Kennedy, John Leo

John Leo Kennedy, poet, critic (b at Liverpool, Eng 22 Aug 1907; d 2000). After immigrating to Montréal in 1912, Kennedy helped change the direction of Canadian poetry in the 1920s and, through critical manifestos and literary journals, shared in avant-garde literary movements (1925-38). After only 6 years of education, Kennedy took to the sea and then had a variety of jobs.

Friend of A.J.M. SMITH, F.R. SCOTT, A.M. KLEIN and Leon EDEL, he contributed to the McGill Literary Supplement, McGill Fortnightly Review and Canadian Mercury and was part of a politically active circle of intellectuals in Montréal and Toronto in the 1930s and an editor of New Frontier 1936-38. In 1933 he published The Shrouding (poems) which, marked by a fascination with death and symbolic resurrection, reflects his wit and forceful personality. Most of his life he worked as a copywriter in the US; recently he lived in Montréal, writing poems for children, satiric verse and broadsides.