Arguably L.A.’s most famous writer, Bukowski worked for the postal service until he was 49, and hated every second of it. Using some of the more delicate wording this Fishie has seen in quite some time, petitioners to the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee call Bukowski’s first novel “Post Office,” “a wry portrait of the inner workings of the service” — which is a bit like saying “All the President’s Men” is a dry, clinical analysis of the inner workings of Nixon’s White House.
Organizers were hoping for 10,000 signatures. So sign up now.
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.
[This petition with all signatures will be sent to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee on March 1, 2010. Individual letters of support may be mailed to Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, c/o Stamp Development, U.S. Postal Service, 1735 North Lynn St., Suite 5013, Arlington, VA 22209-6432]
According to Born into This, a documentary on Bukowski’s life, Black Sparrow Press founder and owner, John Martin, offered Bukowski 100 dollars per month for life on condition that Bukowski would quit working for the post office and write full time. He agreed and Post Office was written within a month. Post Office was Bukowski’s first foray into writing a novel. All of his earlier work had been poetry. Martin was actually a little worried that Bukowski would not be able to make the transition to prose. However, the fear turned out to be quite unfounded as Bukowski had no trouble writing stories about his life.
Solid Gold: [We appreciate all your support, but note that only verified signatures that contain real names will be accepted. Please, people, we cannot send the Committee a list of sexy chat room handles and expect to be taken seriously.]