Guide to the Gregory Corso Papers, 1960-1970

Processed by Special Collections staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Steven Mandeville-Gamble & Meri Rada
Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Phone: (650) 725-1022
Email: speccollref@stanford.edu
URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
© 1997
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Gregory Corso Papers, 1960-1970

Collection number: M721

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email: speccoll@sulmail.stanford.edu
  • URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
Processed by:
Special Collections staff
Encoded by:
Steven Mandeville-Gamble & Meri Rada
© 1997 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

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.

CONTAINER LIST

Box 1, Folder 1

"All Hallows' Eve in Cleveland" n.d. (TMs and AMs)

Box 1, Folder 2

Ama Fleming Introduction n.d. (AMs and TMs)

Box 1, Folder 3

"American Historia Politica" 1970 (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 4

"The American Way" c. 1960s (TMs)

Box 1, Folder 5

"August Thoughts" 1969 (AMsS)

Box 1, Folder 6

"The Birth of Earth" n.d. (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 7

"Common Sensitivity" n.d. (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 8

"the dancing boy of the spilling air" n.d. (TMs)

Box 1, Folder 9

"Dear Indian" Dec., 1969 (TMs with AN)

Box 1, Folder 10

"Down By the Vacant Lot" n.d. (TMs with AN)

Box 1, Folder 11

"Elegiac Feelings American" (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 12

"Experiences of imagination, dream..." n.d. (TMs with AN)

Box 1, Folder 13

"JFK" n.d. (TMs reprint)

Box 1, Folder 14

"The Hounds of Psychosis" n.d. (TMs)

Box 1, Folder 15

"Indomitable Moods" n.d. (TMs reprint)

Box 1, Folder 16

"In this my Pons Asinorum..." n.d. (TMs with AN)

Box 1, Folder 17

"The Last Poem" n.d. (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 18

"Like I would never kill" n.d. (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 19

"Marriage Ceremony for Hells Angel Wedding" (AmsS)

Box 1, Folder 20

"1970 Inventory Assessments" c. 1969-70 (TMs)

Box 1, Folder 21

"Old Man Carrying Straw" n.d. (TMsS)

Box 1, Folder 22

"Poem for Belle..." January, 1970 (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 23

"St. God...a mystery poem" n.d. (TMs)

Box 1, Folder 24

"Ten Poems a Time..." n.d. (TMs with AN)

Box 1, Folder 25

"Theme for Bill: the Etymological" n.d. (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 26

"Theme of There's Yet Time" n.d. (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 27

"A 13 Year Old's Visit to Hell" n.d. (TMsS with AN)

Box 1, Folder 28

"Thor" n.d. (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 29

"3 Days After Stonehenge" n.d.(AMs)

Box 1, Folder 30

"What Comes from the Head Automaticly" n.d. (TMs)

Box 1, Folder 31

"When Your Child Has Gone to War" n.d. (TMs)

Box 1, Folder 32

"Who is the Face in the Mirror..." n.d. (TMsS)

Box 1, Folder 33

autobiographical fragments c. 1969-70

Box 1, Folder 34

film project n.d. (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 35

draft of a play [?] n.d. (AMs)

Box 1, Folder 36

manuscripts--unidentified

Box 1, Folder 37

manuscripts--unidentified

Box 1, Folder 38

manuscripts--unidentified

Box 1, Folder 39

manuscripts--unidentified

Box 1, Folder 40

manuscripts--unidentified

Box 1, Folder 41

manuscripts--unidentified

Box 1, Folder 42

manuscripts--unidentified

Box 1, Folder 43

manuscripts--unidentified

Box 2, Folder 1

Letters to Corso n.d.

 

James F. Botta (poem)

 

Corinth Books, contract copy, SpontaneousRequiem for the American Indian

 

Allen Ginsberg

 

Gotham Book Mart re new material

 

Peter Jones

 

Peter Orlovsky

 

Treasury Department, U.S. Government

 

Wajovi

 

Unsolicited correspondence

Box 2, Folder 2

Letters to Corso, 1969

 

Sinclair Beiles

 

City Lights Books, contract Collected Prose [signed by Corso]

 

Doubleday & Co., permission request to reprint "Requiem for 'Bird' Parker"

 

Anthony Huck Finneral

 

Follett Publishing Co., re Chicago 8 defense fund auction

 

Allen Ginsberg

 

Gotham Book Mart

 

Piero Heliczers

 

Harper & Row re complimentary book

 

Patrick King re youth response to Kerouac's death

 

New Directions Publishing Corp. [James Laughlin and Robert McGregor]

 

receipts addressed to Belle Ostrander

Box 2, Folder 3

Letters to Corso, 1970

 

Corinth Books re contracts

 

Caresse Crosby memorial service invitation

 

Fantasy/Galaxy Records re tax forms

 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

 

Louis Ginsberg

 

Gotham Book Mart

 

Piero Heliczer

 

Midcentury Authors, John Wakeman, ed.

 

New Directions Publishing Corp [James Laughlin]

 

New Directions Publishing Corp. U.S. tax form

 

Phoenix Book Shop

 

Joe Reynolds

 

submission requests

Box 2, Folder 4

Drafts of letters by Corso

 

Andreas Blaise

 

Belle Carpenter

Box 2, Folder 5

Drafts of letters by Corso

 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

 

Allen Ginsberg

 

James Laughlin

 

Ted Wilentz

 

to Olga [unidentified] re fame and poverty

 

unidentified fragments

Box 2, Folder 6

personal business: writing

 

letter from Donald Allen re NAP royalties

 

royalty statement from Czech government

 

contract copy: "Spontaneous Requiem for theAmerican Indian"

 

tax receipt from City Lights Books, 1969

 

receipts for publishers' advances on Elegiac Feelings American ($500) and Happy Birthday of Death ($200); New Directions Press

 

U.S. census individual report form: 1970

Box 2, Folder 7

personal business: miscellaneous receipts (incl. unsigned Prisoner Property Receipt, Santa Fe Jail, Mar. 14, 1970)

Box 2, Folder 8

Corso artwork

Box 2, Folder 9

printed matter: Andersen's "Takis: Evidence of the Unseen"

Box 2, Folder 10

printed matter: manuscripts from others

 

Botta (TMs)

 

"anthology of Power" (unknown)

 

"spy poem" (unknown)

 

"the times of the watches" (reprint)

 

education manifesto (reprint)

Box 2, Folder 11

printed matter: miscellaneous

 

"America Politica Historia..." (reprint from Chelsea Review #8, Oct., 1960

 

Caliche County Rendering Works no. 19

 

"Head Comix"

 

"3 Spare Parts"

 

The New Mexico Review and Legislative Journal, "Who Killed Eulogio Salazar?" 1969

 

"Art: Like the Stumpy Crocus..." NYT Apr. 2, 1966 (review of Raphael Soyer, w/ Ginsberg, diPrima and Corso portrait)

 

miscellaneous fragments

Box 2, Folder 12

personal business: artifacts

 

bill for medical treatments Feb. 19-Apr. 1, 1970

 

large envelope containing suitcase debris

Box 2, Folder 13

prescription bottle: valium (dated Mar. 3, 1970)