Someone’s been messing with Bukowski’s poetry

There’s been discussion on the Charles Bukowski Forum about extensive editorial changes made to poems in posthumous collections published by Ecco Press.  Comparisons of Bukowski’s original typed manuscripts for individual poems to the published version in the Ecco edition reveal that many changes were made by someone, and they are so inept, so poorly done, they couldn’t have been made by Bukowski himself.  Even so drunk that he could barely type, Bukowski had more innate literary good judgment than is shown in these heavy-handed editorial intrusions.  Changes to style, grammar, etc., would be bad enough, but there are content changes as well.  Bukowski’s original content sometimes has been deleted and new material added.  The effect is that many a good, tight, well-crafted poem has been rendered almost unreadable.


About David Barker

David Barker is the author of two works of weird horror fiction written in collaboration with W. H. Pugmire: The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal and In the Gulfs of Dream & Other Lovecraftian Tales (both books were published by the now defunct Dark Renaissance Books, but copies are still available from Dark Regions Press.) Barker and Pugmire also collaborated on a Lovecraftian horror novel, Witches In Dreamland, which will be published by Hippocampus Press, possibly in late 2017. Recently, his stories and poems have appeared in Fungi, Cyaegha, Spectral Realms, The Art Mephitic, The Audient Void, The Indiscriminate Mixture and on He has a short story in the weird fiction anthology, Nightmare's Realm, edited by S. T. Joshi and published in 2017 by Dark Regions Press. He also has published several works of horror and bizarro fiction as Kindle ebooks, including the bizarro zombie novel Dead Guys in Packards. Together with Jordan Hofer, David Barker has written two nonfiction books about UFOs and alien abduction: Little Gray Bastards (published in 2016 by Schiffer Publishing) and Unidentifiable Flying Objects (due in Fall 2017 from Schiffer.)
This entry was posted in Editing, Editors, Poetry, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Someone’s been messing with Bukowski’s poetry

  1. jasontymczyna says:

    I have almost everything written by Bukowski that was published before his death.I haven’t bothered buying any of the posthumous books,because I had a gut feeling telling me not to bother.Besides that after reading about 30+ books of Bukowski’s stories and poetry,I felt I had read all he really had to say anyways.If it’s true that his work is being funked up,then that is a shame.

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