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Guide to the Gregory Corso Papers, 1960-1970
Special Collections M721  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • ABSTRACT
  • BIOGRAPHY
  • SCOPE AND CONTENT

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gregory Corso Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1960-1970
    Collection number: Special Collections M721
    Creator: Purchased, 1994, as part of the Stephen Rodefer papers.
    Extent: 1 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions:

    None.

    Publication Rights:

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Provenance:

    Purchased, 1994, as part of the Stephen Rodefer papers. Corso had given these materials to Rodefer in payment for a large telephone bill Corso had accrued when he stayed with Rodefer in Corrales, New Mexico, in 1969.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Gregory Corso Papers, M721, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    ABSTRACT

    The material in the collection is somewhat fragmentary; many of the manuscript pages are handwritten and unidentifiable as part of larger works, although the emendations on the drafts provide a glimpse of Corso's revision process. The correspondence includes both professional and highly personal material.

    BIOGRAPHY

    Gregory Nunzio Corso, an associate of Beat writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, is the author of over twenty volumes of poetry, numerous magazine articles and essays, plays, and a 1961 novel, The American Express.
    Born in New York City in 1930, Corso worked as a migrant laborer, newspaper reporter for the L.A. Examiner, and merchant seaman before joining the English Department at SUNY Buffalo in 1965. In the mid-1950s he began to give public readings of his poetry, often sharing the stage with other Beats. His 1958 volume, Gasoline, marks the beginning of his long association with San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore and the Bay Area in general, which figures prominently in much of Corso's work.

    SCOPE AND CONTENT

    The Gregory Corso Archive includes manuscript notebooks, published materials and personal and professional ephemera of Gregory Corso. They are housed in 3 document boxes and occupy 1.5 linear feet.
    The collection covers Corso's work in the 1980s and early 1990s, including both manuscript notebooks and published works. The ephemera includes professional and personal correspondence with Allen Ginsberg as well as materials documenting Corso's public appearances and professional collaborations. The ephemera series also includes photographs of Corso. Most of the items in the collection are signed.
    The Corso Papers were received by the Stanford Library as part of the Stephen Rodefer Collection. Corso gave these materials, which were housed in a suitcase at the time, to Rodefer in payment for a large telephone bill Corso had accrued when he stayed with the poet in Corrales, New Mexico, in 1969. During this visit, Corso guest-lectured in Rodefer's class; Rodefer, in turn, hosted Corso's first reading, in ten years.
    The material in the collection is somewhat fragmentary; many of the manuscript pages are handwritten and unidentifiable as part of larger works, although the emendations on the drafts provide a glimpse of Corso's revision process. The correspondence in the collection's second box is a sampling of professional and highly personal material, ranging from solicitations for magazine submissions to contract copies, to angry drafts. As representation of Corso's personal and professional life--quite literally what he was carrying around with him--the papers chronicle the important events of Corso's written life in the years 1969-70 and indicate the peripatetic nature of that existence.