Corso's Final Poems, THE GOLDEN DOT, Published At Last!
Edited by Raymond Foye & George Scrivani.
A thundering collection of Gregory Corso's last poems in which he takes stock of his life with the clarity of eyes approaching death, and ponders the next step. In these poems Corso found the way to say what he needed to say, how to say it, and so extends his status of legendary Beat rascal into that of a Wisdom/Visionary poet offering insight and assistance on the wonder-filled difficult road.
"THE GOLDEN DOT is framed by Allen Ginsberg’s death on one end and Corso’s own death on the other. It is, among other things, the story of a lifelong friendship between two of the great poets of the twentieth century. Corso is now alone, left to argue with his mentor and rival, pleading his case and making amends. His insecurities lead him to question the very reasons Allen befriended him in a Greenwich Village bar: was it just his good looks and street smarts? But he comes to trust and accept Allen’s estimation of his work, so succinctly stated on the dedication page to Reality Sandwiches (1963), some of the only serious recognition he ever got for his poetry in his lifetime: 'Dedicated to the Pure Imaginary POET Gregory Corso,' and once again in Ginsberg’s Selected Poems 1947–1995: 'To Gregorio Nunzio Corso, Wisdom Maestro, American Genius of Antique and Modern Idiom, Father Poet of Concision.' Allen always told anyone who would listen that Gregory was the greater poet, and often lamented the lack of serious critical studies of Corso’s work." — From the Introduction by Raymond Foye
"Place this book in your survival kit.
Let Gregory Corso, the youngest,
most high-spirited of the beat poets
guide you through the hallowed
days, as he did for my generation.
He will steer you through the
minefields of existence, poem by
poem, drawn from his irreverent,
benevolent revolutionary heart."
— Patti Smith
Review @ The Brooklyn Rail Review @ Gagosian Quarterly Profile @ Allen Ginsberg Project
Gregory Corso (1930-2001) was born in New York City's Greenwich Village. He was placed in numerous foster homes, and as a teenager served time in detention centers and prisons in New York and Vermont. His lifelong friendship with Allen Ginsberg began in 1951 with their meeting in a Greenwich Village bar, shortly after Corso's release from Clinton Correctional Facility. In 1954-55, Corso was based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, staying with friends from Harvard and Radcliffe colleges, and befriending Frank O'Hara and Bunny Lang at the Poet's Theater. His first book The Vestal Lady on Brattle and Other Poems was published there in 1955. As an original member of the Beat Generation along with Ginsberg, Herbert Huncke, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, Corso was a public figure and a poet of great popularity who published and read widely. In 1965 he was invited to teach at SUNY Buffalo but was dismissed upon arrival when he refused to sign a loyalty oath to the US Government. He lived a peripatetic life, dividing his time between New York, San Francisco, Paris, Rome, and Athens. A faculty member in poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder in the 1980s and 1990s, Corso died of prostate cancer in January 2001.