Beaudoin, Kenneth Lawrence, 1913-

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Kenneth Lawrence Beaudoin (1913-1995) was an American anthropologist and poet. Born in Elmiro, Michigan on December 12, 1913, he graduated from Memphis State College in 1935, attended Louisiana State from 1936 to 1937, Loyola (La.) in 1940, and the New School for Social Research from 1944 to 1946. His specialties were American anthropology and archeology, with special interest in the folk literature of American Indians and primitive literature, and he published several monographs including 4 Sioux myths and 2 Blackfoot legends, The Papago genesis and two other legends of origin, and The Warren mounds: A preliminary survey .

From 1936 to 1940 Beaudoin lived in New Orleans and headed the Louisiana Historical Records Survey, and he later ran an art gallery for several years in Greenwich Village, New York. From 1950-1980 he worked as chief clerk in criminal intelligence with the Memphis Police Department, a job which he considered invaluable for the insights it offered into the human condition, which in turn nourished his poetry.

Beaudoin is perhaps best known for inventing the "eye poem," a poetic collage form that combined words and pictures. He published several collections of poems, including Elegy for a southern poet and other poems (1951), On hot summer afternoons, and other poems (1953), and Where the new laughed any new laughed (Eye poem) (1959). He conducted poetry clinics at Southwestern University, and Inisfree, his river-side home in Memphis, Tennessee, was a kind of literary salon where local poets would gather to read and talk about poetry. In 1976 he was named "Poet Laureate of the River" at the Mid-South Festival, and his work has been widely published in England, Wales, France, West Germany, Greece, Italy, India, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia.

From the guide to the Kenneth L. Beaudoin Papers, 1951-1964, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. Papers, 1870-1969 Houghton Library
referencedIn Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. Additional papers, 1870-1969. Houghton Library
referencedIn Judson Crews Papers TXRC94-A16., 1935-1981, (bulk 1940-1966) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Margules, De Hirsh, 1899-1965. De Hirsh Margules papers, 1888-2001, bulk 1923-1965. Archives of American Art
referencedIn De Hirsh Margules papers, 1888-2001, bulk 1923-1965 Archives of American Art
creatorOf Crews, Judson. Papers, 1935-1981 (bulk 1940-1966). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn William Carlos Williams collection of papers, 1927-1965 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
creatorOf Kenneth L. Beaudoin Papers, 1951-1964 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
creatorOf Beaudoin, Kenneth Lawrence, 1913-. Correspondence from Kenneth L. Beaudoin to Scott Byrd, 1956-1962. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Collier, Oscar, 1924-. Oscar Collier papers, 1945-1947. Archives of American Art
creatorOf Colt Press. Colt Press records, ca. 1941-1942. UC Berkeley Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Byrd, Scott. person
associatedWith Collier, Oscar, 1924- person
associatedWith Colt Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Crews, Judson person
associatedWith Crews, Judson. person
correspondedWith Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962 person
associatedWith Margules, De Hirsh, 1899-1965. person
associatedWith Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Southern States
Literature--American Poetry
American poetry--20th century
Poets, American


Birth 1913

Death 2013




Ark ID: w6v700m2

SNAC ID: 65701003