The Murders in the Rue Morgue

•October 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

7 Literature Professors, 1 Room, 1 Story, 2 Murders

A Roundtable Discussion of
Edgar Allan Poe’s
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

Led by UMF Literature Professors: Misty Beck, Eric Brown, Christine Darrohn, Dan Gunn, Michael Johnson, Ann Kennedy, Sabine Klein

Common Ground Time (12:00-1:15)
North Dining Hall A
Thursday, October 29

Click here for a full-text on-line edition of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

Or, check out Iron Maiden’s version of the story:


Just the Scary Parts Reading

•October 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As part of a double-header of events on Thursday, 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.



Poe and the Balloon Boy

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

When it comes to hoaxes involving balloons, Edgar Allan Poe was way ahead of the Heene Family (in the news lately for claiming that their son had been accidentally carried away by a helium balloon).

From The Guardian (click on the excerpt to go to the full article):

In a precursor of the reality shows to which the Heenes apparently aspired, the Sun ran excerpts from the faked diary of the Victoria’s navigators, which ended just after their “sighting” off the coast of South Carolina. (In reality, the Atlantic would not be crossed by a balloon until 75 years later, when the rather less romantically named British dirigible R-34 landed in New York City after an 108-hour flight.) The account was cooked up by Edgar Allan Poe, a hoax-lover in an age of hoax-lovers.

For the full text of the story, click on the title: The Balloon Hoax (1850)

Spirits of the Dead AND Just the Scary Parts

•October 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

October 22 Events

Spirits of the Dead: A Poe Reader’s Theatre

Performed by Frank and Teresa Roberts

Common Ground Time (12:00-1:15)

University of Maine at Farmington, Roberts C23


Just the Scary Parts:  Selected Readings from Literary Tales of Suspense, Fright, and Terror

7:00-8:30 pm UMF Art Gallery

Events in the Poe / After Poe Series sponsored by: University Culture Committee, Humanities, and the Department of Sound, Performance, and Visual Inquiry.

A University Forum Series Celebrating the Bicentennial of Edgar Allan Poe’s Birth

Review of Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee

•October 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As part of the Poe / After Poe series at the University of Maine at Farmington, we recently screened the new Poe adaptation, Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee. Placing Poe’s poem in a contemporary setting, Annabel Lee exemplifies the “After Poe” spirit that our series celebrates.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee tells the story of an artist who rents a seaside cabin for the summer, looking for inspiration. A beautiful and mysterious young woman appears, unexplained deaths from the past are uncovered, strange things start to happen, and the artist finds himself not only inspired but also drawn into solving a decade’s old mystery.

Like many films based on Edgar Allan Poe’s works, Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee departs from the letter of the text. However, unlike most Poe films, Annabel Lee remains true to Poe’s spirit—to the themes of obsessive love, the tragic beauty of the untimely death of a young woman—and Annabel Lee captures Poe’s sensibility, particularly Poe’s ability to mix together in one story beauty and horror, suspense and humor, an exploration of the extremes of human behavior with subtle insights into human nature. For the student of Poe’s work, the film is a delight for its multiple references and clever allusions to many of Poe’s stories and poems, from “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven” to “The Gold Bug” (and other stories of codes and cyphers), “The Masque of Red Death,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and Poe’s detective fiction.

All of this is filtered through writer and director Michael Rissi’s sensibility, which is as much post-Hitchcock as it is “after Poe.” A cinematic style influenced by Hitchcock provides a perfect means of adapting Poe’s literary style, themes, and motifs to film. Such a combination, and just the right mix of suspense and humor, provides a template for future Poe adapters, and hopefully Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee, by showing the way, will spark a renaissance of Poe films that finally and at last get Poe right.

Reviewed by Michael K. Johnson, coordinator of the Poe / After Poe Series at the University of Maine at Farmington. Poe / After Poe is a series of events celebrating the bicentennial of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth.


For more information on the film, see the Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee website.

Ghostly Gallery

•October 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A ghostly visitation at the After Poe exhibit at the University of Maine at Farmington Art Gallery.


Poe Events this Week (Film on Thursday)

•October 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment


As part of the Poe / After Poe schedule, there will be a special screening this week of a new film, Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee. This film is currently being shown only at film festivals, and we will have an opportunity to screen it before its general release. Additionally, Michael Rissi, the film’s writer and director, will be on campus for the screening. There will be a question and answer session with him scheduled earlier in the day before the film.

October 15

Question and Answer Session with Director Michael Rissi

Common Ground Time (12:00-1:15)

Location: Roberts C23

Michael Rissi is the writer/director of the new film Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee, inspired by Poe’s “Annabel Lee” poem. Mr. Rissi is also the writer and director of two previous films, Soultaker (1990) and Up Against Amanda (2000).

Reception for Michael Rissi

6:00-7:00 pm

UMF Gallery

Maine Premiere: Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee

Lincoln Auditorium (C 123 Roberts), 7:00 pm

For more information about the film, see the Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee website.