Maison d'Être Beatnik Coffeehouse

Charles  Bukowski

              short profile

poems, essays & stories
other works


film & video

works about Bukowski

"Bukowski is the laureate of the Los Angeles underground, an eccentric who sees the world
with a charity of vision possessed only by artists and madmen."
Los Angeles Times

        Poet Charles 'Hank' Bukowski was born 16 August 1920 in Andernach, Germany. His parents moved to Longwood Avenue in Los Angeles, California, where Hank suffered regular beatings from his father and extreme teenage acne; he attended Los Angeles High School – see his novel "Ham On Rye".
        From age 18 to 24, he attempted to write for major magazines such as Harper's and Atlantic Monthly, with no success; he stopped writing and then worked odd jobs and drank a lot – see his novel "Factotum". In 1952, the U.S. Post Office hired him to work at Terminal Annex in Downtown Los Angeles; he worked first as a letter carrier and later as a clerk (staying for 18 years) – see his novel "Post Office". After a near-fatal stomach hemorrhage in 1955, he returned to writing with a vengeance. He wrote poetry and was successful in the growing small alternative presses of the time; he wrote a column for the weekly L.A. Free Press – see "Notes of a Dirty Old Man". He lived in East Hollywood, drinking and carousing and writing and socializing at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park race tracks almost daily (in season) – see his novel "Women". During this time, he became an international celebrity.

        In 1980, Hank sent his publisher, Black Sparrow Press, a copy of John Fante's "Ask The Dust", demanding republication of Fante's book as a condition of publication of further Bukowski work. The rediscovery of Fante's work and the revival of his reputation revitalised Fante, and even though blind from diabetes and seriously ill, Fante dictated "Dreams From Bunker Hill" to his wife; it was published before Fante's death in 1983.

        Hank's first wife, Frances Smith, bore him a daughter, Marina. He met his second wife in the 70s, and they moved to San Pedro (the harbor area south of Los Angeles) in 1978 and married in 1985. The San Pedro years were very different: Hank began eating health food, almost never hung out in bars, and wrote mountains of poetry and prose – he began using an Apple Macintosh in 1990.
        In March of 1993, Charles Bukowski was diagnosed with leukemia; he died on 9 March 1994 in Los Angeles, California (officially of pneumonia).

Charles Bukowski catalog at
Charles Bukowski movie & TV credits [since 1973] at Internet Movie Database
Charles Bukowski entry at Wikipedia

The Novels

Post Office novel by Charles Bukowski  "Post Office" [1971]
Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [10/81] for $10.50
Black Sparrow hardcover [12/83] for $17.50
Factotum novel by Charles Bukowski  "Factotum: A Novel" [1975]
Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [8/00] for $11.20
Anagrama pb [7/95] for $16.15
Black Sparrow 9½x6½ hardcover [1/79] out of print/used

see below for info on 2006 feature film adaptation

Women novel by Charles Bukowski   "Women" [1981]
HarperCollins 9x5.8 pb [10/81] for $11.20
Black Sparrow hardcover [12/84] out of print/used
Ham On Rye novel by Charles Bukowski   "Ham On Rye" [1982]
based on Hank's childhood thru teenage years
Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [9/82] for $11.20
Black Sparrow 9x6 hardcover [9/82] for $17.50
Hollywood novel by Charles Bukowski   "Hollywood" [1989]
based on experiences during the making of 'Barfly'
Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [12/89] for $11.20
Black Sparrow 9x6 hardcover [12/89] for $17.50
Pulp novel by Charles Bukowski   "Pulp" [1994]
Los Angeles P.I. Nicky Belane in Bukowski's bent
and darker-than-noir celebration and parody of the
hard-boiled detective genre.

Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [5/94] for $10.50
Black Sparrow hardcover [5/94] out of print/used

Poems, Essays & Stories of Charles Bukowski

The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses by Charles Bukowski  
"The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills" [1969]
Black Sparrow 9¼x6 pb [6/80] for $10.20
HarperCollins 9¼x6½ hardcover [1/2000] out of print/used
South of No North stories by Charles Bukowski  "South of No North: Stories of The Buried Life" [1973]
Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [6/80] for $9.75
HarperCollins 9x6 hardcover [7/2003] for $25.00
Play The Piano Drunk poems by Charles Bukowski  "Play The Piano Drunk Like A Percussion Instrument
Until The Fingers Begin To Bleed A Bit" [1979]

Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [8/79] for $9.75
HarperCollins 9¼x6¼ hardcover [1/2000] for $15.75
Hostage by Charles Bukowski  "Hostage" [1980]
Rhino/WEA audio CD [6/94] for $14.98
Dangling in the Tournefortia by Charles Bukowski  
"Dangling In The Tournefortia" [1981]
Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [10/81] for $10.40
HarperCollins 9¼x6½ hardcover [10/81] for $25.00
Ordinary Madness stories by Charles Bukowski  "Tales of Ordinary Madness" [stories 1984]
City Lights Books 8x5¼ pb [1/84] for $9.72

1981 Italian feature film [dubbed US release 1983]
Image Ent. widescreen color DVD [2/99] out of prodn/used
Image Ent. widescreen color VHS [2/99] out of prodn/used
Warner color VHS [2/99] out of prodn/used
more details below

You Get So Alone At Times poems by Charles Bukowski  
"You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense" [1986]
Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [8/86] for $10.40
Black Sparrow 9¼x6¼ [8/86] for $15.75
Run With the Hunted edited by John Martin   "Run With the Hunted: A Charles Bukowski Reader" [stories & poems 1993]
Edited by John Martin

Harper 8x5¼ pb [5/94] for $11.20
Black Sparrow hardcover [3/93] out of print/used
Harper 9½x6½ hardcover [6/93] out of print/used
Harper ABR audio [5/93] for $12.00
Uncensored readings by Charles Bukowski  "Charles Bukowski: Uncensored, from the 'Run With The Hunted' Session" [2000]
readings by Charles Bukowski
'a fascinating portrait of the artist as an old drunk'
Harper Audio UNABR audio CD [10/2000] for $14.57

"What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire" [1999]

"Popcorn In The Dark" [2000]

"Open All Night [2000]

"The Night Torn Mad With Footsteps" [2001]

"Pink Silks" [2001]

"The Simple Truth" [2002]

"Sifting Through The Madness For The Word, The Line, The Way: New Poems" [2003]

"The Flash Of Lightning Behind The Mountain: New Poems" [2004]

"As Buddha Smiles" [2004]

Slouching Toward Nirvana poems by Charles Bukowski  "Slouching Toward Nirvana: New Poems" [2005]
Ecco 9x6 pb [1/2006] for $13.29
Ecco 9¼x6¼ hardcover [2/2005] out of print/many used
Come On In! poems by Charles Bukowski  "Come On In!: New Poems" [2006]
Ecco 8¾x5¾ pb [3/2007] for $13.29
Ecco 9¼x6¼ hardcover [1/2006] out of print/used
Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook anthology by Charles Bukowski  "Portions From A Wine-Stained Notebook: Uncollected
Stories & Essays, 1944-1990" [2008]
by Charles Bukowski, Edited by David Stephen Calonne

City Lights Publrs 9x6 pb [9/2008] for $13.22
City Lights Publrs 9x6 hardcover [9/2008] for $22.36
Absence of the Hero anthology by Charles Bukowski  "Absence of The Hero: Uncollected Stories & Essays" [2010]
by Charles Bukowski, Edited by David Stephen Calonne

City Lights Publrs 9x6 pb [4/2010] for $11.53
City Lights Publrs 9x6 hardcover [4/2010] for $17.16

