The Poetry of Charles Bukowski

Bukowski published more than 45 books of poetry and prose in his life-time. His poetry and short story books are published world wide.

Essential to an understanding of Bukowski's literary personality is an appreciation of his anarchic training at the public library. On the one hand, nothing of the academic approach rubbed off on him. His style would seem to defy literary logic. For example, his punctuation ignored basic grammatical rules. On the other hand, his voracious and compulsive reading would give him a poetic sensitivity which was direct, without affectation, and unique to him.

"When I was becoming a genius, when I was dying of hunger, and nobody wanted to publish me, I spent even more time in the library than I have ever since. It was wonderful to get a seat by a window in the sunlight where the sun could fill my head with music."
— Charles Bukowski.

Bukowski, writing copious amounts of prose and poetry, had collected numerous rejections from magazines and publishing houses. His first published essay, in Story magazine, had reflected the situation. It was called "Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip."