Poe on Sullivan’s Island

On a chilly autumn day in the year of the new millennium, I head my car out of Charleston, South Carolina up the coast, across the river and marshes to Sullivan’s Island, now a settled community of mostly year round residents. Meandering, I could turn left onto Gold Bug Avenue, or Raven Drive, or turn right onto Poe Avenue, names commemorating a writer’s stay on this little sea island.

Scholar, Athlete, and Artist: Edgar Allan Poe At University of Virginia

In 1826, Edgar Allan Poe attended the University of Virginia to receive the liberal education promised to him by his foster father, John Allan. Almost 200 years later, I visited Charlottesville in search of background ambiance for a novel I was writing about Poe’s stint as a college student. Although Poe had only turned 17 just three weeks before his arrival, John Allan’s influence with the school’s administrators cleared the way for his charge’s early admission.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Richmond

The Poe Shrine is an open brick shelter, constructed of materials salvaged from the Southern Literary Messenger building where Poe worked as an editor. A bust of the poet looks out on an island of green grass, a two-tiered fountain, and a stone planter overflowing with begonias.

Poe’s Philadelphia Experience

By the scene is a vacant old house in the center of a bustling city. A cold chill follows you in before you can even shut the heavy door. There are no furnishings, only a barren fireplace of cold brick. The ambiance gives off the feeling of ice. The paint is desperately trying to peel completely away from the wall, and the bare wooden floors creek beneath your feet.