Other Works of Charles Bukowski

Notes of A Dirty Old Man columns by Charles Bukowski  
"Notes of A Dirty Old Man" [1976]
columns from the [then] underground weekly L.A. Free Press
City Lights 8x5½ pb [6/81] for $10.47
Shakespeare Never Did This by Charles Bukowski  "Shakespeare Never Did This" [1984]
Hank's journal of his trip to France & Germany,
with photographs by Michael Montfort
Black Sparrow 8½x10½ pb [4/95] for $12.35
Black Sparrow deluxe edition hardcover [5/95] out of print/rare

Sunlight Here I Am interviews of Charles Bukowski  "Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am - Interviews
and Encounters, 1963-1993" [2003]
Edited by David Stephen Calonne

Sun Dog Press pb [9/2003] for $12.44

Works About Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski bio by Barry Miles  "Charles Bukowski" [2005]
by Barry Miles

Virgin Books 9x6 pb [9/2006] for $10.17
Virgin Books 9¼x6½ hardcover [7/2005] for $18.96
Tough Company book by Tom Russell  "Tough Company" [2005] by Tom Russell
"letters & interviews with the legendary poet Charles Bukowski"
purchase directly from publisher Mystery Island
spiral-bound limited edition [3/2005] for $25.00
author website
Hotwalker music album by Tom Russell  "Hotwalker: Charles Bukowski & A Ballad For Gone America" concept album [2005] by Tom Russell
Hightone audio CD [3/2005] for $14.98
author/songwriter website
Charles Bukowski 2005 calendar  Charles Bukowski 2005 wall calendar
12 Guage Press [9/2004] no longer available
Visceral Bukowski bio by Ben Pleasants  "Visceral Bukowski: Inside The Sniper Landscape of L.A. Writers" [2004] by Ben Pleasants
Sun Dog Press 9x5¾ pb [10/2004] for $13.56
Hunchback of East Hollywood bio by Aubrey Malone  "The Hunchback of East Hollywood: A Biography of Charles Bukowski" [2003] by Aubrey Malone
not recommended; included here for completeness
Critical Vision 9¼x6¼ pb [5/2003] for $16.95
Bukowski & the Beats book by Jean-François Duval  "Bukowski and The Beats: A Commentary On The Beat Generation" [2002] by Jean-François Duval
Sun Dog Press 9x6 pb [4/2002] for $10.47
Charles Bukowski In Pictures book edited by Howard Sounes  "Bukowski In Pictures" [2000] Edited by Howard Sounes
Canongate 9x8¾ pb [1/2002] for $11.87
Grove Press 9.3x9.3 hardcover [12/2000] for $17.50
Charles Bukowski interview Laughing With The Gods  "Charles Bukowski: Laughing With The Gods" [2000]
1980 interview by Fernanda Pivano

Sun Dog Press 9x6 pb [4/2000] for $14.95
Charles Bukowski for Beginners book by Carlos Polimeni & Miguel Rep  "Bukowski For Beginners" [2000]
by Carlos Polimeni, illustrated by Miguel Rep

Writers & Readers 9x6¼ pb [3/2000] for $9.56
Charles Bukowski bio by Howard Sounes  "Charles Bukowski: Locked In The Arms of A Crazy Life" [1999]
by Howard Sounes

Grove Press pb [6/2000] out of print/used
Grove Press 9¼x6.3 hardcover [5/99] out of print/used
Bukowski bio by Gay Brewer   "Charles Bukowski" biography [1997] by Gay Brewer
Twayne 8¾x5¾ hardcover [7/97] for $33.00
Bukowski bio by Neeli Cherkovski   "Bukowski: A Life" [1997] by Neeli Cherkovski
(updated version of "Hank: The Life of Charles Bukowski" [1991]
from Random House)
Steerforth Press 9x6 pb [7/97] for $12.60
publisher bookpage
Against The American Dream bio by Russell Harrison  "Against The American Dream" [1994]
by Russell Harrison

Black Sparrow 9x6 pb [12/94] for $17.50
Black Sparrow 9.3x6.3 hardcover [12.94] for $21.00

