1973 Willa Cather Stamp

Happy New Year!

I’m excited to kick off 2019 with a post about Willa Cather.

In 1973 the United States Postal Service celebrated Willa Cather’s 100th birthday with a postage stamp. Her stamp arrived a decade before those of Edith Wharton, Henry James, and other American literary giants who have since been honored with stamps of their own. Cather wasn’t, however, the first woman writer thus honored. Louisa May Alcott, for one, was commemorated with a USPS stamp in 1940.


Last year I purchased this First Day of Issue commemorative envelope from a collector. I’m no stamp collector and have since learned that envelopes that have the cancelled stamp and postmark on the right and then some sort of artwork and text on the left are called “First Day Covers.”



Fleetwood, along with the companies Artcraft and Artmaster, where three of the main companies that created these cacheted covers. I’ve come across here are several different styles for sale online for Cather’s stamp.



The stamp itself announces Cather as an “American Novelist” and I appreciate that her work as a short story writer* is also noted in the design by Fleetwood.


Arctic Explorations and Marianne Moore stamps


I also enjoyed the stamps the seller used to send my new treasure. American poet Marianne Moore did most of the work at 25¢ but the Arctic Explorations stamps commemorating two very different expeditions of 1909 and 1959 did group work at 4¢ piece. 

While surfing around on the internet looking at literary stamps, I couldn’t help but notice that some authors have had multiple stamps over the years. Thoreau has had three! Maybe it’s time for a new Willa Cather postage stamp. This time a forever stamp. Would you buy a sheet?


*On my blogiversary, January 19th, I’ll be announcing a Willa Cather short story reading series.

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