Gregory Corso (Gregory Nunzio Corso) Biography
(1930–2001), (Gregory Nunzio Corso), The Vestal Lady on Brattle, In This Hung-Up Age, Gasoline
American poet, born in New York; he was irregularly educated and sentenced to three years' imprisonment for attempted robbery at the age of 17. He subsequently worked as a labourer, a reporter, and a merchant seaman while pursuing his self-education. The Vestal Lady on Brattle (1955), his first collection of verse, was published in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where In This Hung-Up Age, the first of his several short plays, was produced in 1955. His meeting with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac in 1956 led to the establishment of his reputation as a poet of the San Francisco Renaissance; his collections of the period include Gasoline (1958), Bomb (1958), and The Happy Birthday of Death (1960), which display the humour, politically directed moral outrage, and mystical rapture that are essential features of his writing. Since the early 1960s he has lived alternately in America and Europe and has held a number of posts at American universities. Among his many later publications, which sustain his characteristic richness of invention and vatic manner, are Long Live Man (1962), Elegiac Feelings American (1970), Earth Egg (1974), and Wings, Wands, Windows (1982); Mindfield: New and Selected Poems appeared in 1989. His other works include the novel The American Express (1961), a high-spirited adaptation of autobiographical material.