Charles Bukowski




Buk, Hank

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Known For

Factotum, Women, Love is a Dog from Hell

Charles Bukowski's Biography

Charles Bukowski, often called a “laureate of American lowlife,” was one of the most acclaimed poets and novelists of the 20th century. His work was raw and unflinching, dealing with themes of poverty, alcohol, sex, and the drudgery of working life.

Born Heinrich Karl Bukowski to a German-American father in the US Army and a German mother, he spent his early childhood in the tumult of postwar Germany in the 1920s. Unable to support his family, his father moved them back to Maryland in 1923, and the family eventually made their way west to settle in Los Angeles. Bukowski spent the rest of his life in California, and drew inspiration for his poetry and prose from the underbelly of his home city.

Charles Bukowski was decidedly a drinker (something that’s obvious after about five minutes with any of his poetry collections), and in keeping with his working-class image, he kept things simple. At his favorite Los Angeles haunts, he would typically order a shot of whiskey and a beer (though don’t let the word Boilermaker fool you, he didn’t drop the shot in the beer). He apparently liked Miller, but as their recipe got worse over the years he said he started preferring Schlitz. And when it came to whisky, Bukowski was a Cutty Sark man.

What Charles Bukowski Drinks


A beer and a shot of whiskey served together. Sometimes the beer is simply a chaser for the whiskey, though the shot may also be dropped into the beer.

Cutty Sark Blended Scotch

A famous blended scotch whisky named for the legendary Scottish clipper ship Cutty Sark.

“We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

-Charles Bukowski, 1988