In 1957, Allen Ginsberg wrote of Corso, "He's probably the greatest poet in America, and he's starving in Europe." Corso's themes are death and beauty, always in American terms. Virtually an orphan, Corso was born on Bleecker Street in New York's Greenwich Village. He spent his childhood and youth in and out of foster homes. During his numerous prison terms, he was introduced to literature by a fellow convict. On his release, he met Ginsberg, who immediately recognized his talent and helped him.