I have just recorded a CD of jazz improvisations to Mr Bukowski's poetry that I am reading. I would like to get permission from his estate to put this out. Does anyone know how I would go about doing this?
There is 100% chance that they will OK this if you are willing to spend $10,000 for the rights (as an estimate). If that sounds like it is do-able, then contact the publisher, HarperCollins in New York and have a cashier's check ready.
Get ready for the people here to tell you how this is a played out, tired idea that has been brought up far too many times. Buk to Jazz, Buk to Classical, Buk to Electronica, Buk to Death Metal..... You are about the 100th person that has had this great idea.
If you forgo the rights and plan on releasing this, be warned that they WILL sue you and it will cost you far in excess of the cost for the rights....
...and apologies if I seem to be rude. The way this normally works out is that we all tell the person that they need to contact Harper Collins, then they do that and get a price. They don't like that price. Figuring that they can talk the Author's widow into it, they then ask for her contact info, so that they can contact her directly, which they are NOT given. Then they release the CD anyway, without rights, and take a huge chance on having HarperCollins, with their millions of dollars worth of attorneys take your house, everything that you own and likely everything that you will ever own.
I'm just trying to let you know how impossible the request is, unless, like I said, you are ready to pay for rights.