WRITE magazine (2 Viewers)

Any news on this front? The scary thing is that a copy of the issue of Write magazine with Bukowski's contribution could be in a library archive somewhere, and get trashed. Libraries are dumping printed material at an alarming rate. Something as ephemeral as an obscure magazine for amateur authors wouldn't stand a chance in a wholesale purge.
Yeah, now that you mention it, we've been chasing the wrong Write for quite some time. Bukowski was NOT in Write; the monthly magazine for amateur writers. He was in an odd experiment of sorts called Write that came out a few times in 1944-1945. No copies are known to exist in libraries, though.
Agreeing with Roni - that is news, even if it doesn't get us any closer. Any idea of print runs for that? It's a bummer the National Library of Congress doesn't have a run of every periodical. I guess periodicals aren't/weren't covered by legal deposit laws at the time?
Let the man himself speak:


I did some digging and everything he says is pretty much on target. Amazing that he remembers the name of the editor and his pseudonym... 43 years or so later!

I found some correspondence from Henry Burnjohn/John Burnett to Story editor Whit Burnett, but no mention of Write at all.

It's not clear to me what Bukowski says about 7 or 8 issues. Is he saying that there were 7 or 8 issues of Write? Or that all issues had 7 or 8 pages? Or something else?
I suppose that explains why copies don't turn up. Even if someone found a copy they probably wouldn't assume it was a publication since it's just a bunch of hand typed pages.

"Huh, look at this: uncle John had a pretend poetry magazine..."
"What a weirdo. Throw it in the trash pile."
It sounds to me like he only published 7-8 copies of each issue owing to have to TYPE out each page. If so, it sounds more like an art project than an actual release. As much as this is the holy grail, it is not the holy grail. I suspect that if it is ever found, it will be a let down.

Unless the story/poem is unknown, then it may be interesting...

That makes sense, Bill. If there were 1 or 2 issues only --I think to recall Bukowski said in a 1956 letter to Harper that Write came out once or twice and then gave it up-- and there were 7-8 copies only of each issue, then chances of finding a copy are next to none. Those colored pages are most probably forever gone. Although I don't think Write could be considered a proper publication/magazine, it would great to see the story and poem(s) that Burnett typed out.
First of all, the concept is a bit ridiculous, typing out every copy of a "magazine" (though people have done more ridiculous typing stunts), but I'd bet one or more copies survive somewhere. The problem is if someone who didn't know anything about this story ever found one of them they probably wouldn't recognize it as anything worth investigating or saving.

We may never see it, but the possibility that it's out there somewhere will keep people looking. That's just human nature.
"Huh, look at this: uncle John had a pretend poetry magazine..." - "What a weirdo. Throw it in the trash pile."
This is definitely what happens to this sort of publication.
It's sad.
Even if it wasn't a Bukowski in it, it is sad.
The heirs just never know.They have no sense for art or passion.

(except in some rare cases like Darger.)
It's amazing good luck that Darger's landlord just happened to be an artist with an eye for genius. Any other landlord would have hauled his junk to the dumpster after he went into a nursing home. As it is, Darger's writings, paintings, source materials, and personal effects were saved. Something I've noticed in a lifetime of going to thrift stores and yard sales is that you never find manuscripts, unless it's a random page stuck inside a book. That's because manuscripts get thrown in the trash. They are assumed to be worthless. We're lucky to have Emily Dickinson's poems, only a handful of which were published during her lifetime. Her sister found her manuscript poems and had the sense to keep them. Thinking about this sort of thing gives writers and artists nightmares.

From: the South Gate Press, 13 Dec 1945, pg. 1, 20. (as found on Newspapers.com)
This photo, followed by a frankly not very interesting essay on the difference between journalists and literary authors, concluding with this biography. Is it possible that Bukowski exaggerated Burnett’s eccentricity? A man of this background seems unlikely to be unaware of carbon paper, etc.

"JOHN H. Burnett, mathematical hobbyist of South Gate, who writes under the pseudonym of Isaac Henry Bernjohn [sic], is the editor of his own literary magazine quarterly WRITE, now in its second year in this community.

For many years prior to the beginning of his literary career in such national publications as Story and Encore Magazines, Mr. Burnett was a California newspaper man, publicist, and fact article writer for syndicates, magazines, and Sunday feature supplements.

His short stories appear in Decade, Script, The American Courier, Write and many other small literary magazines. His publication WRITE, and its editorial requirements are listed in all the Writer’s Magazines of this country, Canada, and also abroad.

He is a member of BPOE, Elks, Herman Sons of America, National Association of Authors and Journalists, Honorary Citizens of Boys’ Town, Nebraska, and a member of several writer’s clubs."
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Taking a cue from the newspaper article bio, which says "His publication WRITE, and its editorial requirements are listed in all the Writer’s Magazines of this country," I searched the full-text of the Internet Archive for the word Burnjohn, and found the following in the July 1945 issue of "Writer's Digest." Again, if Burnett/Burnjohn was accepting stories up to 3000 words, it's hard to imagine that he was typing out each copy by hand.

Burnjohn WRITE ad.JPG
Wow, it has been awhile. It is great to read the updates about mysterious writings by Bukowski in the even more mysterious WRITE Magazine. One day a copy will be discovered and what day it will be. ~Cheers to All ?

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