2009 is upon us. Whether any government officially recognizes it or not, 2009 will be the Year of Poe. He is such an iconic figure in American literature, had his hands in so many different genres, accomplished so many milestones in writing... and, what's more, he's an American writer who is not only respected in other countries, but also adored.
I recently read someone's argument that Poe is, in essence, the first author you are forced to read in school that you are not ashamed to admit that you actually enjoy. This is probably true. No matter how much Shakespeare is tossed at you in your early years, for example, you'd never admit you like him until you develop a more sophisticated taste. Poe, on the other hand, appeals to intellectuals, to scholars, to mainstream readers, and to schoolyard boys and girls.
2009 will see celebrations of Poe and his works day in and day out (or so we hope). I'll post some important (and not-so-important) anniversaries right here on this blog as the year progresses. As the year goes on, I hope to open up many sides of this complicated man and introduce new pieces of information to even the most diehard fans.
But, to give others their due... Other bicentennial birthdays in 2009 include Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. I might mention a bit about them as the year goes on, too!