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Charles Bukowski poems and letter


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) was born in Germany and immigrated to Los Angeles with his family in 1922. In 1939, Bukowski began attending Los Angeles City College, but dropped out and moved to New York to be a writer. After having little success, Bukowski gave up his dream and embarked on a ten-year, nearly fatal alcohol binge. After being hospitalized for an ulcer, Bukowski cut back on drinking and took up writing again. His first collection of poetry,

Flower, Fist and Bestial Wall, was published in 1960; however, it was short stories that gained him a wide readership. Bukowski also wrote a weekly column for the Los Angeles alternative newspaper Open City and later for the Los Angeles Free Press in which he combined journalism, fiction, and philosophy in a non-traditional style. During the 1970s Bukowski began writing semi-autobiographical novels featuring the first-person narrator Henry Chinaski. Over the course of his career, Bukowski published many collections of poetry and short stories and he earned a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1974), a Loujon Press Award, a Silver Reel Award, and the San Francisco Festival of the Arts Prize for documentary film.

"Charles Bukowski." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Biography Resource Center). (accessed October 2005).

The Charles Bukowski poems and letter contains six items which span the dates 1960-1975. Included is a printed copy of a handwritten poem "Crucifix in a Deathhand," two signed typescripts of "the silver mirror" and "46 and 9/10's," and a typescript of "upon listening to symphony music while drunk" with an ink drawing initialed by Bukowski. This small collection also includes a 1960 typescript letter to E. V. Griffith, thanking him for publishing his first book, with a prospectus for the new

The Outsider, a "vigorous new, no-taboo Quarterly going to press now in oldest New Orleans with the newest in new poetry and prose."

Box 49, F0758: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Purchase, 2005.

Processed by Karalee Kopreski, October 2005. Encoded by Anita Wellner, December 2007. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2007 December 5
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

"Crucifix in a Deathhand", undated.
Box 49 Folder F0758
Physical Description

Printed copy of holograph poem, 1 p.

"46 and 9/10's", 1975.
Box 49 Folder F0758
Scope and Contents

Signed and dated, "Charles Bukowski 1-27-75."

Physical Description

Typescript carbon, 1 p.

"the silver mirror (for Georgia K.)", 1975.
Box 49 Folder F0758
Scope and Contents

Signed and dated "Charles Bukowski 12-18-75."

Physical Description

Typescript carbon, 1 p.

"upon listening to symphony music while drunk", undated.
Box 49 Folder F0758
Scope and Contents

Initialed "C. B." with original pen and ink doodle.

Physical Description

Typescript (ribbon copy), 1 p.

Letter to E. V. Griffith, 1960.
Box 49 Folder F0758
Scope and Contents

With place and date "Los Angeles, Calif. / early December 1960," signed by Charles Bukowski, with 1960-1961 prospectus for

The Outsider . Physical Description

Typescript letter (with enclosure), 2 pp.

Prospectus for The Outsider, 1960.
Box 49 Folder F0758
Scope and Contents

Announcing availability of Number One, Winter 1960-61 issue, from editor Jon Edgar Webb, New Orleans. Bukowski is listed among contributors and this prospectus includes a sample page of Gregory Corso's long poem "the american way." The prospectus is inscribed by the editor, "J. G. - Get with it man! JEW."

Physical Description

1 item

Print, Suggest