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Charles Bukowski: Books and Chapbooks

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SECTION A:
This index includes books, chapbooks, booklets and bound offprints featuring poems and stories during the 1960’s: from Bukowski’s first book to roughly the time that his work started being published in collected volumes by John Martin’s Black Sparrow Press; the period of time covered by Sanford Dorbin’s Bibliography.


1. Bukowski, Charles. FLOWER, FIST AND BESTIAL WAIL
buk_flowerFirst edition:
Eureka: Hearse Press, October 1960
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.25″, 28 pages, (200 copies), offset printed, cover illustration by Ben Tibbs, edited by E.V. Griffith. Published as Hearse Chapbooks 5. (Dorbin A1, Krumhansl 3)

Note: Charles Bukowski’s first book.

2. Bukowski, Charles. A SIGNATURE OF CHARLES BUKOWSKI
mags_targets04First edition:
Albuquerque: Targets, December 1960
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, (6 hors commerce copies), offset printed. (Dorbin B2, Krumhansl 4)

Note: an offprint from Targets, No. 4, edited by W.L. Garner (Sandia Park, December 1960).

3. Bukowski, Charles. BUKOWSKI SIGNATURE 2
buk_sig2_xFirst edition:
Albuquerque: Targets, August-September 1961
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 8.5″, offset printed. (Dorbin B3, Krumhansl 5)

Note: an offprint from Targets, No. 7, edited by W.L. Garner (Albuquerque, September 1961)

4. Bukowski, Charles. A CHARLES BUKOWSKI ALBUM
First edition:
New Orleans: Loujon Press, 1961
Side-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 6″ x 9″, (10 copies), offset printed. (Krumhansl 6)

Note: offprint from The Outsider, No. 1, edited by Jon Edgar & Gypsy Lou Webb (New Orleans: Loujon Press, Fall 1961)

5. Bukowski, Charles. LONGSHOT POMES FOR BROKE PLAYERS
buk_longshotFirst edition:
New York: 7 Poets Press, (1962)
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 9.25″, 44 pages, (200 copies), offset printed, illustrations by Bukowski, edited and published by Carl Larsen. (Dorbin A3, Krumhansl 8)

Note: according to Krumhansl, “Bukowski’s title for this book Longshot Pomes for Broke Players, appears in its correct form on the front cover only. Illustrations by Bukowski on front cover, title pages, and throughout the text. Photograph of Bukowski and autobiographical material on recto of last leaf.”

6. Bukowski, Charles. RUN WITH THE HUNTED
buk_runFirst edition:
Chicago: Midwest Poetry Chapbooks, 1962
Saddle-stapled in printed wrappers, 5.5″ x 6.25″, 32 pages, (300 copies), offset printed, dedicated to William Corrington, edited by R.R. Cuscaden. Published as Midwest Poetry Chapbooks 1. (Dorbin A4, Krumhansl 9)

7. Bukowski, Charles. POEMS AND DRAWINGS
buk_poemsFirst edition:
Crescent City: Epos, 1962
Side-stapled sheets bound into printed wrappers, 6.5″ x 9.25″, 28 pages, (500 copies), letterpress printed, illustrations by Bukowski, edited by Will Tullos and Evelyn Thorne. Published as Epos Extra Issue. (Dorbin A2, Krumhansl 7)

Note: according to Krumhansl, “Of the 500 copies printed it is estimated that about 300 copies were sent gratis to subscribers of Epos magazine, the remaining 200 being for sale at the published price.”

8. Bukowski, Charles. IT CATCHES MY HEART IN ITS HANDS
First edition:
New Orleans: Loujon Press, 1963
Perfect-bound in printed and illustrated wrappers with dust jacket, 7.5″ x 10″, 98 pages, 777 copies, letterpress printed, introduction by William Corrington, illustrations by Frank Salantrie, dedicated to Gypsy Lou Webb, edited by Gypsy Lou and Jon Webb. Published as Gypsy Lou Series 1. (Dorbin A5, Krumhansl 12)

9. Bukowski, Charles. GRIP THE WALLS
mags_wormwood16First edition:
Storrs: Wormwood Review, 1964
Saddle stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 8 pages, 600 copies, offset printed. (Dorbin B5, Krumhansl 13)

Note: published as a detachable booklet in The Wormwood Review, Vol. 4, No. 4, Issue 16, edited by Marvin Malone (Storrs: The Wormwood Review Press, December 1964).

