Mark Twain stamp now available: Hannibal, MO first issue ceremony, June 25, 2011 — Today “marks” the day when the new, 2011 stamp commemorating the American author, Mark Twain, is available for the public to purchase. The stamp will be introduced at a first-day-of-issue ceremony at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Missouri, according to the United States Postal Service.
James H. Bilbray, Postal Service Board of Governors member, said about the stamp:
“Our literary tribute this year rightfully honors Mark Twain, author of one of the greatest novels in American literature and the man whom William Faulkner called ‘the first truly American writer.’ Mark Twain was a rarity, as he was one of the first writers to exploit the vernacular voice in his books, using the speech of common Americans.”
Mr. Bilbray will be on hand in Hannibal for the first-day-of-issue ceremony. Joining Mr. Bilbray on Saturday will be Henry Sweets, curator for the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum; Rachel Bringer, Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, Hannibal MO; and David Martin, district manager, Gateway District, USPS.
The stamp becomes the most recent stamp in the Literary Arts series that also includes T.S. Eliot (1986); Ernest Hemingway (1989); William Faulkner (1987); Tennessee Williams (1995); Thomas Wolfe (2000); James Baldwin (2004); and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (2008). The Mark Twain stamp will be a Forever Stamp, meaning that it will always equal in price the current First-Class mail 1-ounce rate.
The USPS describes the artwork of the stamp this way:
“The postage stamp portrait shows Twain as an older man; the steamboat in the background evokes a way of life along the Mississippi River that played a huge role in many of Twain’s works, as well as in his own life. Art director and stamp designer Phil Jordan collaborated with stamp artist Gregory Manchess, who based his portrait of Twain on a photograph taken around 1907.”
Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, was born in 1835 and died in 1910, making last year the 100th anniversary of his passing. He is the author of the American classic novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and many other works.
Last year, a scholarly edition of the first volume of The Autobiography of Mark Twain was published by the University of California Press. Subsequent volumes are expected in 2012 an 2014.
Note: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. is the author of Mark Twain: A Biography.