Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on Jan. 19, 1809, though he and his parents soon left town. In later years, Poe expressed disdain for Boston and its literary tradition. Putting all that aside, Boston College is celebrating the bicentennial of his birth. On Jan. 15, Matthew Pearl, author of “The Poe Shadow,” a historical novel, and Poe scholar Scott Peebles will give talks, followed by student performances of Poe-inspired creative works. On Jan. 16, the new independent film “Poe: The Last Days of the Raven” will be screened, followed by a Q&A session with Brent Fidler, its creator. Both evenings begin at 7:30 in Devlin Hall.
Also on Jan. 16, the US Postal Service will issue a commemorative Poe stamp. Publishers are taking note of the Poe bicentennial as well. Mystery Writers of America has collaborated on new anthologies: “On a Raven’s Wing: New Tales in Honor of Edgar Allan Poe” (Harper) and “In the Shadow of the Master” (Morrow), a collection of Poe stories and essays about his legacy. And Peter Ackroyd has a new biography in his Brief Lives series, “Poe: A Life Cut Short” (Doubleday).