US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born May 15: Katherine Anne Porter

May 15, 2015 04:00 AM

The 22nd stamp in the United States Literary Arts commemorative series honors Katherine Anne Porter, who was born May 15, 1890, in Indian Creek, Texas.

The 39¢ stamp (Scott 4030) was issued 116 years later on May 15, 2006, with a ceremony at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center in Kyle, Texas, the town where Porter grew up.

The U.S. Postal Service printed a brief literary biography on the back of the pane of 20 Katherine Anne Porter stamps: "Considered a master prose stylist, writer Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980) was best known for her short stories, which earned her both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1966 for The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter."

Rarely living in one place for too long, Porter married at 16 and left her abusive husband eight years later, moving to Chicago. She traveled to New York City and worked as a writer in Greenwich Village. Her first short story collection, Flowering Judas and Other Stories, was published in 1930.

Porter later lived in Mexico and Germany, returning to the United States in 1938. She married and divorced four times and published her only novel, Ship of Fools in 1962.

The stamp honoring Porter, illustrated by Michael Deas, includes a portrait of the author and a scene of a passenger ship in the distance.