Who’s That Classic Author? Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
poets.org

Hi Everyone – this post originally appeared in 2015, but I’ve spiffed it up and I’m posting it again, in case you missed it way back when!

Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) was an American writer, editor and literary critic and is mostly known for his Gothic short fiction and poetry. Much of his work incorporates suspenseful themes of horror and death. He is considered the inventor of the modern detective story and a contributor to the development of science fiction. Poe was known for writing vicious reviews and made a number of enemies because of them. He died in Baltimore under mysterious circumstances, after being discovered nearly unconscious outside a bar room.

Some quick facts:

  • Poe was the second of three children.
  • His parents were traveling actors.
  • His father abandoned the family in 1810 and his mother died when Poe was three years old.
  • He was raised by John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant, and his wife Frances Allan.
  • Allan tried to make Poe into a businessman, but Poe preferred writing poetry. Their relationship had many ups and downs.
  • In 1826, Poe enrolled at University of Virginia, but left after one term due to lack of money. Allan had sent him there with less than one third of what he needed and Poe gambled to pay his debts and burned his furniture to stay warm.
  • After leaving the university, he adopted the pseudonym “Henri Le Rennet”.
  • In 1827, he published his first book of poetry, Tamerlane.
  • That same year, at age 18, he enlisted in U.S. Army under the name “Edgar A. Perry” claiming he was 22. He served for two years, became a Sergeant Major and then tried to get out of the remaining three years by confessing his real name and situation. His commanding officer said the only way Poe could leave the army was if he reconciled with his foster father. Poe reached out to Allan for help, but Allan ignored his request. Eventually, however, Allan gave in and used his influence to get Poe into West Point.
  • In 1830, Poe entered West Point and was thrown out eight months later.
  • In 1833, he moved to Baltimore where one of his short stories, “MS. Found in a Bottle” won a contest sponsored by the Saturday Visiter.
  • In 1835, Poe became an editor for Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, where his short stories were published. His boss fired him three weeks later for being drunk on the job, but he was eventually taken back and worked there until 1837.
  • Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm in 1835. They had a happy marriage until her death in 1847, despite rumors of affairs.  Poe was devastated by her death and lived only two more years.

From left: Virginia Clemm, Rufus Griswold, Nancy Richmond

  • During this period, Poe became rivals with Rufus Griswold when Griswold took Poe’s place as editor (at a higher salary) of the publication, Graham’s Magazine. Poe had also written some biting reviews of Griswold’s work,  adding to the rivalry.
  • In 1845, “The Raven” was published and made Poe famous.
    In 1848, Poe met Nancy Richmond, the wife of a wealthy businessman. They had an intense, but platonic love affair.
  • In 1849, Poe was found nearly unconscious outside a bar room. He died three days later. An article from Smithsonian.com – “The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe” – explores different theories as to the cause of Poe’s death.  Poe was found outside a polling house for elections on an election night. Popular theories include being beaten, excessive alcohol consumption, rabies, poisoning, murder, and the practice of “cooping” (a type of voter fraud in which a man was kidnapped and disguised and forced to vote multiple times for a candidate, receiving alcohol after each vote).
  • After Poe’s death, Rufus Griswold wrote an unflattering obituary, and later, a memoir/biography about Poe in which he portrayed Poe as drunk and a womanizer. Ironically, the biography led to increased sales of Poe’s work.
  • Griswold died of tuberculosis in 1857. The only decorations in his room when he died were three portraits, one of himself, one of Poe and one of the American poet Frances Osgood, who had a complicated and intense relationship with Poe!

Here is a partial list of Poe’s short fiction and poetry

FICTION
“The Cask of Amontillado”
“The Pit and the Pendulum”
“The Purloined Letter”
“The Tell-Tale Heart”

POETRY
“Annabel Lee”
“Lenore”
“The Raven”

Thanks to the following websites for providing information about Poe:

The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe
Biography.com
Wikipedia article about Edgar Allan Poe
Wikipedia article about Rufus Griswold
The World of Edgar Allan Poe

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Frank Prem

Author name:  Frank Prem

Genre:  Free Verse Poetry/Memoir

Books:  Devil In The Wind (2019); Small Town Kid (2018)

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I’ve been a prolific free verse poet for over 40 years now. Mainly keeping my work low key and developing skills and a kind of back catalogue of completed work. I’ve started to draw on that work now as I move in to presenting myself to the public in book form.

My professional career has been as a Psychiatric Nurse, which I’ve also been doing for 40 odd years, now. In that role, I have spanned the days of the old mental asylum, which I grew up with in my town, through student nursing for three years and a range of clinical experiences at different facilities around my state (Victoria, Australia). My current plan is to have a third memoir style collection of poems focusing on my experience of psychiatry in book form by the end of 2019, or early in 2020.