10. Bukowski, Charles. CRUCIFIX IN A DEATHHAND
First edition:
New York: Lyle Stuart, 1965
Perfect-bound in illustrated french-fold wrappers, 8.25″ x 12.25″, 102 pages, 3100 copies, letterpress printed, dedicated to Marina Louise Bukowski, illustrations by Noel Rockmore, edited by Gypsy Lou and Jon Webb. Published as Gypsy Lou Series 2. (Dorbin A6, Krumhansl 15)

11. Bukowski, Charles. COLD DOGS IN THE COURTYARD
buk_colddogsFirst edition:
Chicago: Literary Times and Cyfoeth Publications, 1965
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.25″, 24 pages, 500 copies, letterpress printed, “Foreward” by Bukowski, cover illustration by Betsy Millam, dedicated to Frances Bukowski, edited by Bukowski. (Dorbin A7, Krumhansl 16)

12. Bukowski, Charles. CONFESSIONS OF A MAN INSANE ENOUGH TO LIVE WITH BEASTS
buk_confessionsFirst edition:
Bensenville: Mimeo Press, August 1965
Saddle-stapled printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 52 pages, 500 copies, text mimeograph printed, wrappers offset printed, introductory note by Steve Richmond, cover illustration by Anna Purcell, edited by Douglas Blazek. (Dorbin A8, Krumhansl 17)

Note: according to Krumhansl, “There is an introduction consisting of twelve lines excerpted from a Steve Richmond letter to Douglas Blazek on the verso of title page. Of the circa 500 copies, 25 copies were issued with a special autographed drawing by Bukowski. The special copies were announced in Ole, No. 3. This ‘long short story’ is the first appearance of the fictional character Henry Chinaski.”

13. Bukowski, Charles. THE GENIUS OF THE CROWD
buk_geniusFirst edition:
Cleveland: 7 Flowers Press, 1966
Side-stapled sheets bound into printed and  illustrated wrappers, 4.5″ x 6″, 22 pages, 103 copies, letterpress printed by d.a. levy, block prints by Paula Marie Savarino, edited by d.a. levy. (Dorbin A9, Krumhansl 21)

According to Krumhansl, “Many sheets for this chapbook were printed on trimmed envelopes and are therefore double leaves, with envelope flap sections glued together.”

14. Bukowski, Charles. ALL THE ASSHOLES IN THE WORLD AND MINE
buk_alltheFirst edition:
Bensenville: Open Skull Press, 1966
Saddle-stapled in illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 28 pages, 400 copies, text mimeograph printed, wrappers offset printed, illustrated by Bukowski, dedicated to William Wantling, edited by Douglas Blazek. (Dorbin A10, Krumhansl 23)

15. Bukowski, Charles. NIGHT’S WORK (INCLUDING BUFFALO BILL)
mags_wormwood24First edition:
Storrs: Wormwood Review, 1966
Saddle stapled in printed and  illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 12 pages, 600 copies, offset printed. (Dorbin B11)

Note: Published as a detachable booklet in The Wormwood Review, Vol. 6, No. 4, Issue 24, edited by Marvin Malone (Storrs: The Wormwood Review, March 1967)

16. Bukowski, Charles. 2 BY BUKOWSKI
buk_2poemsFirst edition:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1967
Hand-sewn in printed wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 8 pages, 111 copies, letterpress printed by Philip Klein. (Dorbin B12, Krumhansl 25)

From the colophon: “Printed April, 1967 in Los Angeles by Philip Klein for the Black Sparrow Press. This edition is limited to ninety-nine copies; three copies lettered a, b and c, which are not for sale, and ninety-six numbered copies, for sale, all signed by the poet.”

Note: according to Krumhansl, “111 copies were published 7 April 1967, of which 99 were signed, the remaining 12 copies are unsigned, numbered 1-12, and marked ‘Review Copy’ in holograph red ink.”

17. Bukowski, Charles. THE CURTAINS ARE WAVING AND PEOPLE WALK THROUGH THE AFTERNOON HERE AND IN BERLIN AND IN NEW YORK CITY AND IN MEXICO
buk_curtainsFirst edition:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1967
Hand-sewn in printed wrappers, 6.25″ x 6.25″, 12 pages, 125 copies, letterpress printed by Graham Mackintosh. (Dorbin B14, Krumhansl 26)

From the colophon: “Designed and printed September, 1967 in San Francisco by Graham Mackintosh for the Black Sparrow Press. The edition is limited to one hundred and twenty five copies; three copies lettered a, b, c which are not for sale and one hundred and twenty two numbered copies, for sale, all signed by the poet.”

Note: according to Krumhansl, “According to John Martin, as Bukowski signed The Curtains he added a drawing to his signature in every tenth copy or so. Thus about fifteen copies contain an original drawing.”

