Reading celebrates Charles BukowskiWritten by John Dorsey | | email@example.com
In the nearly 20 years since his death, Charles Bukowski has become a pop culture icon and something of a cottage industry in the publishing community. The former postal worker turned poet, novelist and screenwriter is celebrated around the world and, each year on the anniversary of his death, right here in Toledo.
For promoter Ashley Eichner, honoring Bukowski is more than just a tradition, it’s a labor of love for a man whose life’s work is often misunderstood. Her annual Bukowski memorial reading is set to inspire local literature lovers on March 12 at The Attic on Adams.
“Bukowski is often seen as a drunk, he’s seen as a womanizer, but he really is more than he appears to be. If you really look at his work he loves woman, he speaks for the poor, the sick and the sad on a very human level,” Eichner said.
Born Heinrich Karl Bukowski in Andernach, Germany on Aug. 16, 1920, Bukowski was the son of an American soldier who would later settle the family in Los Angeles. After a rough childhood, which he would describe in detail in his autobiographical classic “Ham on Rye,” Bukowski graduated from Los Angeles High School and went on to briefly attend Los Angeles City College. Bukowski made his first serious attempt at becoming a professional writer in the 1940s without much success, though he did publish in magazines such as Story and Portfolio: An Intercontinental Quarterly. Bukowski began wandering the country, often drunk, living in cheap rooms, while working a succession of jobs. It was those experiences that provided source material for his later work included in books like “Love is a Dog from Hell” and “Post Office.” In addition to penning countless poems, novels and works of short fiction, Bukowski wrote the screenplay for “Barfly” starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway. He passed away March 9, 1994 at the age of 73.
“It’s more than just an open mic — you’ll leave with an education on Bukowski” Eichner said.
“Don’t Try — The Charles Bukowski Memorial Reading” runs from 6:30-9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The Attic on Adams is located at 1701 Adams St.
For more information, call (419) 243-5350.