Annual Edgar Allan Poe Commemorative Program (2021)


Since 1923, the Poe Society has sponsored an annual commemorative lecture on the life and/or works of Edgar Allan Poe, presented by a noted Poe scholar. This lecture is always held on the first Sunday in October, more-or-less coinciding with the anniversary of Poe’s death. Prior to this event, it is traditional for members of the Poe Society to gather at Poe’s grave, placing flowers on the monument in a brief and informal ceremony to honor Poe’s memory.

These Poe Society events are free and open to the public.

Sunday, October 3, 2021:

Note: The usual tribute to Poe at the Poet’s Grave will not be held as a public event this year due to ongoing complications related to COVID. The current expectation is that we may record a brief ceremony, and play it at the beginning of the lecture.


2:00 p.m. - 99th Commemorative Edgar Allan Poe Lecture

Due to the constantly changing conditions surrounding COVID, the in-person lecture has changed to a virtual presentation via Zoom conference. Register in advance for the this virtual presentation of the Poe Society’s Annual Edgar Allan Poe Commemorative Program (2021) by clicking the link below:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via computer or audio only. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

Location: Live ZOOM event (details above)

Welcome, and Introduction of the Speaker

Address: “Poe the Polymath” by Paul Grimstad (Yale University).

Abstract of the lecture:

The lecture will consider Poe as a writer and thinker interested in everything around him, and his concern with the question of “universal knowledge.” The essay will consider the wildly eclectic array of subjects he wrote about as a book reviewer, as well as his excursions into logic, cosmology, conchology, fluid mechanics, the theory of interior decor, and more generally the allure (and perils) of autodidactic curiosity, unconstrained by disciplinary expertise.

Response/Discussion and Questions from the audience. (moderated by the host)

Due to circumstances, the reception with cake, cookies and punch, will not be possible this year.


[S:1 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Poe Society - Annual Commemorative Lecture