Donald Murrays Legacy
The latest issue of the University of New Hampshires alumni
journal featured Preserving Don Murrays 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 writers
writer, a giant among those who put pen to paper.
It is exciting to think about these file boxes: more than 20
years of Dons 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
persons accomplishment in transforming and demystifying
the process of writing.
How do I honor Donald M. Murrays legacy? I write this
blog, even though I cant 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,
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 tomorrows
task today. He simply and unceremoniously handed it to me one
day before we parted, but I knew what it meant. There wouldnt
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 Dons daybooks. When a visiting lecturer
spoke on campus, Id 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
hes doing the same thing right now. Maybe hes looking
down, grinning, because he made this one of the easiest one-pager
Ive ever written. Thank you, Don.