“From childhood's hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.” — Edgar Allan Poe


The Virginia Poe Bicentennial & Gothic Tea Party Program was recorded at Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, August 13th, 2022.

Excerpts from our July session of the Virginia Poe Bicentennial Discussion Series. The strange after-lives of Edgar & Virginia Poe, plus rites and traditional feminine in 19th century America. If you enjoy this presentation, look for more sessions in this year’s poetical series from Poe Baltimore.

Overview: Enrica Jang, Director of The Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum in Baltimore, provides an overview of the strange afterlives of Virginia Clemm to her cousin, Edgar Allan Poe.

Act I: Fascinating Women Buried in Baltimore

Kathy Santora and Kalin Thomas look at the lives of women buried in Westminster Burying Ground as well as in Green Mount, Loudon Park, Mt. Auburn, and New Cathedral cemeteries, and how these individuals shaped the city today.

Act II: The Art of Mourning

Hayden Peters of ArtOfMourning.com discusses mourning customs in Virginia Poe’s day. The cost of fashionable mourning was almost as high as the loss of a loved one and the requirements of mourning costume and jewels led families into debt. Learn how these customs became part of 19th century family behavior and how influential women led to its decline.

Act III: Mourning, A Perpetual State

The potential for mourning is endless, perhaps because, being human, we know our time is finite. Virginia Crawford shares how mourning spurs her to write, with poetry from her book, “Questions for Water,” and “The Conqueror Worm” by Edgar Allan Poe.

This is the seventh and final pre-recorded discussion in this series for the Virginia Poe Bicentennial. The Virginia Poe Bicentennial is presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)

Excerpts from our June session of the Virginia Poe Bicentennial Discussion Series. The public scandals and private tragedies that shaped the marriage of Virginia & Edgar Allan Poe.

Overview: Enrica Jang, Director of The Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum in Baltimore, provides an overview of the marriage of Virginia Clemm to her cousin, Edgar Allan Poe.

Act I: Tender Hearts

Dean Knight from The Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, analyzes Poe’s anguished letter from Richmond to Baltimore, August 29, 1835, proposing marriage to his first cousin, Virginia Clemm.

Act II: Affairs of the Heart

Historical fiction writer and bestselling author, Lynn Cullen, shares her research on Poe’s affairs of the heart that hastened his wife’s death in 1847.

Act III: Virginia Poe and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita

Poe and Nobokov scholar, Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, explores the connections between Virginia’s experience as a child bride and one of America’s most notorious novels.

This is the sixth in a pre-recorded discussion series for the Virginia Poe Bicentennial. The Virginia Poe Bicentennial is presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)

Discussion with bestselling author, Lynn Cullen, who wrote the novel “Mrs. Poe” inspired by the rumored extra-marital affair between Edgar Allan Poe and the writer, Frances Osgood.

What did Virginia know? How did this affair of the heart (and perhaps more) impact her last days of marriage to Poe before her premature death in 1847? Preview of our penultimate session in the Virginia Poe Bicentennial Discussion Series, “MARRIAGE: Public Scandals & Private Tragedies of Mr. and Mrs. Poe”

Excerpts from our April session of the Virginia Poe Bicentennial Discussion Series. Celebrate National Poetry Month with dramatic readings and discussion.

Act I: Poe’s Feminine Ideal — The Death of a Beautiful Woman

Poe is notorious for asserting the death of a beautiful woman is”the most poetical topic in the world.” Dr. Amy Branam Armiento will discuss how Poe depicts this idea in some of his writing, as well as how this stance is viewed today.

Act II: POETESS

Dramatic readings of select Edgar Allan Poe poems & original work by female-identifying poets from Baltimore and Richmond.

María Badillo

Elizabeth Hazen

Jennifer N. Shannon

Kate Campbell Stevenson

Act III: Would the real Annabel Lee please stand up?

No fewer than seven women could have been the inspiration for Poe’s last love poem, published after his death. We present the candidates and let the audience vote! Discussion with David Gaylin, President of the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore.

 

This is the fourth in a series of monthly programs for the Virginia Poe Bicentennial. The Virginia Poe Bicentennial is presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)

 

Raven Illustrations by Dore.

