Charles Bukowski's 1971 letter outlines terms for poetry reading



"I am available for a poetry reading but don't know if you have the stakes. It would take round-trip air (which, I imagine would be a great deal from L.A. to Florida), plus $200." (Via This isn't Happiness)

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    1. In the early-to-mid 90s I hung out off and on with a couple of folks who’d published (and occasionally hosted) him. Second hand, of course, but yeah: you have no idea.

      (And I just now found out–via Google–that one of those folks passed away almost 2 years ago. Obviously I’ve lost touch with them–I’m on the other coast, now–but, man. Some of us are in fact dead, wigglers in white shorts notwithstanding.)

      (And of course, so’s he. But I didn’t know him. So I’m focusing on my first degree of separation, and feeling old. Shut up.)

      1. I was being a bit facetious.  Septegenarian Stew was more than enough insight into how unpleasant he must have been to be around. 

  1. I have to say I can really appreciate his candor. Agree with Palomino; the letter alone is worth 200 bucks.

  2. The collection of his letters put out by that press in Santa Rosa is the greatest.  My family got that for me a long time ago, even before I read his poetry.  More insight in a single page, a single TURN OF A PHRASE, than all the masturbatory claptrap that pretends to be art, nowadays.  I’d PAY TO SEE Bukowski fight JS Foer, fist to face.  PAY GOOD MONEY.  Or just to lock the two of em in a room to TALK ABOUT LITERATURE– after Foer’s latest defecation they’d have lots to talk about.  Ha! That would be a BAGEL PROBLEM.

  3. …And Miller Williams at the University of Arkansas referenced in the letter is the father of the great singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams who’d have been 18 years old when Bukowski possibly stopped by….

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