William Wantling (1933-74) was a veteran of the Korean War and a heroin addict who spent five years in San Quentin Prison, where he first taught himself to write. Despite being a convicted felon, he qualified for the G.I. Bill on his release in 1963 and went on to obtain a BA and MA in English from Illinois State University. He was a contemporary of Charles Bukowski with whom he had an unusual and ultimately destructive friendship. This selection brings together the best of Wantling's prolific output, including many poems dealing with Korea, heroin addiction and prison.
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