I started writing way back, when I was in high school. I discovered then that my teacher was so impressed that a student had attempted poetry that I was given credit even though my essay submission was a few hundred words short of requirements. I figured there was something very ‘right’ about that, and I’ve been a poet ever since.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I’m not entirely sure that I do achieve balance in this respect. In my professional career I was always charging at my next objective as though NOW was the only possible moment in universal history to achieve it.

I am like that with my writing as well. I chase my fads with a singlemindedness that leaves other routine or mundane considerations behind.

It’s not necessarily a great trait to have and I need to constantly remind myself (or have others do it for me) to give attention to the other important things in my life that aren’t the passion of the moment.

Name one of the happiest moments in your life:  There are a few big moments across a life such as I’ve had, but the memory that comes to mind is from about 15 years ago. At the time I was courting a lady considerably younger than myself and had all the doubts that you might expect an old-ster (as I saw myself) having.

The memory is of the lady in question – a talented singer/songwriter – turning up to one of our earliest get togethers bearing a cassette tape, on which she had taped herself playing and singing a song that she’d created from one of my poems.

That was a very big moment.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  I am a ‘pantser,’ in every respect.

Why plan, when you can write? Why trouble to create a story arc and plot, when the next thing you write is the next thing in the sequence?

Creatively delightful, but tricky as I’ve had to transmogrify myself from simple writer into author, editor, publisher and self-publicist.

Very tricky.

Can or could you write in a café with people around?  Yes I can.

The likelihood is that the people in the café will become the subjects that I write about.

In all seriousness, I find I can tune out most distractions when I have something to write, and on occasion, at least, the atmosphere in a busy café is positively stimulating.

Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it?  I have indeed, and have even had the privilege of being published in another country (that being the USA) with a poem using that ‘voice.’

My family was originally from Croatia in what was then Yugoslavia. I grew up with the Croatian language all around me and for a period in my writing evolution I wrote in pidgin language that is half Australian English and half Croatian.

This may sound a little arty-odd, but when I’m writing I have made it my practice to allow the idea I’m pursuing or the image I am contemplating to find its own voice and tell its own story. My job is to steer it so that it remains coherent and meaningful for a reader. In the case of the Croatian voice, I had enough familiarity with the idiom and vernacular and with the way this particular migrant population was likely to think to be able to shape poems in a reasonably accurate representation.

Quite a task, and not always successful, but completely unique when it worked.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  For a favorite book, I draw on my ‘go to’ library here at home, which includes Tolkien, Le Guin, Robin Hobb, and Mathew Reilly, to name a few.

I’m currently re-reading a Mather Reilly book – Ice Station, but I’d probably have to nominate Tolkien and Lord of the Rings as my favorite because of the inspiration and pleasure they have given me over the journey.

What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader?  Paperback, for me. Hard cover is fine, too, but I really struggle with the electronic book forms. I think it may be because I sweat over the keyboard for as much as 12 hours a day, and the idea of reading for pleasure electronically just doesn’t feel right.

Do you think print books will always be around?  I’m a print book guy who is only now discovering electronic forms with any purpose, so I say yes.

If you ask me in a few years’ time, when I’m perhaps scratching a living out an e-book readership, I may give a different response.

Would you ever read a book on your phone?  Yes. I do that now, when I need to, and reluctantly. I don’t own an e-reader.

What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else?  I have an Android device. The first I have owned and I fell in love with its picture taking capacities long before I began using it as a phone.

I have begun to make something of an art out of writing to the image and letting the image communicate its own story without too much control from myself. The Android device has been quite material in allowing me to develop a new capacity within my writing skillset.

How long could you go without checking your phone?  I check it frequently. Not for the phone, but for the email and the social media that I might be working with. Looking for responses to my latest posting of a poem on my blog.

I’ve become a bit of a junkie in that respect.

Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening?  I have listened to audio books when traveling. Usually something from The Great Course range of educational materials, rather than novels.

I am very interested in perhaps creating my own audio books in future and have done a number of amateur audio recordings and podcasts and radio interviews, all of which are accessible from my Author page on the web.

I enjoy reading to live audiences very much.

Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform?  The only reason I use Social media is to pursue connections regarding writing and publishing and promotion of my work. It is a critical element in the pursuit of free publicity and promotion of new works.

The tricky bit is how to make contact with an audience that isn’t myself in disguise i.e. another author, pursuing the same goals and objectives that I am (only maybe better and smarter than me).

What I enjoy most is contact with genuine readers who might be curious about what I’ve done, why and how and so on.

That, I enjoy very much.

Website and social media links:
Website: frankprem.com
Daily Poetry Blog: frankprem.wordpress.com
Facebook: FrankPrem11 and @frankprem2
Twitter: @frank_prem

Awards/special recognition:  No Awards for a number of years – I stopped seeking them a long time back. Book reviews at Goodreads are worth a look, though. Try these: Small Town Kid and Devil In The Wind.


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? H. W. Bryce

Author Name: H. W. Bryce

Genre:  Poetry

Book:  Chasing a Butterfly: A journey in poems of love and loss to acceptance

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I wrote a Roy Rogers story in Grade 7, and I have been writing off and on since then. While at university, I wrote lyrics and posted them to song magazines. Over the years I entered poetry and story contests.

But the impetus for my current writing was when my wife contracted Alzheimer’s, and I was sinking deep into depression. It was poetry that saved me.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I reserve my mornings for my writing. The afternoon is often taken up with business; sometimes appointments, etc. For the most part, this works very well.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  Both. Often, once I get started, I just forge on. Sometimes a poem will practically form itself and come fairly easily.

Sometimes the poem fights me, and I have to “resort” to planning. Occasionally I try to plan it out first – especially when doing formal poetry with a set rhyme and line scheme.

What’s your working style – morning or late-night writer?  As noted, morning person.

Do you work at a computer or write long-hand?  Mostly I work on my laptop, but I keep a notebook and pen in my pocket at all times. Many, many of my notes become poems.

What gets those words flowing, coffee or tea?  The coffee and tea often serve as thinking time as I write.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  A top fave is still any Philip Marlowe book. The Little Sister movie WAS the book, it followed it so closely. Humphrey Bogart, top of my fave actors.  Storytelling at its best.

I have been reviewing Keats and Tennyson lately, and reading a whole lot of local area poets, many of whom are really good – two of them are laureates, one of them retired.

What shows do you watch?  I watch a lot of British and American mysteries; some nature programs, travel documentaries. I love human interest movies.

Favorite movie:  Probably Casablanca. It has everything, including love lost and found and lost and accepted.

Favorite musician:  Dave Brubeck; also, the Gershwins

Links:
Website: hwbrycewrites.com
Facebook: herb.w.bryce and @ChasingaButterflywithAnn

Awards/special recognition:  I have several certificates of honour for my poetry, a number of poetry competition wins, etc., such as invitations from abroad to appear in their anthologies.


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Classic Author? Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
poets.org

Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) was an American writer, editor and literary critic and is mostly known for his Gothic short fiction and poetry. Much of his work incorporates suspenseful themes of horror and death. He is considered the inventor of the modern detective story and a contributor to the development of science fiction. Poe was known for writing vicious reviews and made a number of enemies because of them. He died in Baltimore under mysterious circumstances, after being discovered nearly unconscious outside a bar room.

Some quick facts:

  • Poe was the second of three children.
  • His parents were traveling actors.
  • His father abandoned the family in 1810 and his mother died when Poe was three years old.
  • He was raised by John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant, and his wife Frances Allan.
  • Allan tried to make Poe into a businessman, but Poe preferred writing poetry. Their relationship had many ups and downs.
  • In 1826, Poe enrolled at University of Virginia, but left after one term due to lack of money. Allan had sent him there with less than one third of what he needed and Poe gambled to pay his debts and burned his furniture to stay warm.
  • After leaving the university, he adopted the pseudonym “Henri Le Rennet”.
  • In 1827, he published his first book of poetry, Tamerlane.
  • That same year, at age 18, he enlisted in U.S. Army under the name “Edgar A. Perry” claiming he was 22. He served for two years, became a Sergeant Major and then tried to get out of the remaining three years by confessing his real name and situation. His commanding officer said the only way Poe could leave the army was if he reconciled with his foster father. Poe reached out to Allan for help, but Allan ignored his request. Eventually, however, Allan gave in and used his influence to get Poe into West Point.
  • In 1830, Poe entered West Point and was thrown out eight months later.
  • In 1833, he moved to Baltimore where one of his short stories, “MS. Found in a Bottle” won a contest sponsored by the Saturday Visiter.
  • In 1835, Poe became an editor for Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, where his short stories were published. His boss fired him three weeks later for being drunk on the job, but he was eventually taken back and worked there until 1837.
  • Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm in 1835. They had a happy marriage until her death in 1847, despite rumors of affairs.  Poe was devastated by her death and lived only two more years.