Bukowski On Film

Beatnik Film Festival
includes movies & videos about Hank & other beats, plus rare & obscure films

"Bukowski" documentary film [P.B.S./KCET Nov 1973]
Directed by Taylor Hackford; credits at IMDb

video of Hank's last public poetry reading [1:14:15] at Sweetwater Inn, Redondo Beach, California on 31 March 1980

Tales of Ordinary Madness movie directed by Marco Ferreri  "Tales of Ordinary Madness" [Italy 1981; dubbed US release 1983]
Directed by Marco Ferreri; starring Ben Gazzara, Ornella Muti & Susan Tyrrell
Image Ent. widescreen color DVD [2/99] out of stock/used
Image Ent. widescreen color VHS [2/99] out of stock/used
Warner color VHS [2/99] out of stock/used
full credits from IMDb
Book: "Tales of Ordinary Madness" [stories 1984]
City Lights Books 8x5¼ pb [1/84] for $9.72

Poetry In Motion documentary film directed by Ron Mann  "Poetry In Motion" documentary [Canada Sept 1982]
Directed by Ron Mann
besides Bukowski, participants include William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Ed Sanders, Gary Snyder, Tom Waits & Anne Waldman
Public Media color DVD [7/2002] for $17.96
full credits from IMDb
Crazy Love movie poster directed by Dominique Deruddere  "Crazy Love" {aka "L'Amour Est un Chien de l'Enfer" or 'Love Is A Dog From Hell' [Belgium 1987]
Directed & co-written by Dominique Deruddere [based on several stories by Bukowski]; starring Josse De Pauw & Geert Hunaerts
W.E.A. color DVD [10/2004] for $17.96
full credits from IMDb
Barfly movie poster directed by Barbet Schroeder  "Barfly" feature film [Cannon/Zoetrope Dec 1987]
Directed by Barbet Schroeder; script by Charles Bukowski; starring Mickey Rourke & Faye Dunaway
Warner color VHS [9/2002] for $14.95
Warner widescreen DVD [9/2002] for $17.38
full credits from IMDb
11"x17" poster from Amazon for $9.99
Bukowski at Bellevue documentary film  "Bukowski At Bellevue" [1995]
Recently-discovered student documentary footage of Hank's 1970 performance/reading at Bellevue Community College in Washington State.
Screen Edge b&w DVD [7/2004] for $17.99
credits at IMDb
Born Into This documentary film directed by John Dullaghan  "Bukowski: Born Into This" documentary film [Magnolia May 2004]
Directed by John Dullaghan
Magnolia color DVD [4/2006] for $17.99
full credits from IMDb
distributor's page
11"x17" poster from Amazon for $9.99
Factotum movie poster directed by Bent Hamer  "Factotum" feature film [Norway 2005, USA Aug 2006]
Produced, co-written & directed by Bent Hamer of Norway; adapted from Bukowski's second novel [see above]; starring Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, Fisher Stevens, Marisa Tomei, Didier Flamand, Adrienne Shelley & Karen Young
IFCfilm color DVD [12/2006] for $21.99
full credits from IMDb
official movie websites: U.S.A. & U.K.

"Bukowski" [indep 2014?]  
Announced 1/2013: Tim Blake Nelson is hired for James Franco's literary biopic • not yet listed at IMDb

Bukowski  Links
RealBeer fansite
'100% Bukowski' site
LitKicks fansite
Damon's Levee67 fansite
'Bukowski Lives!' at Black Sparrow Press
Czech-language fansite
Colby's all-gray fansite
Norway fansite
CC's 'Bukstuff' fansite
GT of Sweden's fansite
Bukowski at Famous Poets & Poems website
Annual Charles Bukowski Memorial Poetry Reading [Jan 2012 = #4] at the Cornelia Street Café, NYC

Books & tapes for sale in association with   browse Charles Bukowski catalog at

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