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Flash Poetry Contest Winner

“Satis House” – Launce Reed Barber Possessor possessed by that in which he names Craving for all the treasures lonely Hoarding wares to fill his house Becoming more a coffin than a home The architect builds walls to hang his many mirrors Reflections to remind and extend To some endless imperfections end Thank the creators…

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Poe’s Cryptographic Imagination – Part I

Poe’s Cryptographic Imagination – Part I Murray Ellison | February 1, 2018 Excerpts from Murray’s VCU Master of Arts Thesis on Poe and Science © 2015. Poe continued to demonstrate an interest in unlocking mysteries and secrets in several of the essays and newspaper columns he wrote on secret codes and cryptography. These popular weekly…

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The Poe & Science Series

Was Poe Convinced that Phrenology is a Science? Murray Ellison | Jan. 8, 2018 Excerpts from Murray’s VCU Master of Arts Thesis on Poe and Science © 2015 Poe continued his interest in spectacular news stories that blurred the lines between fact and fiction in an 1836 review on this topic: “A Review of Phrenology…

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The Poe & Science Series

Poe Exposes Maelzel’s Automated Chess Player, Part II Murray Ellison | Dec. 2nd, 2017 In 1836, Poe asks readers of the Richmond-based Southern Literary Messenger to ponder the implications for the future if a machine could calculate without human input. He writes, “There is no analogy, whatever, between the operations of the chess-player and those…

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Poe Statue Takes a Ride

Poe is on the move! After nearly six decades sitting across the street from the home of Poe’s first great love and muse, Richmond’s statue of Edgar Allan Poe has been displaced to make room for some newer sculptures. This is only the latest in many twists and turns in the life of Virginia’s first…

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Edgar Allan Poe and the Culture of Mourning

From train accidents, bridge collapses, and steamboat wrecks, to diseases such as the “White Plague,” or tuberculosis, it is undeniable that the nineteenth century was a witness of tragedy and deep mourning. Although the idea of mourning and mourning culture is not exclusive to the 1800s, it is safe to say the 1800s may have…

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Poe’s Investigations of a 19th-Century Automated Chess Machine – Part I

Charles Babbage’s First Automated Chess Machine on Display in the London Science Museum Written By Murray Ellison  |  November 1st, 2017 Literary Historian, Gerald Kennedy writes, “In Poe’s writing career he worked… as a proofreader, editor, reviewer” of newspapers in Baltimore, Richmond, Philadelphia, and New York—the publishing centers of the United States” (64). These venues…

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Poe’s Early Schooling and Interest in Science

Written by Murray Ellison Poe’s early schooling and military training inspire and shape his interest in science. According to Kenneth Silverman, Poe’s secondary education started after his foster parents moved from England to Richmond. In 1821, “Edgar attended the private academy of Joseph H. Clarke,” which served to prepare young gentlemen to obtain “an honorable…

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Poe & Science with Murray Ellison

“M.S. Found in a Bottle:” A Look at Poe’s Skepticism of 19th-Century Science, Part II Murray Ellison  |  August 31, 2017 By being unobserved, the unnamed narrator of Poe’s, “M.S. Found in a Bottle” is looking at the relics of science on the ship he is standing on as an outsider. He concludes that much…

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