From left: Virginia Clemm, Rufus Griswold, Nancy Richmond

  • During this period, Poe became rivals with Rufus Griswold when Griswold took Poe’s place as editor (at a higher salary) of the publication, Graham’s Magazine. Poe had also written some biting reviews of Griswold’s work,  adding to the rivalry.
  • In 1845, “The Raven” was published and made Poe famous.
    In 1848, Poe met Nancy Richmond, the wife of a wealthy businessman. They had an intense, but platonic love affair.
  • In 1849, Poe was found nearly unconscious outside a bar room. He died three days later. An article from Smithsonian.com – “The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe” – explores different theories as to the cause of Poe’s death.  Poe was found outside a polling house for elections on an election night. Popular theories include being beaten, excessive alcohol consumption, rabies, poisoning, murder, and the practice of “cooping” (a type of voter fraud in which a man was kidnapped and disguised and forced to vote multiple times for a candidate, receiving alcohol after each vote).
  • After Poe’s death, Rufus Griswold wrote an unflattering obituary, and later, a memoir/biography about Poe in which he portrayed Poe as drunk and a womanizer. Ironically, the biography led to increased sales of Poe’s work.
  • Griswold died of tuberculosis in 1857. The only decorations in his room when he died were three portraits, one of himself, one of Poe and one of the American poet Frances Osgood, who had a complicated and intense relationship with Poe!

Here is a partial list of Poe’s short fiction and poetry

FICTION
“The Cask of Amontillado”
“The Pit and the Pendulum”
“The Purloined Letter”
“The Tell-Tale Heart”

POETRY
“Annabel Lee”
“Lenore”
“The Raven”

Thanks to the following websites for providing information about Poe:

The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe
Biography.com
Wikipedia article about Edgar Allan Poe
Wikipedia article about Rufus Griswold
The World of Edgar Allan Poe

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

A love poem by Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Bronte pic2
Charlotte Bronte
She didn’t just write novels!

Since I’m still reading Jane Eyre, I thought I would post a love poem by Charlotte Brontë.  I was never much of a poetry person in college, but lately I’ve come to appreciate poetry and its economy of words.  I especially enjoyed reading this and hope you do too!

Winter Stores
by Charlotte Brontë

WE take from life one little share,
And say that this shall be
A space, redeemed from toil and care,
From tears and sadness free.
And, haply, Death unstrings his bow
And Sorrow stands apart,
And, for a little while, we know
The sunshine of the heart.
Existence seems a summer eve,
Warm, soft, and full of peace;
Our free, unfettered feelings give
The soul its full release.
A moment, then, it takes the power,
To call up thoughts that throw
Around that charmed and hallowed hour,
This life’s divinest glow.
But Time, though viewlessly it flies,
And slowly, will not stay;
Alike, through clear and clouded skies,
It cleaves its silent way.
Alike the bitter cup of grief,
Alike the draught of bliss,
Its progress leaves but moment brief
For baffled lips to kiss.
The sparkling draught is dried away,
The hour of rest is gone,
And urgent voices, round us, say,
‘ Ho, lingerer, hasten on !’
And has the soul, then, only gained,
From this brief time of ease,
A moment’s rest, when overstrained,
One hurried glimpse of peace ?
No; while the sun shone kindly o’er us,
And flowers bloomed round our feet,­
While many a bud of joy before us
Unclosed its petals sweet,­
An unseen work within was plying;
Like honey-seeking bee,
From flower to flower, unwearied, flying,
Laboured one faculty,­
Thoughtful for Winter’s future sorrow,
Its gloom and scarcity;
Prescient to-day, of want to-morrow,
Toiled quiet Memory.
‘Tis she that from each transient pleasure
Extracts a lasting good;
‘Tis she that finds, in summer, treasure
To serve for winter’s food.
And when Youth’s summer day is vanished,
And Age brings Winter’s stress,
Her stores, with hoarded sweets replenished,
Life’s evening hours will bless.

I found this poem on:  http://www.e-lovepoems.com/poem/winter-stores.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Winter storm watch

power outage pic

The house is nice and toasty,
Our fridge is working great,
I’m blogging on the internet,
And here I sit and wait.

The sky is looking cloudy,
The temp outside is cold,
We’re getting yet another storm,
This winter’s getting old.

My kids know how it goes now,
When snow clouds march our way,
The homework books and papers,
Will wait another day.

Expect to lose your power,
Says my accu-weather app,
I’m finished with this arctic clime,
I think I’m going to snap!

But tonight we’ll plug in chargers,
I have some books to read,
I hit the store this afternoon,
I guess that’s all we need!

Snow Day Alert

Snow Day Alert

The call came in at 5:00 am,
I’ve answered quite a few,
It’s been a snowy winter,
I knew just what to do.

When I was once a girl in school,
We heard a different way,
A loud horn told our sleepy town,
There’d be no school that day.

Now I get an email,
And then an auto-call,
It’s posted on the website too,
The message goes to all.

And when I get that message,
My kids know what comes next.
I don’t go door-to-door upstairs.
I tell them with a text!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Snow Days

Snow Days

Image: Pixabay

The temp outside is zero,
The kids are home some more,
I think they went to school last week,
I need stuff at the store.

We’ve had lots of family bonding,
A tad too much by rule,
I’m glad the plows worked through the night,
Tomorrow, I think…school!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!