18. Bukowski, Charles. AT TERROR STREET AND AGONY WAY
a. First edition, paperback issue, first state:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, May 1968
Perfect-bound in printed wrappers, 6″ x 8.5″, 89 pages, 18 copies, letterpress printed by Graham Mackintosh. (Dorbin A11, Krumhansl 27a)

Note: front cover of this state included a misprint whereby “Street” was misprinted as “Sreet”. According to John Martin 18 copies exist thus, without the white label which was affixed to the second state.

b. First edition, paperback issue, second state:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, May 1968
Perfect-bound in printed wrappers, 6″ x 8.5″, 89 pages, 747 copies, letterpress printed by Graham Mackintosh. (Dorbin A11, Krumhansl 27b)

Note: this state has a 3.5″ x 5.5″ printed white label tipped on to the front cover to correct the misprinting of the first state.

c. First edition, hardcover, numbered, signed and illustrated issue:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, May 1968
Hardcover in cloth-bound boards with printed paper spine label, 6″ x 9″, 89 pages, 75 numbered and signed copies, letterpress printed by Graham Mackintosh, with an original watercolor painting by Bukowski tipped in. (Dorbin A11, Krumhansl 27c)

Note: introductory note by Bukowski, dedicated to John Thomas, John Martin, and John the Baptist, edited by John Martin, printed prospectus issued.

From the colophon: “Designed and printed April, 1968 in San Francisco by Graham Mackintosh for the Black Sparrow Press. The edition is limited to 800 copies in wrappers and 75 hardbound, signed copies each with an original illustration by the poet.”

19. Bukowski, Charles. POEMS WRITTEN BEFORE JUMPING OUT OF AN 8 STORY WINDOW
buk_poemswrittenFirst edition:
Glendale: Poetry X/Change, 1968
Saddle-stapled sheets bound into illustrated wrappers, 6.5″ x 8.25″, 32 pages, (400 copies), offset printed, introductory note by Bukowski, cover illustration by P. David Horton, center-fold illustration by Bukowski, dedicated to Douglas Blazek. (Dorbin A12, Krumhansl 28)

Note: according to Krumhansl, “Circa 400 copies were published in the summer of 1968. Note on verso of title page: ‘… a Litmus first edition…’ Published by Darrell Kerr and Charles Potts. Originally this volume was to have been published by  Mel Buffington’s Blitz/Mad Virgin Press in August or September of 1965.”

20. Bukowski, Charles. NOTES OF A DIRTY OLD MAN
First edition:
North Hollywood: Essex House,  January 1969
Perfect-bound in printed and illustrated wrappers, 4.5″ x 6.5″, 256 pages, (c. 28,000 copies), offset printed, introductory note by Bukowski, cover illustration by Larry Gaynor. (Dorbin A13, Krumhansl 29)

Note: according to Krumhansl, “Collected from Bukowski’s weekly column in Open City, a Los Angeles underground newspaper. The newspaper published circa 92 issues between 1964-1969. Bukowski was listed as a Contributing Editor throughout the life of the paper and contributed to 87 issues.”

21. Bukowski, Charles. A BUKOWSKI SAMPLER
buk_samplerFirst edition:
Madison: Quixote Press, July 1969
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7″ x 9.25″, 80 pages, 400 copies, offset printed, introduction by Douglas Blazek, illustrations by Bukowski, printed prospectus issued. (Dorbin A14, Krumhansl 30)

22. Bukowski, Charles. IF WE TAKE
buk_ifwea. First edition, regular issue:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1969
Hand-sewn with green thread in printed wrappers, 4.5″ x 5.5″, 16 pages, 350 copies, letterpress printed by Noel Young. (Krumhansl 31a)

Note: 350 unsigned copies issued, not 300 as stated in the colophon.

b. First edition, signed issue:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1969
Hand-sewn with red thread in printed wrappers, 4.5″ x 5.5″, 16 pages, 100 numbered and signed copies, plus one marked “File Copy”, letterpress printed by Noel Young. (Krumhansl 31b)

From the colophon: “Design by Barbara Martin. Printed by Noel Young. Published as a New Year’s Greeting to the friends of the Black Sparrow Press in an edition of 400 copies, 100 of which are numbered and signed by the author.”

