Poet : Gregory Corso
Publisher : Ragged Lion Press/Counter Culture Chronicles
Year : 2018
Reading recorded by Allen DeLoach, 1970
C-90 cassette plus laser printed insert
Photos by Allen DeLoach & Harry Hoogstraten
Limited edition of 80
Postage & packing not included
Gregory Corso (1930-2001) was born from Italian American teenage parents and spent most of his childhood in Catholic foster homes after his mother had abandoned him in his first year. The disappearance of his mother, his Italian roots, his Catholic upbringing and his experiences on the streets of New York would fire much of Corso’s imagination throughout his life. At the age of 13 he was arrested for the first time and the next 7 years were spent in and out of various correctional institutions. In one of those institutions, Clinton State Prison, Corso enjoyed the protection of Mafioso inmates, who encouraged him to read and study. It was there that he started writing poetry, voicing his personal experiences, visions and desires while taking inspiration from the Greek and Roman classics. Poetry became a home for young Corso.
In 1951 Allen Ginsberg chanced upon the poet, then 21 and just released from prison, and recognised the streetwise spirituality of his poetry. Through Ginsberg Corso joined the Beat circle and enjoyed its growing popularity. Together with his mentor Corso travelled to the West Coast, Mexico City and Tangiers. Once in Paris in 1957 he made the acquaintance of Gabriel Pomerand, one of the founders of the lettrist movement, and persuaded Ginsberg and his lover Peter Orlovsky to come over to Paris too. The cheap Left Bank hotel where they took up lodgings and were soon joined by William Burroughs was the start of the Beat Hotel. From 1958 onwards Corso travelled restlessly between Europe and the US, got married twice, taught in Greece and was miraculously re-united with his mother. He died of prostate cancer in 2001. His ashes were buried in the Cimitero degli Inglesi in Rome.
The Poetics Of The Voice is a joint release on cassette by Ragged Lion Press and Counter Culture Chronicles. The C-90 release contains a lively recording that Beat documentalist Allen DeLoach made of Corso reading his poetry at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1970. The beautiful edition, limited to 80 copies only, also contains photos of Corso by DeLoach and Dutch poet Harry Hoogstraten. Corso real and raw as a delirious side of meat and tender as an altar boy’s tears.