Paperback / softback
February 22, 2017
9781421422442
English
96
6857
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
0.30 Inches (US)
.3 Pounds (US)
$19.95 USD, £15.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 21, 2017
9781421422459
9781421422442
English
96
6857
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$19.95 USD, £15.00 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
Johns Hopkins University Press
Johns Hopkins: Poetry and Fiction
From 13 To 17

9781421422442 : that-swing-kennedy
Paperback / softback
96 Pages
$19.95 USD
9781421422459 : that-swing-kennedy
Electronic book text
96 Pages
$19.95 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
$48.00 USD - Hardback
$21.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$21.95 USD - Electronic book text

In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus

X. J. Kennedy
Sep 2007 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$21.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$21.95 USD - Electronic book text

The Lords of Misrule

X. J. Kennedy
Nov 2002 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$22.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from Johns Hopkins: Poetry and Fiction

A Longing for Impossible Things

stories by David Borofka
Mar 2022 - 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

Fabrications

Pamela Painter
Nov 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$21.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$21.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in POETRY / General

Winter Fruit

Dale B.J. Randall
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$70.00 USD - Hardback
$70.00 USD - Electronic book text

The Age of Phillis

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Feb 2022 - Wesleyan University Press
$26.95 USD - Hardback
$21.99 USD - Electronic book text
$16.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Heroism in the New Black Poetry

D.H. Melhem
Dec 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$35.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in Poetry

Finalists

Rae Armantrout
Mar 2022 - Wesleyan University Press
$35.00 USD - Hardback
$16.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Neverending Quest for the Other Shore

Sylvie Kandé
Mar 2022 - Wesleyan University Press
$35.00 USD - Hardback
$17.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Age of Phillis

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Feb 2022 - Wesleyan University Press
$26.95 USD - Hardback
$21.99 USD - Electronic book text
$16.95 USD - Paperback / softback