Am I a hypocrite then? I wondered. Is it that I should be free to deal with
the beasts I find in the forest of my own mind, but also free
to blow the whistle on others doing the same thing?
Are your beasts less belle than mine?
—From “The Glass Motel: Personal Reflections on the Fortieth Anniversary of Lolita — Child Pornography and Sexual Abuse of Children,”
by Thomas E. Kennedy, in The Literary Review, Fall 1997
During the span of a quarter century, Kennedy has produced hundreds of short works, including stories, essays, poems, translations, photographs, and interviews. In addition to the book-length collections listed on the Books page of this website, Kennedy’s short works appear in a couple of hundred magazines and anthologies.
You can access a small sample of short works by Kennedy at this central location on the Web: LookSmart Find Articles. A partial list of short works from that website follows below. Within each section, works are listed in reverse chronological order.
Short Works: Stories
- “A Thought”
Appears in Contrary, Winter 2007
- “Michela Crosses the Bridge”
From Greene’s Summer
Appears in The Literary Review, Winter 2004
- “Cast Upon the Day”
Appears in Arts & Letters: Journal of Contemporary Culture, Issue 1, Spring 1999
- “The Foot of Saint Catherine”
Appears in The Literary Review, Spring 1999
- “Autumn Wasps”
From Beneath the Neon Egg*
Appears in Agni, Issue 50, 1999
Maxine Kumin, US Poet Laureate (1981-82) and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, nominated “Autumn Wasps” for a Pushcart Prize.
* Although this story is sub-titled “An excerpt from the novel Beneath the Neon Egg,” that novel eventually evolved, prior to its publication, into the novel, Bluett’s Blue Hours, which is Book 2 of The Copenhagen Quartet.
- “Seeing Things”
Appears in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 1991
Short Works: Essays
- In an essay called “achingly good” and “dark and hilarious,” Kennedy describes how he learned the meaning of the word, micturate:
“I Am Joe’s Prostate”
Appears in New Letters quarterly magazine, Volume 73, Issue Number 4.
Also, winner of a 2008 National Magazine Award in the Essay category (finalists included essays by Walter Kim, Stephen King, Katrina Onstad, Tim Page, and Sallie Tisdale, as well).
- Kennedy’s tribute to his nephew, Jack O’Brien, Rock Guitarist (1952-88):
“Jack and Me”
Appears at this website, 2007
- On Copenhagen Poetry Day, Kennedy recites poetry in the garden in the rain and wins a prize for having fun:
“Giving Up the Money”
Appears in The Literary Explorer at Wel Del Sol, 2006
- Kennedy answers the question, “What is Pif?” in a charming essay:
“PIF: A Stay of Execution for an Online Literary Treasure”
Appears in Pif online magazine, 2005
- “Something to Fall Back On”
Appears in Writers on the Job, 2005
- “The Ancient Kingdom’s Young Writing School”
Appears in The Literary Review, Spring 2004
- “I Kiss Your Feet: A Visit to Baroness Varvara”
Appears in The Literary Explorer at Web Del Sol, 2003
- “Life in Another Language”
Appears in The Literary Review, Fall 2003
- “Painter, Swan, Weaver: No Sameness Here”
Appears in The Literary Review, Fall 2002
- “The Secret Life of Kierkegaard’s Lover”
Appears in The Literary Review, Summer 2002
- “Happy Hour: Notes on the Translation of Two Poems by Pia Tafdrup”
Appears in The Literary Review, Spring 2002
- “Fortune, Fate, God, Kipling, Robert Crumb, A Broken Radio, and the Father of My Friend Who Tortured Turtles”
Appears in The Literary Review, Fall 1998
Also appears in Realism & Other Illusions: Essays on the Craft of Fiction (2002), as a complementary essay to the short story, “What Does God Care About Your Dignity, Victor Travesti?”
- “Introduction: Author! Author!”
