Edgar Allen Poe & Joyce Kilmer

While I was at the Bouchercon, I took part in a panel on Poe with John Lutz and Peter Lovesey, who share my interest in him and had both done a fair amount of background reading on him.  Sue Grafton, also on the panel, along with Michael Connelly, read a contemporary obituary of Poe by a man named Griswold, who didn’t like Poe, and who started the rumor that Poe was an opium addict.  Poe was a heavy drinker, but there’s no evidence that he abused drugs.  John Lutz said that a number of scholars now think Poe may have been bi-polar, and that he drank to medicate himself.  (Poe himself talked about suffering from “the Midnight Disease,” which was the phrase he used to describe his manic hypergraphia.) John added that we only have Poe’s writings from his depressive state.  He wondered what kind of work Poe would have written if he’d tackled something like “Trees.” This inspired me to scribble a few lines which I read to the audience.  A number of people asked for a copy, so here it is:

I think that I shall never see

Murder committed by a tree

Unless a woodsman takes an ax

And gives that sucker 40 whacks

While some poor fool–perhaps it’s me–

Walks beneath that falling tree.

  • Shirley Harrison

    What was your best stop on the tour–so far? Why?

  • Oh my gosh. You and two of my other favourite authors together in a room? Who else was there? No, wait, don’t tell me…. I’m already green with envy!
    And I love your murder tree poem. Reminded me of a story I read once somewhere…. can’t remember where… about trees walking….
    *stumbles away, muttering to herself “where the heck did I read that?”*

  • Bag Lady, shall we start saving up for the next Bouchercon? I think it’s San Francisco. Or does ten years from now sound more realistic?

  • Bookwitch – I might actually be able to afford to go somewhere in ten years…. if I start saving now! Of course, it would also be dependent upon whether I live that long, too…… 🙂

  • My best stop on the tour–there were a lot of good ones. I did enjoy Milwaukee, because the store let me bring my dog into the reading! It was fun to be in DC, to see so many old friends and to get the private tour of the White House. Seattle, the events were great and I got to hang out with my beloved niece who’s a doctor there. I guess my favorite spots all had to do with friends or family or dogs being present!
    BookWitch–it’s time for the B’Con to return to the UK–submit a bid for 2012 and we’ll all flock to your doorstep.

  • Well, we do have the Bristol CrimeFest, which would be a lot more complete with you there.

  • Shirley Harrison

    Was the POTUS or FLOTUS at the White House when you took the private tour?

    I like the store that let you bring your dog. What’s a book event without a dog?

  • genny from jersey

    Welcome home! Hope you’ve been able to catch up on “NCIS”.

    I would say that DC/MD was my favorite stop on your tour—since we were there!

    Getting lots of attention whenever I wear the “V I is back” T-shirt.

    I’m listening to the audio book for “Hardball” while doing cardio at the gym—so my signed copy of the book is safely put away in the bookcase.

  • Here is a nice blog post about Bouchercon, with several mentions of you, Sara. (Didn’t know you were that old! You don’t look it.)



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