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Papers of Gregory Corso

Call Number: MS 138


This collection contains the drafts of poems and plays, prose, notebooks, and letters written by Gregory Corso from the 1950s to the 1970s. Includes correspondence written to Jack Kerouac and Gerard Malanga.


  • Creation: 1953 - 1979


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Gregory Corso

Gregory Corso (1930-2001) was an American poet and a key member in the Beat poetry movement that helped transform the United States culturally and politically leading into the 1960s.

Corso had a troubled childhood, which was spent in fosters homes, orphanages, and even prison. After his release from jail in 1950, Corso secured different jobs in labor around the world. Working in New York City, he met another poet, Allen Ginsberg, a major influence in his life.

In 1954, Corso moved to Boston where many other influencial poets were at the time, and he published his first poems in Harvard Advocate. Corso went on to achieve great success and publish many more works, including his collection Gasoline, where jazz and bop influences were noticeable. Preparations were made to publish a great collection of poems in the 1970s titled "Who I am- Who I am," but before he could, the only copy of the manuscript was stolen. Corso published a couple more volumes of poetry in the 1980s and early 1990s, including Herald of the Autochthonic Spirit (1981) and Mindfield: New and Selected Poems (1989).

Though Corso did not publish or write much in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he never lost his appreciation of poetry and his belief in its power.


.5 Linear Feet (1 document case)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized into four series: poems and plays; prose; notebooks used by Corso; and letters.

Physical Location

MS 138

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed inventory of the collection is available at

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchases, L. A. Wallrich, 1963? (MS 138:B:1-2, C:5, D:1); Phoenix Bookshop, November 1963 (MS 138:C:1-4); George Minkoff, October 1984 (MS 138:D:2); Jeffrey H. Weinberg (catalog 28:342); August 1985 (MS 138:A:26-40; C:6) [Source of MS 138 A:1-25 L.A. Wallrich?].

Guide to the Gregory Corso Collection
Papers of Gregory Corso
Finding aid prepared by alh, anm. Finding aid encoded by anm.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Papers of Gregory Corso, MS 138, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States