Appears in The Literary Review, Fall 1998
- “The Glass Motel: Personal Reflections on the Fortieth Anniversary of Lolita — Child Pornography and Sexual Abuse of Children”
Appears in The Literary Review, Fall 1997
Short Works: Song Lyrics
During his connection with the rock group Hammer during the late Sixties, Kennedy was a songwriter under contract to the legendary Bill Graham and briefly managed by Shelly Finkel (who went on to manage Mike Tyson).
Hammer only released one LP, HAMMER (San Francisco/Atlantic label, 1970), on which Kennedy wrote the lyrics for three songs, which won a Popular Panel Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).
Hammer’s lead guitarist, Jack O’Brien, was Kennedy’s nephew, and the two wrote many songs together. In Kennedy’s words: “Jack, alas, passed away in 1988, only 36 years old. He was a fabulous guitarist. Jack was a fine fellow and is sorely missed.”
Since his work with Hammer, Kennedy has translated song lyrics from the Danish and written a couple of original songs with the Danish rock drummer, René Wulf. He is currently working with songs written by the young Danish poet, Lone Hørslev, one of the editors of the Danish literary magazine, Den Blå Port (The Blue Gate).
Short Works: Interviews of and by Kennedy
Kennedy has interviewed many outstanding contemporary writers — including Andre Dubus II, James Carroll, William Stafford, Duff Brenna, Gladys Swan, Gordon Weaver, and others — and interviews with Kennedy himself have been published in many magazines and aired on television and radio, including Glimmer Train, Frank, South Carolina Review, PIF, The Literary Review, New Letters on the Air, New Letters TV, Danish Television DR2 and TV2, and elsewhere.
Here is a partial list of Kennedy interviews that may be found on the Web:
- A View from Across the Sea
Interview of Thomas E. Kennedy by Melanie Tortoroli
Appears in South Carolina Review, Issue 40.1, Fall 2007
This in-depth interview (9500 words) with Kennedy about his experience as an expatriate writer was conducted by Melanie Tortoroli as a Harvard senior project.
- “A Literary Conference Call”
Appears in Frank, Issue 18
As the journal describes it, Frank’s first Literary Conference Call is “an innovative dialog bringing writers and readers into direct contact. Story writer Thomas E. Kennedy in Copenhagen engages in a lively exchange with novelist Duff Brenna in San Diego, moderated in Paris by Frank Editor David Applefield.”
- “It’s Not a Choice, It’s a Calling”
Interview of Thomas E. Kennedy by Duff Brenna
Appears in Perigee, Issue 6, 2004
- Interview of Thomas E. Kennedy
by Derek Alger
Appears in Pif, 2003
- “Up from Brooklyn: An Interview with Janet McDonald”
(Author of the memoir, Project Girl)
by Thomas E. Kennedy
Appears in The Literary Review, Summer 2001
- “Real Cities with Imaginary Prose About Them”
Interview of Thomas E. Kennedy by Susan Tekulve
Appears in The Literary Review, Summer 1999
- “Only for the Moment Am I Saying Nothing:
An Interview with J.P. Donleavy”
by Thomas E. Kennedy
Appears in The Literary Review, Summer 1997
Short Works: Reviews by Kennedy
Short Works: Tributes to Kennedy
- “A True Gentleman and Scribe”
By Christopher Klim
Appears in Pif
Klim calls Kennedy “one of the greatest living short story writers.”
- “The Making of Thomas E. Kennedy: Copenhagen Quartet”
By Greg Herriges
Appears in South Carolina Review, Vol. 38.1, Fall 2005
- “One evening Kennedy took to the podium. A modest man, he began his reading and I barely took notice, except to reflect on his accent, which was one part New York and an equal share British, it seemed to me. But within a few minutes it became apparent that the voice was wrapped around staggeringly beautiful prose and a story of remarkable proportions. This fellow Kennedy, I realized with the grudging envy that writers naturally have for other, better writers, was a storyteller of the first order.…”
- Read more…