||The papers of poet Kenneth Royal Murdoch contain handwritten and typescript drafts
prose and poetry, children's stories, plays, extensive correspondence, and personal
material. Although his works were published under the name Royal Murdoch, he was
known to his friends and family as "Kenneth," the name he also employed in his
correspondence. The collection is organized in three series: I. Works, 1941-1982;
II. Correspondence, 1940-1981; and III. Personal.
||The works in Series I. include drafts of three published books: The Disrobing: Sex and Satire (edited and published
posthumously by Winston Leyland of Gay Sunshine Press, 1982), Gargantua's Mouth (1946), and New Friends of
Mother Goose (1958). Also present are drafts of an unfinished novel
"Letters to Xenophon Ho," as well as numerous poems and playscripts. Ideas and
sketches for works can be found in numerous notebooks and notes on various subjects.
||Series II. Correspondence, 1940-1981, bound in date order by Murdoch, contains
incoming and outgoing letters, primarily typed transcriptions of personal
correspondence. Correspondents include Murdoch's mother Mary Snyder, sister Sadie
Woodhead, friends such as Winston Leyland, Stavros Mannesis, Felice Picano, Cyril
Sloane, and Edward Watkins; and fellow poets including Peter Dent, Marianne Moore,
and André Spire. Loose materials from the bound volumes, such as original letters,
photographs, and personal papers, are foldered separately and follow the bound
||The personal material in Series III. includes promotional blurbs for works by
Murdoch, Spanish vocabulary aides, "Poems and Prose, 1954-1974" by David Malberg,
diplomas from high school and college, photographs, and cancelled stamps.
||Books and personal effects received with the collection were transferred to
appropriate departments within the Ransom Center. The material is in good condition
with the exception of fragile drafts of "The Letters to Xenophon Ho" that were
photocopied to facilitate access without using the original draft pages.