Photo Credit: Jennie Anne Benigas



November 2017

There wouldn’t be any turning back. I was confirmed, anointed, and inducted into his legion of writers.


Donald Murray’s Legacy

Dear Reader,

The latest issue of the University of New Hampshire’s alumni journal featured “Preserving Don Murray’s Legacy,” describing the addition of the Donald M. Murray collection to the Milne Special Collections and Archives at Dimond Library. To find out what Donald M. Murray meant to me, please read my 2007 February blog, written shortly after he died. Search engines will offer pages of links that will connect you to this writer’s writer, a giant among those who put pen to paper.

It is exciting to think about these file boxes: more than 20 years of Don’s daybooks, journals, correspondence and other memorabilia, which resided at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida. Their transfer to UNH was engineered by his former students. Kudos to you! Now comes the task of developing a finding aid that will open portals to one person’s accomplishment in transforming and demystifying the process of writing.

How do I honor Donald M. Murray’s legacy? I write this blog, even though I can’t be sure if many people read it. I labor over poems, submit them and wait months for either rejection or rare acceptance. I fill file boxes with research that is strung into pages, then essays or chapters, then book proposals, then books.

When I take my eyes off of the screen and look up at the bookshelf, there is a 2 ¾” by 10 ½” laminated card with 4 lines of text: NULLA DIES SINE LINEA, Write first each day, Complete one writing task every morning, Know tomorrow’s task today. He simply and unceremoniously handed it to me one day before we parted, but I knew what it meant. There wouldn’t be any turning back. I was confirmed, anointed, and inducted into his legion of writers.

A future visit to UNH will include a visit to the archives. I would love to see Don’s daybooks. When a visiting lecturer spoke on campus, I’d try for a seat behind Don so I could peek over his shoulder and watch him jot and sketch into his daybook. Instead of playing a harp in heaven, my guess is that he’s doing the same thing right now. Maybe he’s looking down, grinning, because he made this one of the easiest one-pager I’ve ever written. Thank you, Don.