Kate Campbell Stevenson is a proud board member of Maryland Women’s Heritage Center and serves as their Cultural Ambassador. Stevenson, a professional actor, producer and life-long community activist was inducted into The Daily Record 2020 Circle of Excellence for her “significant professional accomplishments, outstanding community leadership and inspirational mentoring.” She created Women: Back to the Future –a series of inspiring one-woman shows now in its 25th season– which she performs for audiences throughout the U.S.

Excerpts from our March session of the Virginia Poe Bicentennial Discussion Series.

“Daughters of Baltimore: The Lives of Women in 1830s Maryland”

Dr. Ida E. Jones is the inaugural University Archivist at Morgan State University. Since 2016 her work in the Beulah M. Davis Room explores institutional and community history where Morgan State and Baltimore city intersect.

“As She Lay Dying: Virginia Poe as Edgar’s Muse in the Fordham Cottage”

Roger McCormack, the education coordinator at The Bronx County Historical Society, is pleased to present “As She Lay Dying: Virginia Poe as Edgar’s Muse in the Fordham Cottage.”

This is the third in a series of monthly programs for the Virginia Poe Bicentennial. The Virginia Poe Bicentennial is presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)

Grave-side chat with Diana Bailey, Executive Director of the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, as we discuss the importance of seeking out the missing stories and perspectives of women in history, and how we see HERstory at work in history and our own lives.

Streamed as preview for MUSE: the Life & Afterlife of Virginia Poe, Edgar Allan Poe’s Beloved Child Bride, our March session of the Virginia Poe Bicentennial Discussion Series.

This is the second in a series of monthly programs for the Virginia Poe Bicentennial released in 2022. The Virginia Poe Bicentennial was presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)

Virginia Poe was Edgar Allan Poe’s devoted wife (and first cousin.) Though widely believed to be the inspiration for Poe’s writing and recurring themes of dark beauty and doomed devotion, only one piece of writing from his wife survives: an acrostic Valentine to Edgar in 1846, less than a year before she would die at the age of 24. Listen to a special recording of Virginia’s own love words to her husband, then join us for a graveside chat with Dean Knight of the Poe Museum (Richmond) for a talk about the marriage of Edgar Allan Poe to Virginia, including Edgar’s proposal of marriage.

 

Debbie Phillips of Richmond, Virginia, is a freelance lecturer, tour guide, and living history interpreter. She enjoys bringing history to life for audiences of all ages, and has worked in public history for 15 years. Her living history repertoire ranges from mid-18th century through World War II, including several women from Edgar Allan Poe’s life. Debbie and her husband have two wonderful boys, and in what spare time she can find, she enjoys singing, acting, backpacking, camping, knitting, cooking, and reading.

 

Dean Knight is the Programs Coordinator at the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, in charge of scheduling and delivering tours and programs for groups of all ages both on-site and virtually. He is a Standardized Patient at the Medical College of Virginia, portraying patients with a variety of psychiatric ailments for the education of medical and nursing students, which helps him better understand what a genius Poe was at portraying mental illness in literature. He is also a regional stage actor, having performed in over 40 mainstage productions throughout Central Virginia over the past 15 years.
This is the second in a series of monthly programs for the Virginia Poe Bicentennial released in 2022; follow us on social media to be alerted when events are happening! The Virginia Poe Bicentennial is presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)

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Meet Virginia, Edgar Allan Poe’s devoted wife (and first cousin.) Born August 15th, 1822, she died January 30th, 1847 and was buried in New York. Several years his junior, Virginia preceded her doomed husband in death. And yet here she lies in Baltimore, forevermore next to her darling Eddy at Westminster Hall & Burial Ground.  Join us for a graveside chat at Westminster where we’ll share the history of this obscure-yet-important figure in Edgar Allan Poe’s family story and learn about why the Poes had such a hard time finding a permanent place to rest their bones.

This is the first of several monthly programs; follow us on social media to be alerted when events are happening! The Virginia Poe Bicentennial is presented by Poe Baltimore, Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, the Poe Cottage at Fordham (Bronx, NYC,) with generous help and participation from Poe Studies Association, The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore and The Poe Museum (Richmond.)

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