Henry Charles Bukowski was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books.
During his youth Bukowski was shy and socially withdrawn, a condition exacerbated during his teens by an extreme case of acne. Neighborhood children ridiculed his German accent and the clothing his parents made him wear. Although he seemed to suffer from Dyslexia, he was highly praised at school for his art work.
Bukowski attended Los Angeles City College for two years, taking courses in art, journalism, and literature, before quitting at the start of World War II.
In early 40-th Bukowski moved to New York to work as a writer.
A couple of his works was published, but Charles grew disillusioned with the publication process and quit writing for almost a decade, a time that he referred to as a "ten-year drunk".
During part of this period he continued living in Los Angeles, working sporadically and staying in cheap rooming houses.
In 1955 he began to write poetry, but dedicated himself to full-time writing only in 1969, for Black Sparrow Press (now HarperCollins/ECCO). Bukowski published almost all of his subsequent major works with this agency. They include novels, poetry collections, short story chapbooks and collections.
Bukowski also performed live readings of his works, beginning in 1962 on radio station KPFK in Los Angeles and increasing in frequency through the 1970s.
Post Office, 1971
Ham on Rye,1982
Bukowski's parents were Roman Catholic, but he did not concern himself with religion.