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Kenneth Atchity papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS116

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Kenneth Atchity Collection is a set of personal papers of Kenneth J. Atchity comprised of correspondence, manuscripts, lecture notes, scrapbooks, video tapes, printed ephemera and related material, comprising 42 linear feet of material arranged in 29 boxes. The collection is arranged in eight series: the Individuals Correspondence Series, the Scripts and Manuscripts Series, the Academic Series, the Business Files Series, the Printed Materials Series, the Video Series, the Scrapbook Series, and the Oversize Series.

The Individuals Correspondence Series primarily consists of personal and professional correspondence between Kenneth Atchity and hundreds of individuals and organizations and comprises nearly half the material of the collection (12 boxes). Included is correspondence relating to Atchity's editorships of Moneysworth, California State Poetry Quarterly, Contemporary Quarterly, Follies and Dreamworks, with correspondence from individuals such as Maya Angelou, Robert Bly, Paul Bowles, Malcolm Boyd, Wanda Coleman, Norman Cousins, Umberto Eco, Laurence Ferlinghetti, Ralph Ginzburg, Robin Hardy, Ursula K. LeGuin, Howard Nemerov, Joyce Carol Oates, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, John Rechy and Art Seidenbaum. There are also a number of noteworthy correspondents from the academic world with whom Atchity discussed Comparative and Italian Literature, including Camille Paglia, Thomas Bergin, Lowry Nelson, John Gardner and Giose Rimanelli. The Series also contains much business correspondence relating to L/A House and Shades of Love, as well as personal correspondence between Atchity and his friends and family.

The Scripts and Manuscripts Series primarily consists of material collected by L/A House for the production of Shades of Love and other projects, many of which were written by Atchity himself. Other items include a group of manuscripts collected by Contemporary Quarterly, including poems by Wanda Coleman and Marcus Grapes. The Series also contains a brief carbon typescript ascribed to John Steinbeck, 'The Common Man at War.'

The Academic Series primarily consists of lecture notes and subject files kept by Kenneth Atchity during his academic career. The Series contains Atchity's files on the Iliad, which include correspondence from Cedric Whitman, Robert Fitzgerald and other notable Classicists.

The Business Files Series mainly consists of contracts, business correspondence and other materials relating to Kenneth Atchity's career with L/A House and Shades of Love. The correspondence of many individuals and organizations overlap between this Series and the Individuals Correspondence Series.

The Printed Materials Series mainly consists of magazine issues and promotional materials for Shades of Love. Included are copies of Contemporary Quarterly, Moneysworth, Door to Door, and clippings by and about Kenneth Atchity. (Lauinger Library has a complete run of Dreamworks in the Serials Division.)

The Video Series primarily consists of videos produced or authored by Kenneth Atchity, including clips and promos for Shades of Love and Homer, a three-part television program authored by Kenneth Atchity for KNXT-TV.

The Scrapbook Series contains miscellaneous correspondence, notes and photos related to various L/A House projects and Dreamworks put together by Kenneth Atchity in scrapbooks.

The Oversize Series contains three oversize items: one scrapbook relating to Breakthrough!, 1 soundtrack record album for Shades of Love, and the music and libretto from In Praise of Love. Note: Kenneth Atchity holds the right of first refusal to publish correspondence contained in the collection but which is not created by him.

Extent: 42 linear feet Number of boxes: 29 boxes Bulk dates: 1970 - 1990 Span dates: 1962 - 1991


  • 1965-1990
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 1990

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical note

Kenneth John Atchity was born on January 16, 1944 in Eunice, Louisiana, the son of Fred J. and Myrza (nee Aguillard) Atchity. In 1965 Kenneth Atchity received an A.B. from Georgetown College, where he was editor-in-chief of The Hoya and a newscaster on WGTB-FM Radio from 1962 to 1965. Kenneth Atchity later attended Yale University and received an M.Phil. (1969) and a Ph.D. (1970) in Comparative Literature with emphases on Classical and Italian literatures. His son, Vincent, graduated from Georgetown College in 1986 and his daughter, Rosemary, from Columbia University in 1990.

Kenneth Atchity began a teaching career in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California in 1970. He attained the rank of professor and taught regularly until 1985. During this period Atchity was deeply involved in the creative process of a number of projects. He was author of two books, Sleeping with an Elephant: Selected Poems, 1965 - 1976 (1978) and Homer's 'Iliad': The Shield of Memory (1978). He edited Eterne in Mutabilitie: The Unity of 'The Faerie Queene' (1972), co-edited and contributed to Italian Literature: Roots and Branches (1976) and Critical Essays on Homer (1987), and authored numerous introductions and articles for scholarly publications. Atchity was also the features editor of Moneysworth (1971); contributing editor of California State Poetry Quarterly (1972-75), San Francisco Review of Books (1977- ), Italia America (1977-79), and Literary Review (Edinburgh, Scotland, 1980-81); editor of Contemporary Quarterly (1976-79) and Follies (1978-79); and co-founder and editor of Dreamworks (1980). He was the author of the libretto for In Praise of Love which was performed by members of the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center in 1974 (published by Erik K. Marcus) and of Homer, a three-part television program for KNXT-TV in 1976.

During these years, Kenneth Atchity also received many honors, including a Fulbright Professorship at University of Bologna (1974-75) and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1972), American Council of Learned Societies (1973, 1979), and the Mellon Foundation (1978); for his poetry he received the Readers' Choice Award (1970), the National Federation of State Poetry Societies Lubbe Award (1971), and the Modern Award (1971). In 1976, Kenneth Atchity became founder and president of L/A House, Inc., a book, television, and film development and production company. L/A House began by doing manuscript consultation and soon moved on to publishing with the production of Follies, a creative writing magazine of which Atchity was the editor. In the 1980's the company moved into television production, with a syndicated television pilot of BreakThrough!, of which Atchity was executive producer and a co-author. As time went by, Atchity gave increasing attention to L/A House and phased out his teaching involvement at Occidental College, resigning from the faculty in 1987. In 1985 L/A House began development of a set of video romance novels entitled Shades of Love, and in 1986 Kenneth Atchity published A Writer's Time, a guide to creative writing. The 16 Shades of Love films, for which he was executive producer, were produced in 1986 and 1987 and distributed throughout the world by Lorimar, Astral-Bellevue-Pathe, and Warner Brothers. He sold L/A House in 1989 and founded AEI (Atchity Entertainment- Education-Editorial International). In 1989 he was associate producer of the NBC Movie-of-the-Week The Amityville Horror, and served as executive producer of Falling Over Backwards in 1990-91.

Kenneth J. Atchity lives in Los Angeles, California and continues his work as a writer, producer, consultant and executive at AEI. Further biographical information on Kenneth Atchity can be found in Contemporary Authors (NR-16).


42 Linear Feet (29 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



Provenance: Gift of Kenneth J. Atchity, 1991. Processed by: Michael J. North Date: 29 July, 1992

Kenneth Atchity papers
Michael J. North, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Local Practice
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057