Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Writer #13: Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany on August 16, 1920, the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. At the age of three, he went with his family to the United States and grew up in Los Angeles.
Bukowski published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His writing often featured a depraved metropolitan environment, downtrodden members of American society, direct language, violence, and sexual imagery, and many of his works center around a roughly autobiographical figure named Henry Chinaski. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including Pulp (Black Sparrow, 1994), Screams from the Balcony: Selected Letters 1960-1970 (1993), and The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992). He died of leukemia on March 9, 1994.