Archives for posts with tag: Jack Grapes


The Charles Bukowski tribute in downtown L.A. on June 30th featured stories about Buk, poems by or about the man, as well a few unexpected additions.

Joan Jobe Smith, pictured above with her husband, poet Fred Voss, read her poem “Bukowski Chugs Cheap Beer…” and a poem Bukowski wrote about his beloved daughter Marina. She also reflected on her many late-night phone calls with Buk and how he encouraged her to start writing about her experiences as a go-go dancer. At intermission and after the show, audience members crowded around Smith to express how much they enjoyed her readings and stories.

Gerald Locklin (at right on video screen in above photo), a long-time Bukowski friend, read his favorite Bukowski poem “Fire Station,” and explained that the loved the poem because it was Buk at his best — funny and a bit dirty. Find Locklin’s books here.

Jack Grapes (at left on video screen in above photo) first started corresponding with Bukowski in 1965 when he was a young aspiring poet living in New Orleans. So began a pen-pal relationship (and occasional in-person meeting) that lasted 30 years. Grapes recalled that when he received his first reply from Bukowski, he couldn’t bring himself to open the envelope for three days — afraid of what Buk would say about the poems he’d sent. Grapes shared the letter with the audience in its entirety — a lengthy missive where Buk expressed his thoughts and feelings about the art of poetry and encouraged young Marcus (as Jack was then known) to keep writing. One thrilling comment — that lines in one of Grapes’ poems were as good as anything ever written by anybody. Check out his website here.

(Photo by Silver Birch, Los Angeles, June 30, 2012)



Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis:

His Art & His Women (& me)  by Joan Jobe Smith

Joan Jobe Smith was born in Paris, Texas, then moved to San Francisco and eventually to Southern California. A go-go girl for seven years, she boogaloo’d live with Jim Morrison, the Ike and Tina Turner Review, and Dick Dale. Founding editor of Pearl and Bukowski Review, she received a BA from California State University Long Beach and attended one year of law school before receiving an MFA in writing from University of California Irvine. In 1974, she founded Pearl Magazine.

Since 1973, her poetry, stories, reviews, essays, and memoirs have appeared internationally in more than 500 publications as well as 21 published books of poetry, notably Jehovah Jukebox (Event Horizon, 1993, USA) and Pow Wow Café (Poetry Business, UK, 1998) and anthologies The Outlaw Bible, Literature and Its Writers, New Geography of Poets, Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and The Best of California Women Poets.

Her many honorariums include US and UK arts council grants and a finalist post for the 1999 UK Forward Prize. With her husband, poet Fred Voss, she did five-whistle-stop poetry reading tours (1991-2001) around the UK — debuting at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and ending at the Hull Literature Festival. In 2011, Fred Voss and she headlined the Pittsburgh University Writers Festival and performed at the Long Beach Poetry Festival.


June 30, 2012: Joan will read at the Grand Perfomance Tongue & Groove Tribute to Charles Bukowski in Los Angeles with actors Rebecca DeMornay and Harry Dean Stanton and poet/writers Dan Fante, Gerald Locklin, Jack Grapes and more. For more information, visit:

July 5, 2012: Joan will appear with Fred Voss at the 2012 Humber Mouth Literature/Arts Festival in Hull, England, at the Hull Truck Theatre. Info available at:

July 13: Joan and Fred will read in London at the Betsey Trotwood. Get additional info here:

Photo: Courtesy of Joan Jobe Smith