X. J. Kennedy
X. J. Kennedy, after graduation from Seton Hall and Columbia, became a journalist second class in the Navy (Ã¢ Actually, I was pretty eighth classÃ¢ ). His poems, some published in the New Yorker, were first collected in Nude Descending a Staircase (1961). Since then he has written six more collections, several widely adopted literature and writing textbooks, and seventeen books for children, including two novels. He has taught at Michigan, North Carolina (Greensboro), California (Irvine), Wellesley, Tufts, and Leeds. Cited in BartlettÃ¢ s Familiar Quotations and reprinted in some 200 anthologies, his verse has brought him a Guggenheim fellowship, a Lamont Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, an Aiken-Taylor prize, the Robert Frost Medal of the Poetry Society of America, and the Award for Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English. He now lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he and his wife Dorothy have collaborated on four books and five children. Â Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed poet and critic. He is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and three collections of criticism, most notably Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. A best-selling literary anthologist, Gioia has edited or co-edited over two dozen collections of poetry, fiction, and drama. He has also written two opera libretti and has collaborated with composers in genres ranging from classical to jazz and rock. For six years (2003-2009) he served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts where he gained strong bipartisan support for the previously imperiled agency and helped launch the largest literary programs in federal history, including The Big Read, Poetry Out Loud, and Shakespeare in American Communities. He was twice unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. For two years he directed the arts and culture programs for the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. and Colorado.Â He is currently the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California.Â He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California.Â Nina Revoyr is the author ofÂ four novels, The Necessary Hunger, Southland, and The Age of Dreaming. Southland was a Book Sense 76 pick, won the Lambda Literary Award, and was a Los Angeles Times "Best Book" of 2003. The Age of Dreaming was a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.Â Revoyr lives and works in Los Angeles.