Gregory Corso

Gregory Corso (1930–2001) was abandoned by his mother a month after his birth at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York. Growing up in foster care and on the streets of Little Italy, Corso was a juvenile delinquent who spent time in Clinton Correctional Facility, in the cell recently vacated by gangster “Lucky” Luciano. An aspiring poet, Corso was taken under the wing of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and became the youngest member of the Beat Generation’s inner circle, with whom he lived and work in the Beat Hotel, a lodging house in Paris, during the late fifties. There he created one of his signature works, “Bomb”, a poem composed of typewritten strips of paper arranged in the shape of a mushroom cloud. Late in life, Corso became reunited with his mother and maintained a close relationship with her until his death.

An Accidental Autobiography

Literature by Gregory Corso

With a contribution by Patti Smith

For all his charm and intelligence poet Gregory Corso lived a vagabond life. He never held down a regular job. Until his final years, he rarely stayed very long under the same roof. He spent long stretches––some as long as four or five years––abroad. Many of his letters came from Europe––France, England, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Greece––as he kept in touch with his circle of friends––among them his best friends Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.…
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Herald Of The Autochthonic Spirit

Poetry by Gregory Corso

Gregory Corso is still kicking “the ivory applecart of tyrannical values,” heralding the wild and keenly experienced life. Since the 1950s, when with Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others, Corso electrified the literary establishment with what he describes as “spontaneous subterranean poesy of the streets,” he has fathered “three fleshed angels,” traveled through Europe and Egypt, seen the demise of several fellow “Daddies of an Age,” and now finds himself over half a century old.…
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Elegiac Feelings American

Fiction by Gregory Corso

Gregory Corso’s collection of poems, the first in eight years, contains works of major proportions. The title poem is a tribute to Jack Kerouac, fusing a memorial to the poet’s dead friend with a bitter lament for the present state of America. The second major work, “The Geometric Poem,” published previously in a limited edition by Fernanda Pivano in Italy, is a complex visionary restatement of themes from ancient Egyptian religion.…
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Long Live Man

Poetry by Gregory Corso

Long live Man! sings the poet Gregory Corso – despite atom bombs and computers, cold wars that get hot and togetherness that isn’t, too many cars and too little love… and in these poems he celebrates the wonders (and the laughs and griefs) of being a man alive. Whether he is musing on antic glories amid the ruins of the Acropolis or watching a New York child invent games on the city’s sidewalks, Corso is there in it, putting us into it, with the magic of vision, with the senses––awakening images, that transmute reality into something more––insights that let us share his joy and echo his shout of Long live Man!…
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The Happy Birthday Of Death

Poetry by Gregory Corso

The young poet Gregory Corso has been much publicized as one of the leading literary spokesmen for the “Beat Generation,” together with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs. It is true that he has been one of the inner circle of the “Beats” from the first, but many admirers of his poetry feel that it belongs quite as much to other and older traditions in world literature. One of these is the revival of pure poetry whenever an “original”––be it Rimbaud or Whitman––has broken with current verse conventions to give free rein to the magic of language.…
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A zinging, furious output of epistles…
Kirkus Reviews
Gregory Corso’s an aphoristic poet, and a poet of ideas. What modern poets write with such terse clarity that their verses stick in the mind without effort?
—Allen Ginsberg
In terms of language Corso always seems to me the most interesting of the Beats … extracting all the power from standard syntax and rhetoric, maintaining the Beat anti-academicism .… Put this together with the experimentalism and relevance of the Beat outlook, and you have poetry that not only shares our experience but creates it.
—Hayden Carruth
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