Stamp Announcement 24-4: Saul Bellow Stamp


On February 6, 2024, in Chicago, IL, the United States Postal Service® will issue the Saul Bellow stamp (priced at the Non-denominated, 3-ounce Mail Rate) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 122900). This stamp will go on sale nationwide, February 6, 2024, and must not be sold or canceled before the first-day-of-issue.

The 34th stamp in the Literary Arts series honors novelist Saul Bellow (1915–2005). Winner of three National Book Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Nobel Prize, Bellow is widely regarded as one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. The stamp art is a pen and ink and watercolor portrait of Bellow based on photographs from 1982. In the background is a street scene in Chicago, where he lived most of his life. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp with original art by Joe Ciardiello.

Availability to Post Offices: Item 122900, Saul Bellow (Non-denominated, 3-ounce 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 pictorial postmark shown here is permitted for the Saul Bellow 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 Saul Bellow Stamp Pictorial Postmark Art



To finalize the Saul Bellow 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. Each cover must have sufficient postage to meet First-Class Mail® requirements. 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 – Saul Bellow 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 June 6, 2024.

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.



Saul Bellow Stamp

Item Number:


Denomination &
Type of Issue:

3-ounce Rate, Non-denominated, Mail Use


Pane of 20 (1 design)


Literary Arts

Issue Date & City:

February 6, 2024, Chicago, IL 60607

Art Director:

Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, MD


Joe Ciardiello, Milford, NJ


Sandra Lane / Michelle Finn

Manufacturing Process:

Offset, Microprint


Banknote Corporation of America

Press Type:

Alprinta 74

Stamps per Pane:


Print Quantity:

8,000,000 stamps

Paper Type:

Phosphor, Block Tag

Adhesive Type:



Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, PMS 259C

Stamp Orientation:


Image Area (w x h):

1.4200 x 0.8400 in. / 36.0680 x 21.3360 mm

Overall Size (w x h):

1.5600 x 0.9800 in. / 39.6240 x 24.8920 mm

Full Pane Size (w x h):

7.2400 x 5.9200 in. / 183.8960 x 150.3680 mm

Plate Size:

240 stamps per revolution

Plate Numbers:

“B” followed by five (5) single digits in four corners

Marginal Markings:


Plate number in four corners


© 2023 USPS • USPS logo • Two barcodes (122900) • Plate position diagram (6) • Promotional text