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Wednesday
Jan142009

Resolved: Poe is a Philadelphia Writer

The Great Poe Debate last night at the Free Library of Philadelphia was a resounding success.  Philly easily won the trophy as the city that best represents the Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe.  'Course, homefield advantage may have helped.  But hear it for yourself by listening to the podcast at the Library's website.

Once I download our pictures of the event, I'll post them here.  I wore a boxing-style robe, white with black trim and Philly Poe Guyemblazoned on the back over an image of Poe, that my wife made for me.  I also brandished a shovel, which rested on the table like a threat in front of the debaters for the rest of the evening.  All the participants made a grand entrance with musical accompaniment up the aisle to the stage.  The moderator, Grover Silcox, was funny.  Poe himself made an appearance and recited from his poem, "The Bells."  Various journalists (TV, radio and print) swarmed us before and after the event for quotes and pictures. 

All in all, a spectacular event.  But give it a listen for yourself.  I hope to take this Debate on the road, as well.  I'd love to debate in Boston and Baltimore.  And in New York and Richmond if they have the courage to challenge me.  Kudos to Boston's Paul Lewis and Baltimore's Jeff Jerome for not being afraid to enter the ring. 

At the end of the night, Jeff Jerome presented me with a summons to appear in a Baltimore court to answer charges of libel and slander.  This will be an actual event.  In March or April, Jerome and I will square off in a real Baltimore courtroom with a real judge and defense lawyers, to argue the merits of our respective cities.  I'll let you know when we set the date.   Still waiting for the other cities to step up. 

Thank you to everyone who made this event a success, especially my wife, Kate, and Andy Kahan and everyone at the Library.  Thanks to Helen McKenna-Uff, Park Ranger at the Philly Poe House and a great Poe impersonator.  Thanks to my entourage who accompanied me to the stage: Jon McGoran, Greg Frost, Don Lafferty and Bob Hartner.  Thanks to those who traveled from other cities to attend, like Rob Velella and John Lewis.  And thanks to all the Philly Poe Fanatics who made the evening so much fun. 

On to the next Bicentennial celebration!

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Reader Comments (3)

Thanks for the invitation - it was a unique event and with any luck it drove up some serious interest in Poe and his 200th.

Next time, get representation from Westford, Massachusetts, which apparently also claims Poe as their own. I'll tell you why next time I see you if you're interested.
January 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob V
This "debate" was rigged. You can read my post below but this is far from being over.

When this debate goes to another city Ed will be without his goon squad, big burly bullies who intiminated people to cheer for Ed.

Grover the "unbiased" moderater threw softball questions at Ed and lobbed questions at Paul and myself that even the most astute Poe scholar would have trouble answering.

You can bask in the glory of this "win" Ed but enjoy it while you can.
January 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
I can understand Jeff being a little annoyed because, not only did Philly win, Boston came in second. Baltimore could only muster a last place finish?

Hey B'more: I'm ready to take the body now.
January 16, 2009 | Registered CommenterEd Pettit

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