Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) is an American poet, novelist, short story writer, and essayist. He is post-Beat, a perceptive and careful minimalist who comprehends and masters the range from quiet romanticism to soul-scarring cynicism, from farcical despair to sweet appreciations of cats and birds. From day one of opening Whistlestop in 1985 I have sold Charles Bukowski, and I have guided many young people into the dark and treacherous waters of his poetry and fiction. He is not warm and fuzzy, not heroic, not your intellectual soulmate, often not even likable -- but, then, what business of yours is liking or not liking an artist? He had a stubborn core of humanity, a fear of other people that he hedged with a thorny persona, an honesty of language, and a careful capacity of friendship. He was a singular artist who survived his own vulnerabilities and the peculiar world he was born in.