Edgar Allen Poe: topic of festival for poetry lovers
By Terryn Kelly
For those who find delight in food, Edgar Allen Poe and Halloween costumes, this event is the perfect match.
A Poe Fest, sponsored by the Sigma Tau Delta society will be held Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in the amphitheater on the corner of King Street and 9th.
Assistant Professor and English Department Chair Dr. Jacky Dumas has been a part of the event since he came to the university.
There is a learning factor behind the motivation for the bash.
“One of the goals of the Sigma Tau Delta society is to help promote literacy and a love of literature on campus. Although Poe’s birthday is later in the year, his style of writing fits Halloween really well. Traditionally, what we do are readings of Poe’s work, particularly The Raven, because that’s probably the most well known,” Dumas said.
There will be some changes added to the celebration.
“This year we are going to have a literary contest and an art contest for poetry and artwork that is inspired by Poe’s writing. People will submit those selections to me; the deadline for that is Wednesday 26th. The Sigma groups will … pick the top two or three in each category. We will read those at the party,” he said.
For students who like dressing up for Halloween, attending the Poe Fest should be fun.
“We will also do a costume contest to fit with the Halloween theme, and it doesn’t have to be Poe related,” Dumas said. “Just come dressed as whatever you want to be dressed as. We also do a prize for best costume. Having the Poe Fest is a different way to get a major figure in literature out there but also celebrate the season in the same fashion.”
Senior English major Lindsay Prater was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta last year.
She enjoys helping with the event and putting the final, eerie touches on the Halloween decorations in the outdoor ampitheater.
“We each come ensuring that we are spookily dressed, usually literary themed. Last year, I was the Phantom of the Opera. We decorate the amphitheater with dark décor and play spooky background music. The whole event is just a fun time to hang out in costume and be a bit of a literature nerd,” she said.
Sophomore nursing major Linda Rubio had not heard of the Poe Fest until recently.
She was surprised to learn that anyone interested in the event was welcome to attend.
Not only can attendees learn about the famous writings of Poe, but there is also the potential to meet new people with whom they may not interact on a regular basis.
She said, “When I first heard about the Poe Fest, I wondered what it was. I think it is a cool idea that the people in charge of the fest made it open to the entire campus. I have a busy schedule ahead, but if I can attend I feel I would walk away learning something new.”