Edited by John Martin, the legendary publisher of Black Sparrow Press and a close friend of Bukowski's, The Pleasures of the Damned is a selection of the best works from Bukowski's long poetic career, including the last of his never-before-collected poems. Celebrating the full range of the poet's extraordinary and surprising sensibility, and his uncompromising linguistic brilliance, these poems cover a rich lifetime of experiences and speak to Bukowski's “immense intelligence, the caring heart that saw through the sham of our pretenses and had pity on our human condition” (New York Quarterly). The Pleasures of the Damned is an astonishing poetic treasure trove, essential reading for both longtime fans and those just discovering this unique and legendary American voice.
Charles Bukowski turns to the bottle in this revelatory collection of poetry and prose that includes some of the writer’s best and most lasting work. A self-proclaimed “dirty old man,” Bukowski used alcohol as muse and as fuel, a conflicted relationship responsible for some of his darkest moments as well as some of his most joyful and inspired.
In On Drinking, Bukowski expert Abel Debritto has collected the writer’s most profound, funny, and memorable work on his ups and downs with the hard stuff—a topic that allowed Bukowski to explore some of life’s most pressing questions. Through drink, Bukowski is able to be alone, to be with people, to be a poet, a lover, and a friend—though often at great cost. As Bukowski writes in a poem simply titled “Drinking,”: “for me/it was or/is/a manner of/dying/with boots on/and gun/smoking and a/symphony music background.”
On Drinking is a powerful testament to the pleasures and miseries of a life in drink, and a window into the soul of one of our most beloved and enduring writers.
"Collections such as The Most Beautiful Woman in Town (1983) . . . showcase Bukowski's impressive narrative and creative abilities in stories that most often take place in bars and dingy apartments but are not simply about sex and alcohol. They're about staying alive in a world where the only choice for the majority of us is to face a firing squad in an office every day—the post office, in Bukowski's case—or maintain a commitment to creativity as we struggle to pay for food and a meager place to live." —Adam Perry, Santa Fe Reporter
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 came with his family to the United States and grew up in Los Angeles. He attended Los Angeles City College from 1939 to 1941, then left school and moved to New York City to become a writer. His lack of publishing success at this time caused him to give up writing in 1946 and spurred a ten-year stint of heavy drinking. After he developed a bleeding ulcer, he decided to take up writing again. He worked a wide range of jobs to support his writing, including dishwasher, truck driver and loader, mail carrier, guard, gas station attendant, stock boy, warehouse worker, shipping clerk, post office clerk, parking lot attendant, Red Cross orderly, and elevator operator. He also worked in a dog biscuit factory, a slaughterhouse, a cake and cookie factory, and he hung posters in New York City subways.
Bukowski published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. 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). City Lights Publishers have published more of his works including Absence of a the Hero, Portions of a Wine-Stained Notebook, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, Tales of Ordinary Madness, and The Bell Tolls for No One. He died of leukemia in San Pedro on March 9, 1994.
The effortless virtuosity, directness, drama and humanity of Carol Ann Duffy's verse have made her our most admired and best-loved contemporary poet. Rapture, her seventh collection, is a book-length love-poem, and a moving act of personal testimony; but what sets these poems apart from other treatments of the subject is that Duffy refuses to simplify the contradictions of love, and read its transformations - infatuation, longing, passion, commitment, rancour, separation and grief - as simply redemptive or destructive.
Rapture is a map of real love, in all its churning complexity. Yet in showing us that a song can be made of even the most painful episodes in our lives, Duffy has accessed a new level of directness that sacrifices nothing in the way of subtlety of expression. These are poems that will find deep rhymes in the experience of most readers, and nowhere has Duffy more eloquently articulated her belief that poetry should speak for us all.
When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. When her husband, Ted Hughes, first brought this collection to life, it garnered worldwide acclaim, though it wasn't the draft Sylvia had wanted her readers to see. This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, Plath's original manuscript—including handwritten notes—and her own selection and arrangement of poems. This edition also includes in facsimile the complete working drafts of her poem "Ariel," which provide a rare glimpse into the creative process of a beloved writer. This publication introduces a truer version of Plath's works, and will no doubt alter her legacy forever.