Longfellow Gets His Own Stamp

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NEA Chairman Dana Gioia and Katherine C. Tobin, member of the USPS Board of Governors, unveil the new U.S. postage stamp

NEA Chairman Dana Gioia and Katherine C. Tobin, member of the USPS Board of Governors, unveil the new U.S. postage stamp in honor of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Photo courtesy of U.S. Postal Service

The NEA and U.S. Postal Service (USPS) threw a joint 200th birthday party for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on March 15. The poet's present? A first-class commemorative stamp.

Chairman Gioia and officials from the USPS unveiled the stamp during the Spring Postage Stamp Mega Event, an annual philatelic convention held at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Special guests Teika Monai Chapman and Vinh Hua, the 2006 Poetry Out Loud champions from New Jersey and Massachusetts, respectively, each recited a poem by Longfellow. Although he wrote more than 400 poems, Longfellow may be most famous for his classic American narrative "Paul Revere's Ride." Artist Kazuhiko Sano depicted the patriot and his horse on the background of the stamp, with a portrait of the poet front and center.