Scope and Content
Title: Cid Corman Letters to Frank Samperi,
Date (inclusive): 1972-1975
120 letters; 0.2 linear feet
Abstract: Cid Corman (1924-2004) poet, editor, and translator, was the founder of the poetry
magazine Origin and the Origin Press. This collection contains 120 typescript letters to the poet Frank Samperi
written by Corman, from 1972 to 1975, while Corman was in Japan. The letters discuss poetry journals and presses
as well as the demands of writing and editing for publication, and specific works of Corman's, among other
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many
are stored offsite.
University of California, Davis. General Library. Department of Special
Davis, California 95616-5292
Collection number: MC013
Language of Material: Collection materials in English.
Cid Corman was born on June 29, 1924 in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated from Tufts University in 1945. He
did graduate work at the University of Michigan, where he won the Hopwood Prize for poetry in 1947, and also at
the University of North Carolina. In 1948, Corman returned to Boston where he started a radio program on WMEX.
During this program the works of writers were read without commercial interruption.
He founded the poetry magazine Origin and Origin Press in 1951, featuring the works of Robert Duncan and Denise
Levertov, among others. Corman was known for helping other poets get their works published through Origin Press
and was an influential figure among the Beat and Black Mountain poets. In 1958, Corman moved to Kyoto, Japan
where he continued his work with Origin Press. The following year, Gary Snyder's first book,
Riprap, was published, printed in Kyoto by Corman and distributed through City Lights Books.
Corman was a prolific poet himself and his works include:
The Precious (1955)
So Far (1973),
For the Asking (1976),
And the Word (1987),
How Now: Poems (1995), and
For Crying Out Loud (2002). He also translated the
works of the Japanese poets Matsuo Basho and Shimpei Kusano.
Corman passed away on March 12, 2004, in Kyoto, Japan.
Frank Samperi (1933-1991), also a poet, was the author of
Lumen gloriae; poems (1974),
The prefiguration; poems (1971),
Quadrifariam; poems (1973).
"Sidney Corman Obituary Notice," in
Contemporary Authors, v. 225. Detroit: Thomson Gale,
Scope and Content
The collection contains 120 typescript letters to Frank Samperi written by Cid Corman, from 1972 to 1975, while
Corman was in Japan.
The letters discuss poetry journals and presses as well as the demands of writing and editing for publication.
Also described are Corman's philosophy, support for Samperi, comments upon the works both were reading at the
time, and upon current events, such as Nixon and the Vietnam War. Specific works of Corman's are also mentioned
including his essay, Prefiguration, and
The Gist of Origin, 1951-1971: an anthology, edited by
The letters are arranged chronologically.
D-050 Gary Snyder Papers
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public
Poets, American--20th century
Collection is open for research.
Sara Gunasekara processed these papers and created and encoded this finding aid.
[Identification of item], Cid Corman Letters to Frank Samperi, MC013, Department of Special Collections,
General Library, University of California, Davis.
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to
publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of
California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.