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Wormwood Review 7 #238/700 -- Blue Variant with French Flaps¸ Charles Bukowski’s First Appearance (1962)

Wormwood Review 7 #238/700 -- Blue Variant with French Flaps¸ Charles Bukowski’s First Appearance (1962)

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This one’s a real Bukowski oddity. I have no knowledge of its background.

I picked this up because I had never seen a Wormwood Review 7 with a blue cover – only white. When I got it in the mail, the first thing I noticed was a large split on the spine traveling almost the entire length. I thought, “What the hell is keeping this cover from falling off?”

Then I opened it and saw that it had French flaps glued to stiff stock underneath. The glued stiff stock was what was holding the binding together and the jacket was printed on cheap thin paper.

My first guess was that it was some kind of mock-up from the printer. But then I noticed it was number 238 – almost halfway through the 500-copy run.

If I had seen another copy in blue, my assumption would be that the higher numbers had this cover. But I still have not seen another.

The covers on this copy are also significantly more oversized than white copies.

This one is decorated in a darker shade of blue than the cover, making it blend in a bit.I rate it Very Good + with the spine tear, small bumps to all four corners, and toning along the edges of the covers.

Published in 1962, Wormwood Review 7 was the first issue Charles Bukowski appeared in.  Over the next 34 years, Bukowski would appear in 97 issues of Wormwood Review, contributing hundreds of poems, many of which were never published in books.

In this issue, Bukowski’s contribution was Thank God For Alleys, a poem that would later appear in Cold Dogs in the Courtyard (1965), A Bukowski Sampler (1969) and The Roominghouse Madrigals (1988).

Wormwood Review was published by the legendary Marvin Malone (1930-1996). Malone was a pharmacologist, scientific researcher, educator, artist, poetry collector, and editor. Upon arrival to Storrs, Connecticut in 1960, Malone discovered the second issue of Wormwood Review and soon took over the publication as the sole editor, publisher, and designer (alias A. Sypher), producing quarterly issues until his death in 1996.

Wormwood Review ran for 144 issues (1959-1997). Christa Malone, Marvin's daughter, co-edited issue 144 after Marvin's death, and released issue 145/146 as a special tribute issue to Marvin in 1999.

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