Poe / After Poe Series: A Look Back

•November 25, 2009 • 1 Comment

The Poe / After Poe Forum Series at the University of Maine at Farmington was inspired by the 200th anniversary this year of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809). With numerous events and activities taking place from September through November, the Poe / After Poe series not only celebrated Poe as a major American author but also celebrated the continuing creativity Poe has inspired—art, writing, and performance that is “After Poe.”

The first Poe / After Poe event was a presentation by Dr. Scott Peeples. Dr. Peeples, College of Charleston, is a Poe scholar, author of two books on Poe, Edgar Allan Poe Revisited and The Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe, and he is currently co-editor of the journal Poe Studies.  His presentation,“That Wasn’t in the Book . . . : How Movies Made Poe the Master of the Macabre,” looked at the vexed history of Poe on film and examined how Poe adaptations, by focusing on only one element of his varied career as a writer, satirist, and editor, have contributed to this popular image of the macabre Poe.

The presentation was followed by a reading later in the evening at Devaney, Doak, and Garrett Booksellers in downtown Farmington, where several people read excerpts from their favorite Poe stories for an appreciative crowd.

Dr. Scott Peeples reads from “The Angel of the Odd” at Devaney, Doak, and Garrett Booksellers in Farmington.

One of the highlights of the series was the month-long “After Poe: Works of Mystery and Imagination” exhibit at the UMF Art Gallery. Featuring the works of artists Julia Bykowski, Christin Couture, Shain Erin, Robert Gregory Griffeth, Kym Hepworth, Melissa Kulig, Debe Loughlin, Nancy Milliken, Petrea Noyes, Stacey Page and Robin Stein, the exhibition was a tribute to the spirit of Poe’s work.

Shain Erin’s mummified dolls were a popular feature of the exhibit

And, the exhibit even featured its own ghostly haunting:

Another highlight of the series was a special screening of a new film, Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee.


Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee is currently being shown only at film festivals, and we were fortunate not only to have the opportunity to screen it before its general release but also to have writer and director Michael Rissi join us as well for question and answer sessions before and after the film.

Michael Johnson and Michael Rissi at the reception (held at the UMF Art Gallery) before the screening of Annabel Lee

Click here to read Michael Johnson’s review of Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee.

And, of course, there were lots more events in the series. Below is a gallery of photographs documenting the wide range of activities that took place during the Poe / After Poe University Forum Series.

It may not have been midnight, but it was certainly dreary: about 40 people gathered in a rainstorm at noon to commemorate the anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death (October 7, 1849)  with a group recitation of “The Raven.”

A detail from Mantor Library’s Edgar Allan Poe display.

We held a Just the Scary Parts reading (selections—”just the scary parts”—from literary tales of terror and suspense) in the UMF Art Gallery, with the artwork from the After Poe exhibit providing the appropriate atmosphere. Here,  Professor Beck reads a spine-tingling tale of . . . raccoons.

Frank and Teresa Roberts performed “Spirits of the Dead: A Poe Reader’s Theatre,” which included a memorable reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart” (complete with audience participation!)

A Roundtable Discussion of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” led by UMF literature professors Dan Gunn, Ann Kennedy, Michael Johnson, Sabine Klein, Misty Beck, Christine Darrohn, and Eric Brown, and joined by one enraged orangutan (not pictured).

The final event in the Poe/After Poe Series was the reading of the winning stories submitted to the Compo(e)sitions contest. The four readers treated the audience to a creepy and sometimes suspenseful hour of Poe-inspired short fiction.

First Prize went to Nathaniel Brehmer (Junior, Creative Writing) for “Revelations in the Rue Morgue”

The other winning entries were:

Laura Jennings (Senior, Creative Writing) for “The Immortal”

Ted Gill (Junior, English Education) for “The Ocean of Darkness”

Emma Deans (Junior, Creative Writing) for “Impressions”

Poe Flash Fiction

•November 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Very very short versions of Edgar Allan Poe stories, Poe in Six Words:

  1. Buried sister not dead, house collapsing.
  2. Heart beating loud–I’m not mad!
  3. Stolen letter, hidden in plain sight.
  4. Locked room, murders, orangutan did it.
  5. I wish I had Berenice’s teeth.
  6. Gold bug, human bones, hidden treasure.
  7. Pissed off dwarf, more orangutans, fire.
  8. Don’t bury me–not dead yet!
  9. Wife dies, then possesses new wife.
  10. Cold, dark, wet, and no Amontillado.

Most of these should be easy to identify–but can anyone match all ten six-word stories to the Poe original?

Compo(e)sitions Reading

•November 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We held the final event in the University of Maine at Farmington’s Poe/After Poe Series today, the reading of the winning stories submitted to the Compo(e)sitions contest. The four readers treated the audience to a creepy and sometimes suspenseful hour of Poe-inspired short fiction. After the reading, Professor Klein presented the winners with their prizes (books of recent Poe-fiction for the runners-up, and In the Shadow of the Master, a collection of Poe stories combined with essays by contemporary writers reflecting on Poe’s writing, for first prize).

First Prize went to Nathaniel Brehmer (Junior, Creative Writing) for “Revelations in the Rue Morgue”

The other winning entries were:
Laura Jennings (Senior, Creative Writing) for “The Immortal”

Ted Gill (Junior, English Education) for “The Ocean of Darkness”

 

Emma Deans (Junior, Creative Writing) for “Impressions”

Compo(e)sitions Contest Winners

•November 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The winning entries of the Compo(e)sitions contest are as follows:

First Prize:
Nathaniel Brehmer, “Revelations in the Rue Morgue”

Runners-up:
Laura Jennings, “The Immortal,”
Ted Gill, “The Ocean of Darkness”
Emma Deans, “Impressions”

Next up in the Poe / After Poe Forum Series at the University of Maine-Farmington will be a reading by the winner and runners-up in the Compo(e)sitions and Faux Poe contests.

November 19, Thursday, noon-1:15, Roberts Learning Center, Room C-23

Monty and The Cask of Amontillado

•November 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A nice bit of “After Poe” fun in the recent run of the comic strip Monty—Monty“>”The Cask of Amontillado” with lego blocks!

Click here to see the full strip (November 6-7, 2009).

Next Event, November 19, Contest Winners

•November 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Next up in the Poe / After Poe Forum Series at the University of Maine-Farmington will be a reading by the winner and runners-up in the Compo(e)sitions and Faux Poe contests.

November 19, Thursday, noon-1:15, Roberts Learning Center, Room C-23

Rue Morgue Roundtable

•October 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

7 members of the UMF literature faculty and one enraged orangutan (not pictured).

webpoemorgue

From Thursday’s roundtable discussion of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”

 
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