Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Bukowski Stamp?

There's a petition that has been languishing on the internets for the last few months, part of an effort to put the poet and novelist Charles Bukowski on a U.S. stamp. Bukowski, a notorious drunk and disgruntled postal employee, died in 1994 at the age of 74. Is Bukowski a good candidate for a stamp? He hated the postal service, and wrote as much.

Here's the text of the petition:
Dear members of the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee,

I am writing to propose that the American novelist, poet and screenwriter Charles Bukowski be honored with a commemorative U.S. postal stamp to be issued on March 9, 2014, the twentieth anniversary of his death.

Charles Bukowski is uniquely suited for this honor. For in addition to being an acclaimed author with a growing international following, he is also perhaps the most famous American postal worker after Benjamin Franklin, and his landmark first novel "Post Office" is a wry portrait of the inner workings of the service where he was employed through age 49.

Bukowski's popularity among readers is unquestioned, but he has recently received a pair of honors which speak to his abiding reputation in American letters. In February 2008, the small cottage where Bukowski lived for many years was named a Cultural-Historic Monument of the City of Los Angeles, and in 2006 his literary archives were acquired by the Huntington Library.

A Charles Bukowski postage stamp would be a worthy tribute to a gifted soul who transformed himself from a middle aged civil servant into an international literary lion, and who never lost his sensitivity towards the ordinary lives of the people of his hometown of Los Angeles. I hope that you will seriously consider this proposal at your next meeting.

Yours sincerely,
The Undersigned
As of today, 510 people have signed the online petition; the goal is 10,000. The deadline is March 1. Oh well.

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