These Words I Write

Keep Me From

Total Madness


Between the early 60s and the mid 70s, Bukowski was an avid, maniacal, letter-writer. Having quit work to write, he maintained correspondence with other writers for several decades.
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Cooney, Seamus, editor.
The Bukowski/Purdy Letters, 1964-1974.
Sutton West, Ont., Canada: Paget P, 1983.
Subtitled A Decade of Dialogue, it contains letters written by Al Purdy and Bukowski prior to their respective fame. Refers to the daily struggles to write, publish. Includes reproductions of type-written letters, showing Bukowski's idiosyncratic style.
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Cooney, Seamus, editor.
Screams from the Balcony: Selected Letters 1960-1970.
Santa Rosa CA: Black Sparrow, 1993.
Mammoth collection of letters from Bukowski during 10 years of prodigious correspondence. Provides a significant look into the world of small press publishing and the daily grind of emerging writers. An excellent reference with editor's note and index.
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Cooney, Seamus, editor.
Living on Luck: Selected Letters 1960s-1970s.
Santa Rosa CA: Black Sparrow, 1995.
More letters from Bukowski written to the orbit of writers, editors, and fans that developed around him. Also contains a number of reproductions of Buk's typewritten and handwritten letters, and drawings he often included in them. Includes editor's note and an index of names.
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Cooney, Seamus, editor.
Reach for the Sun: Selected Letters, 1978-1994.
Santa Rosa CA: Black Sparrow, 1999.
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Eichorn, Dennis P.
Real Stuff 2.
Seattle WA: Fantagraphics Books, March 1991.

In this graphic magazine (comic book) Eichorn publishes a letter from Bukowski. In response to the way an artist illustrated him in the first issue and how he portrays Buk being "terrified of people," Buk writes: "Tell your friends I have nothing against them except that they belong to the human race."

Also includes the poem "the flashing of the odds" and a Buk drawing depicting a bottle-tilting Buk and dog. The poem, with minor revision, is reprinted in Last Night of the Earth Poems.

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Glazier, Los Pequeno, editor.
All's Normal Here: A Charles Bukowski Primer.
Fremont CA: Ruddy Duck Press, May 1985.

This collection includes poems, prose, and letters written by, to, and about Bukwoski by writers including Jack Micheline, Marvin Malone, Gerald Locklin, William Packard, John Martin, and Steve Richmond. Includes brief, enlightening histories of Wormwood Review by Malone and Loujon Press by Dallas Wiebe, and critical looks at Buk's work by Packard and David Parker. This oversized book (8.5 x 11) includes photographs of Buk and many of his drawings scattered throughout.

"[C]onstitutes Vol. 4, No. 1-4 of Oro Madre."

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Moore, Steven, ed.
Beerspit Night and Cursing: The Correspondence of Charles Bukowski & Sheri Martinelli 1960-1967.
Santa Rosa CA: Black Sparrow, 2001. 300 pages.
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McNamara, Tom, editor
"The Bukowski/McNamara Letters."
Down Here, vol. 1, no. 1. 1966.
A literary magazine from New York, published in 1966, that contained correspondence between two rising poets. Some of these letters appear in Screams From the Balcony.
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Sherman, Jory.
Bukowski: Friendship, Fame & Bestial Myth.
Augusta GA: Blue Horse Publications, 1981.