WRITE magazine

nymark

Over 500 posts
#1
I've been obsessed with chasing Bukowski rarities for a long time and this is as close as I was able to get to locating a copy of WRITE magazine: WRITE was published out of Atlanta and if you know anything about Bukowski's history, this makes perfect sense. The only copy I was able to locate was an issue in the archives at the University of Georgia in Athens. This issue (Vol. 1, No. 3, December 1940) did not contain any work by Bukowski. The archivist I spoke to said that this issue has ads for goods and services throughout the state, so it is likely the mag had (at least) statewide distribution. The publisher was Cathleen Wheeler and the Editor was Helen E. Cook. After that, I hit a brick wall. The sad reality is that it is not likely that the issue with Bukowski's work in it has survived, but if I started to believe that to be the case, what reason would I have to out of bed in the morning?
 

cirerita

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Over 1000 posts
#2
very interesting, thanks for sharing this.

when I was at UCSB I could copy all the REALLY RARE B material: Story, Portfolio, Matrix, Harlequin, Targets, etc. However, at that time I didn't know B had published some stuff in Write and I didn't look for it, but I'm 99% sure they didn't have a copy of that because I started copying things chronologically and that item never popped up! Unless they did have it and they didn't know it.

I believe that if Bukowski actually had a copy of Write, then there should be a copy at UCSB.
 

mjp

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#3
cirerita said:
I believe that if Bukowski actually had a copy of Write, then there should be a copy at UCSB.
Do you think he kept everything though? He often talked about people coming to his place to hang out and stealing his books, so who knows. Though he does say in the introduction to At Terror Street that he has 500 to 1000 magazines on his shelves that he was published in, so he certainly kept a lot.

In any event, nymark's research would indicate that this is a very rare title, and the fact that it's never been listed in a bibliography would seem to reinforce that. Bukowski worked with Dorbin on the first bibliography, and the Write appearance isn't in there, so I think it's safe to assume that he didn't have a copy.

This mag is becoming the holy grail of Bukowski appearances! Heh. I wonder if the Montfort collection had one?
 

mjp

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#5
Maybe he threw it in the trash because it was for, "amateur writers." ;)

I'll see if I can find anything with the full publication title. Still seems like a long shot, but I guess you never know.
 

nymark

Over 500 posts
#7
Trust me, guys, I've been at this for years and it will take a major miracle for a copy to surface. If one ever does, the earth may stop rotating on its axis.
 

cirerita

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Over 1000 posts
#8
ok, I'm speculating here, but the title of the journal was Write, the monthly magazine... They had published 3 issues in Dec. 1940. B probably was published sometime in 1944-45. That means that the journal had prob. published over 40 issues by then. And you say you haven't seen anything at all but that single 1940 issue? Really weird! Where is the rest of the issues? I'm not talking about the one where B was published only, but all of them.
 

nymark

Over 500 posts
#9
If I ever retire with a big bag of money, I'm dirving down to Georgia and hitting every second-hand bookstore in the state. How many issues do you suppose made it across the state line? If there are any surviving copies, I'll bet they will be found in or around Atlanta.
 

nymark

Over 500 posts
#11
I checked the University of Georgia and University of Wisconsin because they have the two largest little mag collections in the country.
 

mjp

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#12
Some time ago I asked Scott from Abandoned Planet if he's ever seen one, because he was sending some rare early mags to Bukowski in the early 90's, but he said he'd never come across it.

I would think the other person most likely to have seen it would be Montfort, but I don't know how he's doing at the moment. He would remember though. Maybe I'll try an email to his wife, but I don't hold out much hope for a response.
 

nymark

Over 500 posts
#13
As far as I know, Montfort sold his entire archive to Simon Finch in the U.K. before he left the U.S. Did you see the catalog that Finch put together for the sale? Beautiful. Color photos and nice quality paper and covers. Most of the choice pieces in the catalog were long gone before the general public got their hands on it.
 

mjp

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#14
nymark said:
Did you see the catalog that Finch put together for the sale?
No, but you can download a PDF of the catalog here:

http://www.simonfinch.com/Catalogues/Cat54.pdf

I've emailed them to see if they still sell copies. I'll post the response here.

If the catalog is complete, and it probably is, Montfort did not have a copy of the phantom Write magazine...
 

nymark

Over 500 posts
#15
I have a hard copy and I can hardly stand to look at the thing for all the lost opportunities. So much I want but will, in all likelihood, never have. Poor me. I heard that Finch is/has already filed for bankruptcy, so you might not hear back from them.
 

mjp

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#16
Damn.

