A.D.: Authors are known to be touchy, especially when it comes to editing their books.
J.M.: I rarely had to drastically edit anyone’s book. My authors knew what they were doing.
There were many big publishers that wanted Bukowski.
Let’s say he’d gone to Random House. What do you think they would have done to his books when they edited them? They would have squeezed all the juice out! As a publisher, you had to give Bukowski plenty of leeway to do what he wanted to do. It would have been a terrible mistake for him to go to a commercial publisher.
Bukowski, all the way back to that first book, At Terror Street and Agony Way in 1968, never bothered to select the poems for his own books. He would send me everything he wrote, by the week. I would keep his manuscripts on file. Then once a year I would go through the manuscripts, pick out two hundred pages, three hundred pages worth of poems, put them in order, do whatever small editing was necessary, and send Hank the proposed manuscript. He never changed a thing.