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  • Poe Studies Association Updates

From John Gruesser, PSA President

At one of the PSA sessions held at the American Literature Association Conference in Boston in late May 2013, Ben Fisher was presented with the 2010 Patrick Quinn Award for Poe in His Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of His Life Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates, published by the University of Iowa Press. At this time it was also announced that Benita Rhoads had won the 2009 James Gargano Award for her Poe Studies article “Poe’s Genre Crossing: From Domesticity to Detection,” and that Brett Zimmerman had won the 2010 Gargano Award for his essay “Phrenological Allegory in Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher,’” which appeared in Mosaic.

Several members of the PSA took part in the Positively Poe Conference held at the University of Virginia in late June 2013. Organized by Harry Lee Poe and Alexandra Urakova, the conference featured an opening dinner held in the Rotunda Room at the university and a picnic in the Ragged Mountains above Charlottesville. Ben Fisher delivered the keynote address and Rob Velella performed short works by Poe at the dinner, and a read-through of Susan Elizabeth Sweeney’s dramatic work-in-progress about Poe and Sarah Helen Whitman took place during the picnic. Another highlight of the conference was a session in which Susan Tane and Harry Lee Poe shared their experiences collecting materials by and related to Poe.

Two collections of essays from International Poe Conferences were published in 2013. Poe Writing/Writing Poe, comprising essays from the 1999 International Poe Conference edited by Richard Kopley and Jana Argersinger, was published by AMS in the spring. Deciphering Poe: Subtexts, Contexts, Subversive Meanings, a second collection of articles from the 2009 International Poe Conference, edited by Alexandra Urakova, was published by Lehigh University Press in late summer.

On October 6, 2013, Shawn Miller of Francis Marion University presented the 91st Commemorative Edgar Allan Poe Lecture, titled “And Discoveries Still Farther South: Arthur Gordon Pym and Nascent Literary Southernness,” in the E. A. Poe Room of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Plans are in the works for an International Poe Conference to be held in New York City in 2015. Former PSA President Richard Kopley and Edgar Allan Poe Review editor Barbara Cantalupo are organizing this event. More details to follow. [End Page 244]

From Paul Lewis, PSA Vice President

The effort to install a permanent work of art honoring Poe in Boston has made significant strides in recent months. These include approval of both the design of Stefanie Rocknak’s statue Poe Returning to Boston by the Boston Art Commission and the installation plan by the city’s Public Improvement Commission. With the recently announced grant of $75,000 by the Browne Trust Fund, the Poe Foundation of Boston has now raised about $150,000, which is 75 percent of what is needed to fabricate and install the statue. How soon the rest of the required funds are raised will determine when installation will occur. For more information or to make a donation, visit the foundation’s website at or Facebook page at

Updates from the Members-at-Large

From Amy C. Branam and Philip Edward Phillips, PSA Executive Board Members-at-Large

The Poe Studies Association sponsored two sessions at the American Literature Association Conference held at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 23–26, 2013.

The first session, “Irish Poe,” chaired by John Gruesser (Kean University), featured two papers:

  1. 1. “Irish Mouths, English Tea(pot)s, French Eyes: Poe’s Irish Oral(ident)ity,” Aaron Matthew Percich, West Virginia University)

  2. 2. “‘The Irish Gentleman’: Poe and Irish Identity,” Amy C. Branam, Frostburg State University

The second session, chaired by Philip Edward Phillips, “Poe and Place,” featured two papers:

  1. 1. “The Ocean and the Urban: The Horrors of Space and Impossible Knowledge in Poe’s ‘The Oblong Box’ and Detective Fiction,” Tyler Roeger, Pennsylvania State University

  2. 2. “No Place Like Home: Teaching Poe’s Removals,” Scott Peeples, College of Charleston

In addition, PSA President John Gruesser presented the...


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