“…all my soul within me burning…”
~ E. A. Poe
Born in 1809, if Edgar Allan Poe were alive he would turn 207 on Tuesday, January 19. Dead or alive, this doesn't stop Poe fans from getting together to celebrate his birthday.
Annually, the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia hosts a Birthday Bash. This is one of my favorite traditions since it now only marks the beginning of another semester but kicks off the new year with one of my favorite American authors. The Poe Museum never fails to impress me, especially over the last several years with their Unhappy Hour events. I've included the agenda below so that you can get an idea of some of the events that occurred during the 12-hour celebration.
I put together a Poe birthday party outfit, which I decided to change at the last minute by adding a long-sleeved sweater which covered my belt but I wanted to be warm. During the day it was in the low-50s but it become colder once the sun set.
This year, my long-time friend and I headed to the event in the evening. We took the “Poe’s Last Night in Richmond” walking tour where we retraced the path that Mr. Poe would have walked on his final night in Richmond, just over a week before his untimely passing. While this picture is somewhat blurry, if you recognize this tour guide it is because she is the same guide who gave the tour while in character last year. Debbie Phillips is an expert on Elmira Shelton, the first and last love of Poe.
At the Birthday Bash, we viewed several exhibits including one related to the film Extraordinary Tales (2015) by writer/director Raul Garcia who loaned some of the artwork from the making of the movie. I’m including a trailer of the film but I don’t think that the trailer does it justice. Garcia used various styles of art for each story recreation. The artwork that I photographed is from the introduction and transitions between the stories. I actually think that this was my favorite part of the film but then I’m a sucker for paper-art and shadow-boxes.
Another interesting work was by "professional weirdo" Ryan Almighty who is a human blood painter. Here is an incredibly textured painting of Edgar A. Poe.
There were several other events. Listed as “Silent Films with Live Music”, I really wanted to see the Embalmers play at 10pm but with delays in the schedule we were freezing and left around 11:15pm, which is way past my bedtime.
It was another successful birthday party. Happy birthday, Mr. Poe!