Charles Bukowski poems and letter


Creator: Bukowski, Charles
Date(s): 1965-1975
Call Number: MSS 0099, F0758
Language: Materials entirely in English.
Abstract: Poetry poems and letter from American poet Charles Bukowski.
Physical Description: 6 items (7 pages)
Source: Purchase, 2005.
Processing: Processed by Karalee Kopreski, October 2005. Encoded by Anita Wellner, December 2007. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015. Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical and Historical Notes

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)

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).

Scope and Content Note

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."

Using these materials

Shelving Summary

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

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

MSS 0099, F0758, Charles Bukowski poems and letter, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

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,

Container List

"Crucifix in a Deathhand", undated Printed copy of holograph poem, 1 p. Box 49, F0758
"46 and 9/10's", 1975 Typescript carbon, 1 p. Box 49, F0758

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

"the silver mirror (for Georgia K.)", 1975 Typescript carbon, 1 p. Box 49, F0758

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

"upon listening to symphony music while drunk", undated Typescript (ribbon copy), 1 p. Box 49, F0758

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

Letter to E. V. Griffith, 1960 Typescript letter (with enclosure), 2 pp. Box 49, F0758

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

Prospectus for The Outsider , 1960 1 item Box 49, F0758

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."

Names & Subjects