Baltimore loves Edgar Allan Poe. He appears on our beer, we named our football team after one of his works, and our city is the keeper of his Earthly remains thanks to his mysterious death on our streets.
But there are several other cities that lay claim to the writer's legacy, as The New York Times noted in 2014, when the city of Boston erected a statue of Poe and a raven. New York, Philadelphia, and Richmond also have museums or monuments dedicated to the author of classic macabre works such as "The Raven," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "Annabel Lee."
We cannot lose out on these crucial Poe tourist dollars, folks, which is why Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced today that she will declare Jan. 19, the writer's birthday, as "Edgar Allan Poe Appreciation Day" and "hereby ask that the citizens pause and take note of Poe and his contributions to world literature and support these fine institutions in their endeavor to honor Edgar Allan Poe."
A mayoral proclamation will be read on Jan. 16 at 3 p.m. at Westminster Hall & Burying Ground, the site of Poe's grave.
The Maryland Historical Society will also unveil a new Poe Toaster, because the man (or men?) who used to make annual nighttime visits to the tombstone on Poe's birthday to place a rose and some cognac ended this tradition and, well, that can't happen. Never mind that the original act was an organic appreciation and this is more like a Hollywood reboot, they're having celebrations and parties in Richmond and Philadelphia.
The show must go on, and we must win.