Holy Doors, an anthology of poetry, prose and criticism - 1972 (1 Viewer)


Founding member
Hugh Fox and Steve Richmond both wrote some digs at Bukowski (and Black Sparrow) in this anthology. The editor gave Bukowski an opportunity to respond. Martin's response is here too.

My favorite line comes from Richmond: "I've surpassed Bukowski in the power of truth in poetry." Okay Steve, if you say so. Maybe "truth" is naming every poem with the same nauseatingly cute, made-up word. That must be it.

And Fox just seems angry at the entire world for not recognizing his genius.

Anyway, it's a lot to read, but I thought it was worth posting.



"His work will be forgotten in 50 years."

Only six more years to go before we find out if Richmond's prediction is true. ;)
I think Fox is the worst. He comes across really gaga. Ranting about his sister in law and having trouble finding a publisher for his novel about his mother called SKETCHES TOWARD A DEFINITION OF FATALISM! Like, no shit. You can just tell that this had to be an awesome read.

Richmond seems like a pompous and young little prick. "Toward truth", yeah. You can tell how much it stung that Bukowski always mentioned his money :D

Bukowski is the only one who brings in some humor, surprise surprise.

Then, as if it couldn't get any better, John Martin tunes in with "A creative aristocracy exists!"

I think this whole exchange is hilarious. Thanks for posting.
Last edited:
Hugh Fox was also VERY aggressive with me when I met him in person. He was pissed that I had rejected his manuscripts (He sent me a LOT of poems over the years and most just did not do it for me. I published him twice in Bottle) He seemed a bit of a curmudgeon, so maybe he was just like that. It was VERY, VERY uncomfortable as I do not like confrontation. I'll always remember what he said as he shook my hand in Richard Krech's back yard in Berkeley "Bill Roberts. What is it exactly that you hate about my poetry?"
I'll always remember what he said as he shook my hand in Richard Krech's back yard in Berkeley "Bill Roberts. What is it exactly that you hate about my poetry?"
One possible reply would have been, considering his passive/aggressive question in what should have been a friendly moment would be: "It's existence." That's probably what I would have said without thinking about the ramifications.

If he had asked you in a more genuine manner, I'd say say something akin to the following, understanding your reluctance to be confrontational:

"I don't hate it, it's just not in line with what I've been publishing and want to continue publishing." Back in the day, most poets didn't have the means to meet their [potential] publishers in person and ask such questions. Bottom line is that you're a more successful press than he is a poet. That's not your problem, it's his.
Last edited:
He seemed to have a dry sense of humor that I did not get. Maybe if I knew him longer, but I was not really interested in knowing him better. He was dying of prostate cancer at the time and maybe that had something to do with it. That being said, he sent out a LOT of poems for consideration. Probably second only to Lifshin. He mentioned to me that he had 2 LONG shelves full of unpublished manuscripts. I always took that to mean (2) 8' shelves. He should have stacked them in his closet

Users who are viewing this thread