Honoring writers who paved the way with their contributions to the literary world is a great way to introduce young people (as well as the still young-at-heart) to the joys of the written word. In Baltimore, we are especially grateful for the existence of the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum and the annual International Poe Festival and Awards which will take place this year Saturday and Sunday, October 4 & 5, from 11 am to 4 pm both days.
Poe’s place in the literary firmament is assured by those who champion him as an forerunner of the genres of science fiction, mystery and horror, but he is also a must read for his poetry and his critical essays. He belongs in the pantheon of early American writers that includes the Transcendentalists as well as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
If you haven’t read something by Poe in a while or are a Poe fan, this is the perfect opportunity to get re-exposed as well as to hear contemporary authors read from their works. The event is free and takes place on the streets around the Poe Museum.
There will be a main stage where you can see dramatic performances, including magic shows, and listen to music that invokes Poe’s era. On the local author stage, in addition to yours truly, who will be reading some of Poe’s poetry as well as from my own works, you can hear Faye McCray, Nancy Alexander, Ted Weber, Jay Carpenter, Eric Hendrixon & Michael Mahoney among others. Books by Poe and other authors will be available for purchase. The Festival website at poefestivalinternational.com has instructions on where to park your car. The address for your GPS is 203 N. Amity Street, Baltimore, MD. I hope to see some of you there.