Jun 20, 2019 - Sale 2514

Sale 2514 - Lot 92

Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500

File of personal letters and typescript poems.

17 Letters Signed (some of them autograph letters, a few of them postcards or short notes) to fan James A. Hyde of Darien, CT, with 46 leaves of typescript poems and other works by Murdoch, 2 printed Christmas greetings signed by Murdoch, and a letter from Murdoch's publisher. 1964-65 and undated.

Additional Details

Most of the letters are signed "Kevveø" in the Greek alphabet, which translates as "Kenneth," described in his 20 February 1964 letter as "the signature by which my friends know me, as you will see at the close of Poet's Letters."
Kenneth Royal Murdoch has gained increased recognition as an important poet since the posthumous publication of "The Disrobing: Sex and Satire" in 1982 by Gay Sunshine Press. These letters and manuscripts were sent by Murdoch to a fan named James A. Hyde of Darien, CT. Most of the letters were written while Murdoch was wintering in Mexico in 1964 and 1965, with a few written from him home in Manhattan. The first introductory letter, dated 31 January 1964, wonders "Someday someone with a flare for publicity will amuse himself and me by writing and publishing about the unknown poet. Are you the person maybe?" Over the course of two years, Murdock became friendly with Hyde and his wife Nancy, who made efforts to place his poems in literary magazines. He discusses his work in depth, including one poem which was the result of his "wondering just how I could express the ecstasy of sexual intercourse . . . the final stanza celebrates the orgasm with its 'trice and trickle'" (6 April 1965). In a quite different vein, three of the letters relate to a proposed children's book called "Can You Name the Presidents in Order?" On 14 February 1965, Murdoch sent a packet of new typescript poems for the Hydes to get published, writing "They are all intended for my collection A Song of My Life, and so have no titles. If an editor insists on a title, I will make one up or he can do it himself." A more detailed summary of these papers is available upon request.