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The Raven Returns

edgar allan poe bicentennial celebration

O'Neill Library is pleased to present the "The Raven Returns", an exhibit from the English Department celebrating the bicentenary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth. The exhibit's principal theme is that it is now high time for Boston to make up for the woeful neglect that it has shown to one of its most famous writers over the years.


Intro | Poe & Boston: 1809-1849 | The Lyceum Fiasco | Lowell & Poe | They Love Poe | Poe & Boston: 2009

In the January 1809 issue of the Monthly Anthology and Boston Review, published within days of Edgar Allan Poe's birth, the editors lamented the state of American literature, characterizing it as "coarse, insipid fare" and noting the absence of hard-working writers. Over the next forty years, no one did more than Poe to add spice to what could be written and imagined. And yet for two centuries Boston has largely ignored its connection to Poe, even though he was born here—not in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, or Transylvania—on January 19, 1809.

For this reason and because 164 years is long enough to hold a grudge, the Boston College Edgar Allan Poe Bicentennial Committee declares that it is now time:

- to seize this once-in-a-century opportunity to celebrate Boston's most influential writer;

- for Mayor Thomas M. Menino to declare January 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Month in Boston and for Governor Deval Patrick to declare January 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Month in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;

- for the city to make sure that its commemorative plaque is hanging in the right place;

- to put a statue of Poe on the Common;

- to add at least one raven to those swan boats!

- and, while we're thinking about the Common, to include a statue of Nevermore along with Jack, Mack, Nack, Lack, etc. and change the name of the Robert McCloskey classic to... Make Way for Ducklings and the Raven!


At BC, we intend to start a wave of Poe appreciation and have heaps of fun in the process! Be sure to check out the events to celebrate this bicentennial.

"The Raven Returns" will be on display in the lobby of O'Neill Library until January 26, 2009. Follow the links on the top of this page to enjoy some highlights of the exhibit.

Further information: Paul Lewis or Katherine Kim.