The United States Postal Service released last week a postage stamp commemorating the bicentennial of Edgar Allan Poe's birth. The forty-two cent, first-class stamp was dedicated last week at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, where Poe spent much of his life. (A three-cent postage stamp was released in 1949 to commemorate Poe's hundredth birthday.)
The new stamp features a portrait of Poe by the painter Michael J. Deas, who in 1989 published a comprehensive collection of portraits and likenesses of the author titled The Portraits and Daguerreotypes of Edgar Allan Poe, and the stamp sheet includes a quote from Poe's 1845 poem "The Raven."
"It’s time to say the obvious," said National Endowment for the Arts chairman Dana Gioia at the dedication ceremony. "No author stays internationally popular for 150 years by accident. Poe is one of the classic authors of American literature—a master of the short story, a magician of the short poem, and a critic of brilliance and originality. And no small part of his artistic magic is that he appeals to readers from childhood to old age. Let us underestimate him nevermore!"