|Date of Issue||April 21, 2012|
First-Class Mail® Forever Commemorative
|Perforation or Dimension||0.91 x 1.19 in./23.11 x 30.23 mm|
|Series Time Span||2012|
|Issue Location||Los Angeles, CA 90052|
|Postal Administration||United States|
Joseph Brodsky (1940–1996) was an exile from the Soviet Union who became the first foreign-born poet to be appointed Poet Laureate of the United States. Although he embraced the country he came to call home, many of his poems resonate with loneliness and loss.
On April 21, 2012, in Los Angeles, California, the Postal Service™ will issue a Twentieth-Century Poets (Forever® priced at 45 cents) commemorative stamp, in ten designs in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps. The stamp will go on sale nationwide April 21, 2012.
The number of books published each year in America has been steadily increasing, and poetry is more popular than ever. The ten great writers honored on theTwentieth-Century Poets stamp pane, including several who served as United States Poet Laureate, surely deserve part of the credit. The many awards won by this illustrious group — Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, E. E. Cummings, Robert Hayden, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams — include numerous Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and honorary degrees.
Art director and stamp designer Derry Noyes selected the photographs used in the stamp art. The photograph of Elizabeth Bishop was taken in Key West, Florida, by Josef Breitenbach. The photograph of Joseph Brodsky was taken in New York City by Nancy Crampton. The photograph of Gwendolyn Brooks was taken in Chicago in 1987 by Jon Randolph.
The photograph of E. E. Cummings was taken in 1935 by Edward Weston. The photograph of Robert Hayden was taken around 1975 by Timothy D. Franklin. The photograph of Denise Levertov was taken by Rollie McKenna. The photograph of Sylvia Plath was also taken by Rollie McKenna.
The photograph of Theodore Roethke was taken in London, England. The photograph of Wallace Stevens was taken by Sylvia Salmi. The photograph of William Carlos Williams was taken in the 1940s.
The pane’s verso includes an excerpt from one poem by each of the poets featured on the pane.
These stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.