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New Meetup: The Great Poe Debate @ Boston Public Library, Rabb Lecture Hall

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 4:11 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: The Great Poe Debate @ Boston Public Library, Rabb Lecture Hall

When: December 17,[masked]:00 PM

Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116

Gather : 5:45 pm to 6:30 in Prudential Center Food Court, drop in anytime
Grab Seats : 6:40 pm at Rabb Lecture Hall downstairs in BPL

From Boston College's website:

"[...]All events are free and open to the public[...]"

"Between his birth two blocks south of Boston Common on January 19, 1809 and his death in Baltimore on October 7, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe lived in many places?including Richmond, London, Philadelphia, New York, and, yes, Boston. In celebration of the opening of The Raven in the Frog Pond, the Boston Public Library presents what has been called The Great Poe Debate, in which advocates for Baltimore, Boston, and Philadelphia make the case for their city's claim to the Poe legacy.

"Charles Pierce (Moderator) is author of four books?Sports Guy (2000), Hard to Forget: An Alzheimer's Story (2001), Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything (2006), and Idiot America (2009). He appears weekly on National Public Radio's sports program Only A Game and is a regular panelist on NPR's game show Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. Since July 1997 he has been a writer at large at Esquire, and in April 2002 he joined the staff of the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.

"Jeff Jerome: Curator of the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore since 1978, Jerome is frequently called upon by the local, national, and international media to talk about Poe and his life. A Baltimore native, Jerome oversees Baltimore's Poe birthday celebration every year in January and personally witnesses the yearly visit by the Poe Toaster to the gravesite. He recently returned from trips to Japan and Romania where he furthered the cause of Poe's life and works.

"Paul Lewis, curator of the Poe/Boston exhibit and Professor of English at Boston College, is the author of Comic Effects: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Humor in Literature and Cracking Up: American Humor in a Time of Conflict, and of articles on gothic fiction, dark humor, and U.S. literature and culture: 1790-1860. His interest in connections between humor and fear has drawn him to the work of Boston native, Edgar Allan Poe.

"Edward Pettit is the Philly Poe Guy, a freelance writer, book reviewer and literary provocateur. He gives public lectures about Poe and Philadelphia Gothic and this work has been featured in the NY Times and newspapers and magazines around the world, as well as on TV and radio. A member of the National Book Critics Circle and the Mystery Writers of America, Pettit also writes the Ed & Edgar blog, chronicling his adventures in the Cult of Poe".

Where to Meet:
Anybody want to grab something to eat beforehand? T.J. Maher will be waiting in the Prudential Center Food Court 111 Huntington Ave starting at 5:45 pm in the back of the food court near the window overlooking the terrace, with a few red MEETUP sign table tents propped up on the tables. He was thinking we could start walking over to the library at 6:30 pm, grabbing seats by 6:40 pm. The Rabb Lecture Hall is in the new wing of the Boston Public Library. Go through the lobby of the entrance to the right of the Boylston Inbound T Stop, and down the stairs to the Rabb Lecture Hall.

T.J. Maher is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag.

A review from Balitmore Magazine, according to the Boston University page:

"Tuesday night?s Great Poe Debate at the Free Library of Philadelphia certainly lived up to its name. The event was front-page news in that day?s edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer (?Poe?s Heart Belong Elsewhere? Nevermore!?), and it drew a standing-room-only crowd to the library?s Montgomery Auditorium. That 400 people would turn out on a frigid Tuesday night for a literary debate qualifies as nothing short of miraculous. Anyone expecting scholarly presentations of dry facts and measured persuasion would have been sorely disappointed?not that I heard any complaints. This was more of a literary spectacle, a memorable and raucous affair that will be talked about for years."

Edward Pettit, listed above, mentions in his blog The Bibliothecary:

"I'll be squaring off against Jeff Jerome, the curator of the Baltimore Poe House, in a no-holds-barred cage match. Two men enter. One man leaves. Well, maybe not so much like that (but I am hoping for a weigh-in press conference). And I'm still waiting for someone from one of the other Poe cities (Hello, Richmond, New York and Boston, You don't deserve Poe as much as Philly either. Nya Nya.) to get into this fight. So, this debate could be a three- or four-way affair.

"At the Great Poe Debate, we'll each get to make our case as to which city is most important for the Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe. The moderator will be radio and TV personality, comedian, and Poe performer, Grover Silcox. When the dust settles, the winner of the debate (oh yes, a winner will be declared) will receive the Poe Legacy Trophy".

This Great Poe Debate is being held on this date to celebrate the opening of the new Poe Exhibit "The Raven in the Frog Pond" opening December 17th, 2009 in the Cherverus Room at 6:00 pm. "Mounted at the end of the Poe bicentennial year, The Raven in the Frog Pond uses materials from the collections of the Boston Public Library, the American Antiquarian Society, Susan Jaffe Tane, and M. Thomas Inge to tell the complex story of Poe's relation to the city of his birth. While it?s true that Poe fought a career-long battle against Boston-area authors, whose moralistic poems and stories sounded to him like the croaking of frogs, it?s also true that he had positive feelings about the place. He knew that his mother had found her best friends here. He discovered his first literary mentor, and published his first and last works here. Indeed, his decision to move here in 1827 and his determination to move back in the weeks before his unexpected death in 1849 suggest that he thought of Boston as a place of refuge and new beginnings".

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