Introduction to Poetry, 8th Edition. Winner of the Aiken-Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, Guggenheim and National Arts Council Fellowships, and the first Michael Braude Award for Light Verse, he currently lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.