One of my first Baltimore memories comes from one of my dad’s infamous road trips. He would ask, “Do you want to go for a drive?” and you never knew where you’d end up. On this trip, we ended up in the graveyard outside Westminster Hall looking at Edgar Allan Poe’s memorial. When Dad asked what I thought, I remember one word came to mind: creepy. I loved it, and I’ve loved Poe ever since. So I was delighted to see Poe introduced to a new audience recently as part of The Big Read.
The Big Read, a National Endowment for the Arts program, is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture, and bring together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. This year's book is The Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.
Both Centerstage and the Pratt are participating in The Big Read with a month-long series of events, performances, and educational outreach focusing on the life and works of Poe. Check out a library copy of Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, come to a Big Read event at the library, or check the full listing of Centerstage’s programs.
Local director and actor Tony Tsendeas recently performed a portion of his original work, "The Poe Show”—including “The Black Cat” and the poem “The Conqueror Worm”—at the Reisterstown Road Branch. One customer called the program “eye opening, entertaining, and educational.”
Branch manager Vera Fattah marveled that even though she knew the story of “The Black Cat,” she still squealed at Tony's description of the murder scene. Mrs. Fattah wasn't the only one!
Nothing puts you in the mood for Halloween like Edgar Allan Poe. Get into the Halloween spirit with Tony’s rendition of “The Tell-Tale Heart” or pick up a book by Poe for the first time at your library.