Annual Edgar Allan Poe Commemorative Program (2016)


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 2, 2016:

1:30 p.m. - Tribute to Poe at the Poet’s Grave

Location: Westminster Burying Ground, at the corner of Fayette and Greene Streets
(This is a very brief and informal ceremony. Anyone wishing to bring flowers to be placed on Poe’s grave is welcome to do so.)


2:00 p.m. - 94th Commemorative Edgar Allan Poe Lecture

Location: Discover auditorium University of Maryland BioPark, 1st Floor, 801 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201. (The University of Maryland BioPark is only a few blocks away from Westminster Hall and the University of Maryland Hospital, just on the western side of Martin Luther King Blvd. Free parking is available on the street.)

Welcome, and Introduction of the Speaker

Address: “ ‘Deep into that darkness peering’: Poe’s Cross-Genre Response to Mystery” by Paul Lewis (professor of English at Boston College, and president of the Poe Studies Association).

Abstract of the lecture:

The lemons life gave Poe were bitter loss and haunting mystery. The lemonade he made poured out not only in works that deal with dying women and unloving men but across the genres he explored with relentless, irresistible energy. From the “homeless” protagonist of his first major poem, “Tamerlane,” through the triumphantly empirical Dupin and the dumbfounded narrators of the gothic tales and poems, from the fascination with ciphers through the authoritative voice of the book reviews and the bold assertions of Eureka — mystery looms as the inescapable challenge and extraordinary opportunity created by Poe’s disorienting childhood.

Response/Discussion and Questions from the audience.

A reception with cake, cookies and punch will be available following the lecture.



Please note that the location for events has been altered from years prior to 2015. The Edgar Allan Poe Room at the Enoch Pratt Free Library is not available due to a major multi-year renovation project at the main library. The Poe Society is grateful to Jane Shaab for making space at the BioPark available to us for this event.



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