Poet Gregory Corso has been called “The Last Beat.” Indeed, that is the title of a new documentary by Gustave Reininger to be shown as part of the upcoming I Gave Away the Sky Corso festival at University of Cincinnati.
The festival will consider Corso’s work and legacy through an art exhibition, a lecture, a poetry reading, an evening of music and the film. The term “last,” in regards to Corso, refers to the fact he outlived other Beat writers — notably Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. He died in 2001 at the age 70 after writing such touchstones as The Happy Birthday of Death, Gasoline and Bomb.
Everything begins with an art exhibition in UC’s Reed Gallery that opens on Jan. 19. Curated by Evan Commander, The Stars In The Sky Are Still Boss gathers the work of local and more widely known artists around Corso’s own drawings, paintings and selected manuscripts. The other included artists reflect some of Corso in their work and elaborate on Corso’s own visual work that, while sometimes naive, is built with the same passion as his poems. The frenetic doodles in Corso’s art will no doubt seem even more animated beside the work of Chris Johanson and Raymond Pettibon, who each poetically editorialize their cartoonish drawings with clouds of handwritten text.
Read more about the festival and get the full schedule here.