Stamp Announcement 23-12: Toni Morrison Stamp


On March 7, 2023, in Princeton, NJ, the United States Postal Service® will issue the Toni Morrison stamp (Forever® priced at the First-Class Mail® rate) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 483100). This stamp will go on sale nationwide March 7, 2023, and must not be sold or canceled before the first-day-of-issue.

This stamp celebrates Toni Morrison (1931–2019), whose artfully crafted novels explored the diverse voices and multifaceted experiences of African Americans. Known for such books as The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, Morrison was the rare author who achieved both bestseller status and critical success. In 1993, she made history as the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. The stamp features a photograph of Morrison taken in 2000. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp with photography by Deborah Feingold.

Availability to Post Offices: Item 483100, Toni Morrison (Forever Priced at the First-Class Mail Rate) Pane of 20 Stamps

Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices. Post Offices may begin ordering stamps before the first-day-of-issue through SFS Web at

Special Dedication Postmarks

Only the following pictorial postmark is permitted for the Toni Morrison stamp. The word “Station” or the abbreviation “STA” is required somewhere in the design because it will be a temporary station. Use of any image other than the following special pictorial image is prohibited.

Guidelines for Finalizing Toni Morrison Stamp Pictorial Postmark Art

Special Postmark

Special Postmark

To finalize the Toni Morrison 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 inch.

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 4 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 120 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office™ or at The Postal Store® website at They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FDOI – Toni Morrison Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

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. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by July 7, 2023.

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 USA Philatelic catalog and online at Customers may register to receive a free USA Philatelic catalog online at

Locally produced items are not authorized. Only merchandise that has been approved and assigned an item number by Headquarters Retail Marketing may be produced and sold.



Toni Morrison Stamp

Item Number:


Denomination &
Type of Issue:

First-Class Mail Forever


Pane of 20 (1 design)



Issue Date & City:

March 7, 2023, Princeton, NJ, 08540

Art Director:

Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD

Existing Photo:

Deborah Feingold


Sandra Lane / Michelle Finn

Manufacturing Process:

Offset, Microprint


Banknote Corporation of America

Press Type:

Gallus RCS

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

30,000,000 stamps

Paper Type:

Phosphor Tagged Paper, Block

Adhesive Type:



Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

1.085 x 1.085 in / 27.559 x 27.559 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

1.225 x 1.225 in / 31.115 x 31.115 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

5.90 x 7.12 in / 149.86 x 180.848 mm

Press Sheets Size (w x h):

11.80 x 21.36 in / 299.72 x 542.544 mm

Plate Size:

120 stamps per revolution

Plate Number:

“B” followed by four (4) single digits

Marginal Markings:


Plate number in four corners of pane


©2022 USPS • USPS logo • Two barcodes (483100) • Plate position diagram (6) • Promotional text