Author/ Ex-Postal Worker Charles Bukowski's Admirers Hope To See Him On A Stamp
In 1969, when the 49-year-old underground poet and columnist Charles Bukowski quit his job at the Terminal Annex postal sorting facility, he was one step ahead of a pink slip. Offered $100 a month by an editor who believed in his work, Bukowski took the leap to become a professional writer, and in just a few weeks produced his first novel, the autobiographical "Post Office."
Bukowski never held a day job again. He would go on to write six more novels, the screenplay to "Barfly" and thousands of poems, and to find international acclaim as one of the truly distinctive voices of Los Angeles literature. Although he died in 1994, his literary output continues with posthumous anthologies, and he is widely known among American booksellers as the most shoplifted author on their shelves.
In 2006, Bukowski's archives were acquired by the Huntington Library, and in 2008 the modest East Hollywood cottage where he wrote "Post Office" was named one of the Historic-Cultural Monuments of the City of Los Angeles. But one perfectly apt honor still eludes Bukowski: shouldn't the second most famous American postal worker after Benjamin Franklin have his own postage stamp? Richard Schave and Kim Cooper of the L.A.-based literary bus tour company Esotouric think so, and have launched a petition asking the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee to consider recommending that a commemorative Bukowski stamp be released on the 20th anniversary of his death (March 9, 2014).
Esotouric's celebrations of Bukowski's life and work include the bus tour "Haunts of A Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's LA" (next scheduled on April 24), working on the campaign to have his home landmarked, and inviting journalist Marco Mannone to host a Bukowski Salon at the October 2009 Downtown LA Art Walk. They also spearheaded the successful campaign to have the corner of Fifth and Grand, at the LA Central Library, designated John Fante Square, after the writer who Bukowski called "my God."
The online Charles Bukowski Stamp Petition will remain active until March 1, 2010, when it will be printed out and submitted to the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, the volunteer group that advises the postal service on appropriate choices for commemorative stamps.
To view or sign the petition, please visit:
For more on the process for recommending new postage stamps, see:
To learn about Esotouric's repertoire of offbeat Los Angeles bus tours,visit:
Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule
Sat January 9 - The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour
Sat January 16 - Wild Wild West Side crime bus tour
Sat January 30 - East Side Babylon crime bus tour
Sun Feb 7 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: South LA
Sat Feb 13 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66
Thurs Feb 18 Jeremy Kasten presents "Spider Baby" with director Jack Hill
Sat Feb 20 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The New Chinatowns
Sun Feb 21 - Joan Renner lecture "How the 'Bob' Changed History" (tentative)
Sat Feb 27 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Lowdown on Downtown-The Secret History of LA
Sat March 6 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice crime bus tour
Sat March 13 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Sat March 20 - Maja's Mysteries: Rapture & Release (debut)
Sat March 27 - Raymond Chandler's Bay City
Sat April 3 John Buntin's L.A. Noir
Sat April 10 Crawling Down Cahuenga: Tom Waits' L.A.
Sat April 24 Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's L.A.
Sat May 1 - Pasadena Confidential crime bus tour with Crimebo the Clown
Sat May 8 - Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour
Sat May 15 - The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour
Sat May 22 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's So. Cal Nightmare