23. Bukowski, Charles. THE DAYS RUN AWAY LIKE WILD HORSES OVER THE HILLS
a. First edition, paperback issue:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1969
Perfect-bound in printed wrappers, 6″ x 9.25″, 160 pages, 1243 copies, letterpress printed by Noel Young. (Krumhansl 32a)


b. First edition, hardcover, numbered and signed issue:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1969
Hardcover in printed paper-bound boards and cloth backstrip with paper label in acetate dust jacket, 6.5″ x 9.75″, 160 pages, 250 numbered and signed copies, letterpress printed by Noel Young. (Krumhansl 32b)

c. First edition, hardcover, numbered, signed and illustrated issue:
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1969
Hardcover in printed paper-bound boards and patterned cloth backstrip with paper label in acetate dust jacket, 6.5″ x 9.75″, 160 pages, 63 numbered and signed copies with original artwork tipped in, letterpress printed by Noel Young. (Krumhansl 32c)

From the colophon: “Printed December 1969 in Santa Barbara by Noel Young for the Black Sparrow Press. Design by Barbara Martin. This edition is limited to 1250 copies in paper wrappers; 250 hardcover copies numbered & signed by the poet; & 50 numbered copies handbound in boards by Earle Gray, signed & with an original illustration by the poet.”

d. prospectus
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1969
Broadside printed on both sides, 6″ x 9″, letterpress printed.

Note: from the verso: “The poetry of Charles Bukowski is by turns savage, tender, humorous. The individual poems are memorable, with a blood-freezing immediacy. The prey in Bukowski’s poems are life’s victims in precisely the same sense that we are all victims…”

Charles Bukowski

buk


Section A: Books and Chapbooks
Section B: Broadsides
Section C: Contributions to Books and Anthologies
Section D: Contributions to Periodicals
Section E: Miscellaneous Prose


Henry Charles Bukowski (August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambiance of his home city of Los Angeles. His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, in the LA underground newspaper Open City. Bukowski published extensively in small literary magazines and with small presses beginning in the early 1940s and continuing on through the early 1990s.

Regarding Bukowski’s enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”

When Bukowski was 24, his short story “Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip” was published in Story magazine. Two years later, another short story, “20 Tanks from Kasseldown”, was published by the Black Sun Press in Issue III of Portfolio: An Intercontinental Quarterly, a limited-run, loose-leaf broadside collection printed in 1946 and edited by Caresse Crosby. Failing to break into the literary world, Bukowski grew disillusioned with the publication process and quit writing for almost a decade, a time that he referred to as a “ten-year drunk”. These “lost years” formed the basis for his later semi-autobiographical chronicles, although they are fictionalized versions of Bukowski’s life through his highly stylized alter-ego, Henry Chinaski.

During part of this period he continued living in Los Angeles, working at a pickle factory for a short time but also spending some time roaming about the United States, working sporadically and staying in cheap rooming houses. In the early 1950s, Bukowski took a job as a fill-in letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service in Los Angeles but resigned just before he reached three years’ service.

By 1960, Bukowski had returned to the post office in Los Angeles where he began work as a letter filing clerk, a position he held for more than a decade.

Jon and Louise Webb, now recognized as giants of the post-war ‘small-press movement’, published The Outsider literary magazine and featured some of Bukowski’s poetry. Under the Loujon Press imprint, they published Bukowski’s It Catches My Heart in Its Hands in 1963 and Crucifix in a Deathhand in 1965.

Beginning in 1967, Bukowski wrote the column “Notes of a Dirty Old Man” for Los Angeles’ Open City, an underground newspaper. When Open City was shut down in 1969, the column was picked up by the Los Angeles Free Press as well as the hippie underground paper NOLA Express in New Orleans. In 1969 Bukowski and Neeli Cherkovski launched their own short-lived mimeographed literary magazine, Laugh Literary and Man the Humping Guns. They produced 3 issues over the next 2 years.

In 1969 Bukowski accepted an offer from Black Sparrow Press publisher John Martin and quit his post office job to dedicate himself to full-time writing. He was then 49 years old. As he explained in a letter at the time, “I have one of two choices – stay in the post office and go crazy … or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.” Less than one month after leaving the postal service he finished his first novel, Post Office. As a measure of respect for Martin’s financial support and faith in a relatively unknown writer, Bukowski published almost all of his subsequent major works with Black Sparrow Press. An avid supporter of small independent presses, he continued to submit poems and short stories to innumerable small publications throughout his career.

Bukowski died of leukemia on March 9, 1994, in San Pedro, aged 73, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.


References consulted:

Debritto, Abel. “Cacoethes Scribendi: A Comprehensive Checklist of Charles Bukowski’s Earliest Publications, 1940-1969”, published in RESOURCES FOR AMERICAN LITERARY STUDY, Vol. 35, edited by Jackson R. Bryer and Richard Kopley
New York: AMS Press, September 2012

Dorbin, Sanford. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES BUKOWSKI
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1969

Fogel, Al. CHARLES BUKOWSKI: A COMPREHENSIVE PRICE GUIDE & CHECKLIST — 1944-1999
Surfside: The Sole Proprietor Press, 1999

Krumhansl, Aaron. A DESCRIPTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE PRIMARY PUBLICATIONS OF CHARLES BUKOWSKI
Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press, 1999


Online resources:
Collecting Bukowski
Bukowski.net
Wormwood Review