Monday, May 3, 2010


I don't live in San Marino, California but dammit, this just may be worth a trip to the Left Coast. It's been a while...

The Huntington Library exhibit "Charles Bukowski: Poet on the Edge," will feature corrected typescripts of Bukowski’s poems and such novels as his autobiographical work, "Ham on Rye" (1982), and his screenplay "Barfly," made into a film in 1987, starring Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke. There also will be early periodicals containing his poetry and rare special editions of his writings published by John Martin, proprietor of the Black Sparrow Press, as well as memorabilia and photographs of Hank...

The exhibit is organized in cooperation with his widow Linda Lee Bukowski and will run Oct. 9 to Feb. 14, 2011. Linda loaned the library many of Buk's personal items to complement the already-extensive literary collection she donated to the library.

Another gem of the exhibit? Hardcore Bukowski enthusiasts will be able to view his annotated racing forms at the exhibit.

As it stands, it owns more than 2,700 Bukowski items, including more than 500 books, drafts of poems. Fewer than 100 of those items will be on display in the exhibit. That said, all of the items have all been available to scholars since last summer.

Ok, so for those living under a rock... Charles Bukowski, who died in 1994, was a pre-eminent voice in 20th-century American literature. In his poetry and prose, Buki used experience, emotion, and imagination, along with violent and sexual imagery, to capture life at its most raw and elemental -- and all with unflinching honesty. His voice was for the social outcasts, drunks, hookers, addicts, bums and petty criminals.

The library is located on the former estate of railroad mogul Henry Huntington in San Marino and is renowned for its rare books collection -- which also includes a Gutenberg Bible.

The Huntington Library is located at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California.

Check out a couple special Buk videos where he reads his poetry after the jump.


  1. The exhibit is calling your name! If you can, you should go go go.

    I have this love hate thing with Bukowski. Some of his work just blows me away, and then other times it just ticks me off. ;-)Bukowski - do you kiss or slap him?

    Either case, I find his work fascinating.

    I like the vid of him reading The Secret Of My Endurance.

    Cool post.

  2. I think this exhibit was created with you in mind. California awaits (and Vegas isn't too far away...)

    I agree with Jodi's assessment of Bukowski, it's a love/hate thing. I guess that means he did something right.

  3. anthony, thanks for the info. i hoped they do something like this when I read about Huntington buying Buk's archive. now, i just have to figure out a way to California, possible layoff be damned!


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