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On April 21, 2012, the U.S. Postal Service issued commemorative “forever” stamps honoring ten 20th Century poets, and while I admire those selected, I think the USPS missed an opportunity to honor one of the world’s most beloved poets — namely Charles Bukowski, who worked for the USPS for 14 years.

Here’s the official description of the stamps from usps.comTen great poets are honored on this Twentieth-Century Poets (Forever®) stamp sheet, including several who served as United States Poet Laureate. 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.

And now to right this oversight, we have created our own Bukowski stamp — Bukowski Forever, worth much more than 46 cents. 

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Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994) worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Los Angeles during the 1950s and 1960s, leaving in 1969 when publisher John Martin offered him a one-hundred-dollar-a-month stipend for life. A few weeks after he accepted Martin’s offer, Bukowski produced his first novel — Post Office, published by Black Sparrow Press in 1971. A prolific author or poetry and prose, Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories, and six novels — publishing over sixty books.