Love Poems of Charles Bukowski to Be Published in Iran for First Time

The German-American poet is best known for his writings on sex, alcohol and the down-and-out.

Cover of Bukowski book
Cover of Bukowski book

Love poems written by Charles Bukowski - a German-American best known for writing about alcohol, sex and the down-and-out - are to be published for the first time in Iran.

Publisher Sarzamin-e Ahurayi said it is releasing the poems, translated into Persian by the writer Alireza Behnam. It was unknown how closely the translations will adhere to the originals.

Books in Iran must receive approval for publication from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. It has strict criteria for publication, particularly regarding erotic content. Such books have been banned or the erotic passages removed or rewritten.

The ministry's approval may also be withdrawn after a book's publication. One such example was Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Memories of My Melancholy Whores.
"Whores" in the title was changed to "sweethearts" to win approval for its publication, but afterward, the ministry banned the novel, calling it immoral and saying it promoted prostitution.

The ban awakened Iranians' interest in the book, which then sold for double the price on the black market.

The censors would find much to frown about in Bukowski's work. The cult author was labelled a "laureate of American lowlife" by Time magazine. The German-born Los Angeles writer died in 1994.