Home » Newpages Blog » Bukowski

Raymond Carver and the Night of the Living Bukowski

Raymond Carver and the Night of the Living Bukowski. Los Angeles Review of Books.

“Nothing about Carver stood out as remarkable at the time. Indeed, he gave the impression of someone who did not want to be noticed, sitting not at the head of the conference table like other visiting poets but on the side with the students, slouched in his chair, hiding behind dark glasses and a scrim of smoke. When prompted by our teacher, Morton Marcus, to talk about his work and to give advice to the table of young, aspiring poets, Carver mumbled through a couple of poems and said something about keeping after it and not giving up. Then he lit another cigarette.

…But as Maderos remembered it, in spite of all Bukowski’s bravado, the mix of students and faculty and town poets in this elite academic environment seemed to have thrown the poet off his game, as he rushed his lines or threw the best ones away. And yet The New Yorker writer William Finnegan, another UCSC undergraduate at the time, recalled loving the event, finding Bukowski more literary than he had expected and, most certainly, larger than life.”