Well, the pdf file is interesting. In a 1956 letter he omits listing the Write publication:

"I am 36 years old (8-16-20) and was first published (a short story) in Whit Burnett's Story mag back in 1944. Then a few stories and poems in 3 or 4 issues of Matrix around about the same time, and a story in Portfolio [...] Then for 7 or 8 years I wrote very, very little. It was quite a drunk."

So maybe he did downplay it for the "amateur writers" tag. It's as good an explanation as any, I suppose.
 
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cirerita

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Over 1000 posts
#17
I have a hard copy
of what? the Finch catalog???

mjp,
I also noticed B omits the Write publication in that bio. In fact, the only place where he ever mentions being pub. in Write is in the 20 Tanks bio.

I was just thinking that maybe he made it up for some reason unknown to us!
 

mjp

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#18
cirerita said:
I was just thinking that maybe he made it up for some reason unknown to us!
Could be. But it seems uncharacteristic. He was pretty much admitting that he'd not been published much. The only way to really know would be to find it, heh.

I wonder if Montfort sold my beer bottle poems with his collection? Doesn't look like they were part of the auction. I gave him two, and now I only have one myself. Figures. ;)
 

zoom man

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Over 500 posts
#19
Man, have to get a hold of my Georgian friend, And have him ransack the attics of all his friends.....
There's got to be a copy somewhere, And I'm sure Buk didn't lie.

Feel like I'm on some Da Vinci hunt, Let the games begin!
(It really would be like the holy grail to find this magazine, open it up, and there he is, jesus, I'd go bonkers!)
 

Jason

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Over 100 posts
#20
There's only one entry in the World Cat (OCLC) for the Mag.: only one library in the 'world' with the title catalogued: UGA, the same that C found.
 

mjp

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#22
Second hand book stores? Oh lord, it is the search for the holy grail. It might be easier to find period materials and make a fake than to find the real thing. We need a good document forger...ha.

Maybe John Dullaghan can be convinced to make a film about the quest...Born Into Eternal Frustration would be a catchy title... ;)
 

cirerita

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Over 1000 posts
#23
this is the Holy Grail quest, indeed.

just think about it: we don't know in which issue B was published and we don't know the titles of whatever he published there -if he did! On top of that, no US library has the right copy. It seems that only one copy of Write survived -at least in the libraries- but it's not the one we Bukowski freaks are after.

I don't think B had a copy, I don't think Martin nor Linda have a copy...

I bet that those journals are sitting in some old, creaky cardboard boxes forgotten in some cellar...
 

mjp

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#24
cirerita said:
I bet that those journals are sitting in some old, creaky cardboard boxes forgotten in some cellar...
Indeed. That's the basis of the Antiques Road Show program on BBC and PBS. ;)
 

zoom man

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Over 500 posts
#25
I'll be off to my local book seller tomorrow, One that has a basement of thousands of mags.
He is getting mighty suspicious of me, Hopefully it will be his day off.
I remember buying an Interview and Rolling Stone from him, And he said "Ok, who is in them?"
"Buk" I said, And he grabbed them and together we scanned the table of contents....
And he swore as we got to the pages :>
 

nymark

Over 500 posts
#26
A few years back, I was bidding on a copy of Harlequin on eBay. A guy who owns a secondhand bookstore in San Fran found it in a stack of little mags. I had to bail out at $700 and it sold for a bit north of that. I contacted the seller post-auction and he had no idea what he had and was shocked it sold for so much money. The moral of this story is that somewhere out there in a dusty backroom of a used bookstore, there's a copy of Write waiting to be uncovered.
 

bospress.net

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Over 5000 posts
#27
The last I heard, Montfort's wife had died. I know that Michael had a stroke, but I had heard that he was recovering from that when his wife died.

Montfort did not have a copy of Write and neither does John Martin. I bet that it was a poem that was accepted, but never published. Maybe they folded before they published it. That is the way of the small press...

Bill
 

cirerita

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Over 1000 posts
#28
aside that little bio B wrote for Portfolio, is there any other place where he mentioned he was published in Write?
 

bospress.net

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Over 5000 posts
#29
No. That is it (as far as I can tell). There was also mention of an early novel written while Buk was married to Barbara Fry. I assume that that was destroyed and never archived?

Bill
 
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