Why Should We Preserve Poe’s Baltimore House?
The city of Baltimore was forced by budget constraints to eliminate funding for the Baltimore Poe House and Museum. The house is a National Landmark. Although it’s landmark status will prevent redevelopment or demolition, the funding paid for maintenance and to keep the museum open for visitors. Without the funds, it’s just a house with locked doors.
Why is this place special? Poe’s museum in Richmond Virginia is far more famous and is located in a nicer neighborhood. Why should we care about the house in Baltimore? It’s a fair question, and there are great answers.
The house in Baltimore is where Poe made his first forays into writing. He wrote the critical short story MS. Found in a Bottle at this location, winning a contest by the Baltimore Sunday Visitor before appearing in its pages in 1833. Kenneth Silverman, in his biography Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance (published by Harper Perenniel in 1991) indicates that the story influenced further ocean tragedy tales, most notably Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Joseph Conrad lauded its value, and many critics point to it as the story that launched Poe’s career as a writer. Poe also wrote a great many poems and literary essays in this location.
Literary Landmark Press is putting together an anthology, the proceeds of which will go to the museum for its ongoing operation. It’s one of the most rewarding literary endeavors I’ve had the privilege to undertake. We’ve already received a number of great stories, and one of the foremost experts in the study of Edgar Allan Poe will be writing our introduction. We’ve set very aggressive goals. We’d like to sell ten thousand books. That will allow us to present the museum with an entire year’s budget.
Nearly every genre of fiction and literary study owes a tremendous debt to Poe. Here’s how you can help repay that debt. Go to literarylandmarkpress.blogspot.com and preorder an anthology for early November delivery. Heck, buy two or three. You can also choose to buy some for the Museum. That way, it gets the $8 or $9 from the first sale and then can resell the book to its patrons. We’d really like to see one thousand books presold before the expected release on or about Halloween. We’ve even been fortunate to get some help from a great company who’s arranging for us to have several e-readers to give away with some kind of a drawing among the folks who preorder. Details on that are coming.
Once you’ve pre-ordered a copy, consider sending us a story or a poem to review. Submissions will remain open until the end of September, and we’d love to see what you’ve got.
Once again you can find out more about the Poe House Anthology at: