Paperback / softback
February 22, 2017
9781421422442
English
96
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
.3 Pounds (US)
.3 Pounds (US)
$22.00 USD, £16.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 21, 2017
9781421422459
9781421422442
English
96
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$22.00 USD, £16.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

That Swing

Poems, 2008–2016

In this, his ninth book of poetry, lyric master X. J. Kennedy regales his readers with engaging rhythm fittingly signaled by the book's title, which echoes Duke Ellington's jazz classic "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." Kennedy's poems, infused with verve and surprise, are by turns irresistibly funny and sharply insightful about life in America.

Some poems are personal recollections of childhood and growing up, as in "My Mother Consigns to the Flames My Trove of Comic Books." "Thomas Hardy's Obsequies" tells the bizarre true account of the literary giant's burial. Other poems portray memorable characters, from Jane Austen ("Jane Austen Drives to Alton in Her Donkey Trap") to a giant land tortoise ("Lonesome George") to a slow-witted man hired to cook for a nudist colony ("Pudge Wescott"). Kennedy is a storyteller of the first order, relating tales of travel to far-reaching places, from the Galápagos Islands and Tiananmen Square to the hectic back streets of Bamako, Mali. This wise and clever book is rounded out with adept translations of work by Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Arthur Rimbaud, and others.

About the Author

X. J. Kennedy has written nine collections of poetry, among them In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New and Selected Poems, 19552007 and Fits of Concision: Collected Poems of Six or Fewer Lines. The coeditor, with Dana Gioia, of An Introduction to Poetry, he has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Poets' Prize, the Robert Frost Medal, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Aiken-Taylor Award, and the Jackson Poetry Prize.

Reviews

"Here, in Kennedy's signature combination of storytelling, formal nimbleness, and comic moments mixed with reverie and melancholy, we find the poet assessing the past and looking out on a future beyond his own lifetime."—The Hudson Review

"Typical of Kennedy's versatility and willingness to defy poetic expectations . . ."—Los Angeles Review of Books

"Now eighty-six, we should all hope Kennedy amends this closing prayer, and asks the Lord to let him produce quality work well into his nineties."—Claremont Review of Books

"These are beautiful poems by one of the best poets we have."—Sewanee Review, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"For over forty years, technical virtuoso X. J. Kennedy has entertained readers with tightly constructed formal poems in colloquial language. [Kennedy] makes us understand why our world drives us to song."—Southern Review, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"Mordant, funny, and even sometimes rather frightening; the poet, so much in control of his formal means, seems himself rather dismayed by the fearful things he points to."—Hudson Review, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"Well, here he goes again, America's finest formalist, with a simply delightful collection of new poems."—Texas Review, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"Kennedy's 'wit' is not mere cleverness. Rather it combines accuracy of perception with the metaphoric imagination that, with his ability to juggle fixed forms, enlivens the best poems in this satisfying collection."—New England Review, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"X. J. Kennedy? He ought to be declared a national resource and excused from taxation."—The Weekly Standard, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"Kennedy's work remains cultured, likable, and witty."—Publishers Weekly, reviewing a previous edition or volume

The Johns Hopkins University Press
Johns Hopkins: Poetry and Fiction

9781421422442 : that-swing-kennedy
Paperback / softback
96 Pages
$22.00 USD
9781421422459 : that-swing-kennedy
Electronic book text
96 Pages
$22.00 USD

Other Titles by X. J. Kennedy

The Bestiary, or Procession of Orpheus

Guillaume Apollinaire, translated by X. J. Kennedy
Mar 2011 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$50.00 USD - Hardback
$24.00 USD - Electronic book text

In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus

X. J. Kennedy
Mar 2010 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$21.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$21.95 USD - Electronic book text

The Lords of Misrule

X. J. Kennedy
Oct 2002 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$25.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from Johns Hopkins: Poetry and Fiction

Imago

poems by Brian Swann
Mar 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$21.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$21.95 USD - Electronic book text

A Longing for Impossible Things

David Borofka
Mar 2022 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$22.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$22.95 USD - Electronic book text

Water / Music

poems by Peter Filkins
Apr 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in POETRY / American / General

Black Creole Chronicles

Mona Lisa Saloy
Apr 2023 - University of New Orleans Press
$18.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Her Birth and Later Years

Irena Klepfisz
Dec 2022 - Wesleyan University Press
$28.00 USD - Hardback
$21.99 USD - Electronic book text

Latter Days

Frederick Turner
Oct 2022 - Franciscan University Press
$15.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in Poetry

Winter Fruit

Dale B.J. Randall
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$12.95 USD - Electronic book text

Feeding the Ghosts

Rahul Mehta
Mar 2024 - University Press of Kentucky
$29.95 USD - Hardback
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Safety of Small Things

Jane Hicks
Jan 2024 - Fireside Industries, an imprint of University Press of Kentucky
$29.95 USD - Hardback
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback