Charles Cantalupo, Distinguished Professor of English, comparative literature and African studies, spent years traveling to and researching the cities where one of America’s all-time greatest writers, Edgar Allan Poe, lived throughout his life.
Writing about each of these cities – including Baltimore, the Bronx, Philadelphia and Richmond – Cantalupo juxtaposes how they appeared in Poe’s time and now. The poems also closely focus on any evidence of Poe that still remains in each place, including excerpts from his writing when he lived there.
Richmond, Virginia, was Poe’s hometown and is now home to the Museum of Edgar Allan Poe. On June 4, as a culmination of Cantalupo’s research and writings, he performed for the first time the entire sequence of his poems on where Poe lived, called “Poe in Place.” The fifth and concluding poem in the series, “Poe in Richmond,” marked Cantalupo’s second visit to the Poe Museum: the first time being when he did research there for the poem last year.
Enthusiasm and appreciation for Poe is not limited to a single member of the Cantalupo family. Charles attributes his strong interest in Poe to his wife, Barbara Cantalupo, professor of English at Penn State Lehigh Valley. She is the editor of The Edgar Allan Poe Review and author of the book “Poe and the Visual Arts.” She also delivered a successful presentation on the same day: invited by the Virginia Historical Society under the auspices of the Banner Lecture Series to give a talk called “The Poe You May Not Know.” Her lecture focused on Poe’s self-declared and lifelong worship of beauty and particularly on his extensive writing about the visual arts.