Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Corman mss. III, 1943-2004, consist of the papers of poet, translator and editor Cid Corman, 1924-2004. Named Sidney, Corman was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He received his B.A. from Tufts University in 1945 and did graduate work at the Universities of Michigan and North Carolina. In 1949 Corman created "This is Poetry" a radio program airing on WMEX in Boston which ran for three years. His next venture was a poetry magazine, Origin which featured and sometimes debuted such poets as Robert Creeley, William Bronk, Denise Levertov, Lorine Niedecker, Charles Olson, and Louis Zukofsky. Corman later established Origin Press, publishing some of these same authors as well as his own works. In the late 1950s he moved to Kyoto, Japan where he found work as a private teacher of English and poetry. He married Shizumi Konishi in 1965 and opened C.C.'s, a coffee and dessert shop that also served as a venue for poetry readings. He lived in the States several times over the years, but in 1982 moved permanently to Kyoto where he remained until his death in March 2004. His published works include over 100 books and pamphlets of poetry, translations of French, Italian and Japanese poets, and several volumes of essays.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondents/Authors; II. Writings; III. Origin; IV. Photographs; and, V. Miscellaneous. Detailed lists of each series are available in the inventory.

The correspondents/authors series contains chiefly correspondence, but writings by authors other than Corman are also present. The Writings series contains Corman's journals and memoirs, poetry, prose, translations, and worksheets. The series on Origin pertains to the publication of the magazine. The Photographs series includes three photographs of Corman taken by poet Allen Ginsberg, as well as a number of photographs of Corman and his wife Shizumi. Most of the photographs, however, are snapshots of friends and colleagues, and a few were taken at Corman's dessert shop. Among the items in the Miscellaneous series are hundreds of clippings, reflecting Corman's many interests from art and astronomy to medicine and the Noh theatre.

Purchased. 2005

Collection size: 102,000 items

Related manuscripts: Corman mss., Corman mss. II, Corman mss. IV, Corman mss. V, Corman mss. VI

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.