Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) was born in Germany and brought to the United States when he was two years old.  He attended LA City College (1939-1941) then moved to New York to pursue a writing career.  In 1946 he gave up writing and spent a decade traveling around the world.  He returned to LA and began writing for the underground press gaining popularity largely through word of mouth.  His poetry dealt with the sense of a desolate, abandoned, and absurd world.  He wrote essays and more than forty volumes of poems, novels, and stories.  He also wrote the screenplay for the film Barfly.