University of Arizona

                                             Special Collections will be closed December 20, 2023 through January 1, 2024 in observance of the University Holiday break.

Loujon Press collection

Photograph of Charles Bukowski, 1962

After working as freelance editors in New York City, Jon and Louise "Gypsy Lou" Webb moved to New Orleans, LA. There, in 1960, they produced an avant-garde poetry and prose magazine, The Outsider, for American underground writers. Pouring all their money and energy into their letterpress, Loujon Press, they designed and produced several limited editions of works by Charles Bukowski and Henry Miller from 1963 until 1966. In 1965, the Webbs moved to Santa Fe, El Paso, and settled for a while at 1009 E. Elm in Tucson, AZ. They later moved the press to 1202 Fourth Street S.W. in Albuquerque. Jon Webb died in Nashville on June 9, 1971. His obituaries are cited in AB Bookman's Weekly, August 2, 1971.

This collection provides insights chiefly into writer Charles Bukowski's daily life in Los Angeles, CA from late 1962 to summer 1965. The correspondence, consisting of over two hundred letters from Bukowski to Webb, are filled with prime Bukowski narration of hard drinking, bad luck at the horse races, neurotic neighbors, demanding landlords, reflections on writing and other poets, his daytime jobs, his enthusiasm for the efforts of Jon and Gypsy Lou Webb and their Loujon Press, and a myriad of other topics. Some letters are written or appended with notes from Frances Bukowski about the current state of things in their lives as they lived on North Mariposa Avenue and later De Longpre Avenue in Hollywood. By 1964, Bukowski began to draw, paste, and color the marginalia of the letters and envelopes.

Also in the collection are 17 photographs: ten of Bukowski, one of his dog, three of the Webbs in their apartment/studio at 1109 Royal in New Orleans, and three of the Tucson residence at 1009 E. Elm as it appeared in 1997. There are also color and ink drawings by Bukowski, including five self-portraits.

The manuscript files relating to the two books published by Loujon Press, It Catches My Heart in Its Hands (1963) and Crucifix in a Deathhand (1965), contain handwritten and typewritten poems by Bukowski (some with corrections), production materials, galleys, dummies, tearsheets from other poetry books of his poems and related materials, such as biographical and exhibition materials relating to Noel Rockmore, who created etchings for Crucifix in a Deathheand.