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Award-Winning Poet And Former NEA Chair Appointed To Postmaster General's Stamp Selection Committee

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An internationally acclaimed award-winning poet and two renown designers join the committee that reviews topics and people to be honored and commemorated on U.S. postage stamps.

Postmaster General John Potter today announced the retirement of two members of the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee and the addition of three new members. The committee annually reviews stamp suggestions from 50,000 Americans before recommending approximately 20 topics for the Postmaster General's approval.  

New members are internationally acclaimed award-winning poet and past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Dana Gioia of Washington, D.C. He will be joined by two international award-winning graphic designers Antonio Alcala of Alexandria, VA, and Eric Madsen of Minneapolis, MN. Lifelong stamp collector, philatelic writer, editor, researcher, exhibitor and lecturer John Hotchner, and patron of the arts and former second lady Joan Mondale will leave the committee.

"We are truly grateful to John for his invaluable experience and years of service to the committee and to Joan for her fine arts influence on the stamp program and for their time and unwavering commitment to making the Postal Service's stamp program second to none," said Potter. "I would also like to thank Dana, Antonio and Eric for stepping forward to lend their enthusiasm, dedication and expertise in the future development of our world-class stamp program."    

Dana Gioia

Referred to by Business Week magazine as "The Man Who Saved the NEA," Gioia served two terms as Chair of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) and was responsible for "The Big Read," the largest literary program in the federal government's history. He is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet who has published three full-length collections. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia's 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter?, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping revive the role of poetry in American public culture. As Chairman of the NEA, Gioia succeeded in garnering enthusiastic bi-partisan support in the U.S. Congress for the mission of the Arts Endowment, and strengthened the national consensus in favor of public funding for the arts and arts education.

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