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An award-winning poet and children's author, X.J. Kennedy served four years in the U.S. Navy as a journalist, and then attended the Sorbonne in Paris. His first collection of poetry, "Nude Descending a Staircase" (1961), won the Lamont Poetry Selection. His other awards include a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize. He has published numerous works for children, including more than ten collections of verse and two novels and has edited several textbooks with his wife, Dorothy. His most recent children's book is "Exploding Gravy: Poems to Make You Laugh" (Little, Brown, 2002). Kennedy and his wife live in Lexington, Massachusetts.