An exhibition that will open on December 17th at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, aims to change the way Bostonians think about their city’s connection to the most influential writer ever born here. Drawing on letters by and to Poe, on first editions of the reviews he wrote and of the books he reviewed, and on records of his time here, it will challenge the view that Boston was of little importance in Poe’s life and work.
While it’s true that Poe engaged in a career-long argument with Boston writers and editors, whose didactic poems and stories sounded to him like the croaking of frogs, it’s also true that he had positive feelings about the area. It was, after all, the place his mother Eliza urged him to “ever love,” where he found his first mentor, and published his first and last works. His decision to move here after dropping out of the University of Virginia in 1827 and his determination to move back to the area in the weeks before his unexpected death in 1849 support the conclusion that Poe thought of Boston as a place of refuge and new beginnings.
The exhibition is curated by Paul Lewis, Professor of English at Boston College, with the assistance of Dan Currie (associate curator), Megan Grandmont, Katherine Kim, Sarah Poulette, & Rob Velella. The exhibition takes place December 17, 2009-March 31, 2010 at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square, McKim Building, Cheverus Room.
The opening is December 17, 2009, 6p.m. in the Cheverus Room with the “Great Poe Debate” at 7p.m. in the Rabb Lecture Hall, Johnson Building that same evening.
Image credit: Created by Kerry Burke, Media Technology Services, Boston College