Stamp Services

Stamp Announcement 15-16: Maya Angelou Stamp

Stamp Announcement 15-16: Maya Angelou Stamp

On April 7, 2015, in Washington, DC, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Maya Angelou First-Class Mail® stamp (Forever® priced at 49 cents) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 12 stamps (Item 472600).

The stamp will go on sale nationwide April 7, 2015.

With this new commemorative stamp, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the life of Dr. Maya Angelou (1928–2014), author, poet, actress, champion of civil rights, and one of the most dynamic voices in all of 20th century American literature. The stamp art features artist Ross Rossin's 2013 portrait of Dr. Angelou. The oil-on-canvas painting is part of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gal­lery's collection. The stamp also features this quotation by the pioneering author: “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” The stamp pane includes a short excerpt from Dr. Angelou's book Letter to My Daughter. It reads: “Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.” Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp.

To learn more about the stories behind the stamps, visit

Initial Supply to Post Offices — Item 472600, $5.88 Maya Angelou (Forever priced at 49 cents) Commemorative PSA Pane of 12 stamps

Stamp Fulfillment Services will make a subsequent automatic push distribution to Post Offices™ of a quantity to cover approximately 30 days of sales. Distribution quan­tities for the automatic push distribution are available by logging on to SFS Web at Post Offices may begin ordering stamps prior to the FDOI through SFS Web. However, offices should check the web­site noted above to determine the amount they will receive on their automatic push distribution.

Special Dedication Postmarks

Only the following pictorial postmark is permitted for the Maya Angelou stamp. The word “Station” or the abbrevia­tion “STA” is required somewhere in the design, because it will be a temporary station.

Guidelines for Finalizing the Maya Angelou Stamp Pictorial Postmark Art

Maya Angelou Stamp Pictorial Postmark Art - Blank

Maya Angelou Stamp Pictorial Postmark Art - Filled

To finalize the Maya Angelou stamp pictorial postmark art, insert the date, city, state and ZIP Code™ of the phys­ical location of your event adjacent to the stamp image. Overall dimensions of the pictorial postmark must not exceed 4 inches horizontally by 2 inches vertically. Collec­tors prefer the dimensions 3-1/2 inches by 1.

The Postal Service™ must make all special postmarks known to collectors through advance publicity in the Postal Bulletin. Therefore, all special dedication cancellations must be reported to Stamp Services four weeks before the event using PS Form 413, Pictorial Postmark Announce­ment/Report. To get a copy of the form, go to

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Maya Angelou Stamp
Special Events
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers have to pay five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by June 7, 2015.

How to Order First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items post­marked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at, or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service
Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products

There are nine philatelic products for this stamp issue:

n 472606, Press Sheet with Die cut, $47.04, (print quantity 500).

n 472608, Press Sheet without Die cut, $47.04, (print quantity 1,000).

n 472610*, Keepsake with Digital Color Postmark, $7.95.

n 472616*, First-Day Cover, $0.93.

n 472624*, Framed Art, $39.95.

n 472621*, Digital Color Postmark, $1.64.

n 472630*, Ceremony Program, $6.95.

n 472631*, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.

n 472632*, Stamp Deck Card with Digital Color Post­mark, $1.99.

Items with an asterisk (*) will use the 128 barcode from Stamp Fulfillment Services. All other philatelic products will continue to use barcode series A, with the exception of the Yearbook and the Guide Book.



Maya Angelou Stamp

Item Number:


Denomination & Type of Issue:

First-Class Mail Forever


Pane of 12 (1 design)



Issue Date & City:

April 7, 2015, Washington, DC 20066


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD

Art Director:

Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD

Existing Art:

Ross Rossin


Donald Woo

Manufacturing Process:

Offset, Microprint


Banknote Corporation of America/SSP

Printed at:

Browns Summit, NC

Press Type:

Alprinta 74

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

80,000,004 million stamps

Paper Type:

Phosphor Tagged Paper, Block Tag

Adhesive Type:

Pressure-sensitive adhesive

Processed at:

Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit SC


Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, PMS Cool Gray 8 PMS 1788

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

1.42 x 0.84 in./36.07 x 21.34 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

1.56 x 0.98 in./39.62 x 24.89 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

6.00 x 6.25 in./152.40 x 158.75 mm

Press Sheets Size
(w x h):

12.00 x 25.00 in./ 304.80 x 635.00 mm

Plate Size:

96 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:

“S” followed by Six (6) single digits

Marginal Markings:


Plate numbers in two corners of pane


© 2015 USPS USPS logo Plate position diagram Barcode (472600) in upper right and lower left corners of pane

Promotional text Maya Angelou Bio