Knock at a Star

Knock at a Star

A Child's Introduction to Poetry

By X. J. Kennedy; Dorothy M. Kennedy; Andrew Portwood (Illustrator)

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Paperback, 9780316488006, 192pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 1999


The classic anthology of poetry for children--now revised with new poems to enchant a new generation.

About the Author
X. J. Kennedy, born in Dover, New Jersey, in 1929, to avoid confusion with better-known Joe Kennedys, stuck an X on his name when his first poems came out in The New Yorker, and ever since has been stuck with it. He has served as a destroyer sailor, as the father of five, as poetry editor of The Paris Review, and as Professor of English at Tufts (he quit the last two jobs in order to write). Nude Descending the Staircase (Lamont Award, Doubleday, 1961) was his first book of poems; more recent ones are In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New & Selected Poems (an American Library Association notable book, 2009) and Peeping Tom's Cabin: Comic Verse (BOA Editions, 2008). He has also written twenty books for children (with Dorothy M. Kennedy, Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry, Longman, 1982, revised 1999); textbooks inflicted on more than six million students, including An Introduction to Poetry, 13th edition (with Dana Gioia); and a comic novel, A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer (Curtis Brown Unlimited, 2014). In 2009, the Poetry Society awarded him its Robert Frost Medal for his life's work in poetry. He and Dorothy live in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Portwood was born and grew up in the Deep South and received a BFA from Auburn University.