Edgar Allan Poe Programs Hosted by Ransom Center in Conjunction With Big Read, Poe Exhibition

Sept. 1, 2009

Event: The Harry Ransom Center hosts free public programs related to its exhibition "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe," which opens Sept. 8.

When: Various dates throughout September and October

Collectible cigarette card depicting Edgar Allan Poe

Collectible cigarette card depicting Edgar Allan Poe, undated.

Where: Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, 21st and Guadalupe streets, and Jessen Auditorium at The University of Texas at Austin, 21st and Whitis streets.

Background: These events are made possible by The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

All events are free and open to the public. Seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and doors open 30 minutes prior to the start of events.

Curator's Tour: "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe"
Thursday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m. at the Ransom Center
The Ransom Center's Associate Director and Hobby Foundation Librarian, Richard Oram, leads a free gallery tour of "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe." Experience the enduring influence of Poe in this exhibition about the great American poet, critic and inventor of the detective story. Commemorating the bicentennial of Poe's birth, this exhibition draws upon the holdings of the Ransom Center and the University of Virginia to explore Poe's works, his relationships and mysterious death, and his literary reputation.

"Edgar Allan Poe: Poet and Storyteller"
Thursday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m., at Jessen Auditorium in Homer Rainey Hall
Isaiah Sheffer of "Selected Shorts," heard on public radio stations across America, hosts "Edgar Allan Poe: Poet and Storyteller." The program features actors René Auberjonois and Fionnula Flanagan. They will read works by Poe, including "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," "The Black Cat," "Alone," "To Helen," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Sphinx" and "The Bells." Sheffer is co-founder and artistic director of Symphony Space and director and host of "Selected Shorts." Tony Award-winning actor Auberjonois has acted in a variety of theater productions, films and television programs, including "Benson," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "The Practice," "Judging Amy" and "Frasier." Flanagan starred as Gerty McDowell in the 1967 film version of "Ulysses" and has since appeared in numerous James Joyce-related projects and in "Chicago Hope," "Poltergeist: The Legacy," "The Others" (2001) and "Waking Ned Devine" (1998). This program will be webcast live. Actors are subject to change.

Poe Film Series: "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1928) and "La Chute de la maison Usher" (1928)
Monday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m., at the Ransom Center
The Ransom Center kicks off the Poe Film Series with two silent classics, "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1928), directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber, and a French adaptation, "La Chute de la maison Usher" (1928), directed by Jean Epstein. Based on Poe's classic short story, both films chronicle the horrors a traveler faces when he encounters the strange happenings inside the Usher mansion.

Poe Film Series: "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1960)
Monday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m., at the Ransom Center
The Poe Film Series continues with "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1960), directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price. Based on Poe's classic short story, the film chronicles the story of Philip, who visits the Usher mansion and finds his friend Roderick mysteriously ill and sister Madeline in a catatonic state. As Philip learns more about the curse in the Usher family, he's horrified to see the effects of the curse continue to escalate and take their toll.

Poetry on the Plaza: "Edgar Allan Poe"
Wednesday, Oct. 7, noon, at the Ransom Center
In conjunction with the exhibition "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe," the Ransom Center presents a Poetry on the Plaza event featuring the works of Poe. Refreshments will be served.

Poe Film Series: "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1961)
Monday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m., at the Ransom Center
The Poe Film Series continues at the Ransom Center with Roger Corman's "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1961), starring Vincent Price. Based on Poe's classic short story, "The Pit and the Pendulum" tells the tale of Francis Barnard, who travels to Spain to investigate his sister's sudden death and is unconvinced by the explanation given by her husband, the son of a notorious Spanish Inquisition torturer.

"The Tell-Tale Heart"
Thursday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m., at the Ransom Center
Lucien Douglas, professor of theatre and dance at The University of Texas at Austin, performs "The Tell-Tale Heart" and other selections from Poe. This program will be webcast live.

Poe Film Series: "The Raven" (1963)
Monday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m. at the Ransom Center
The Poe Film Series continues at the Ransom Center with Roger Corman's "The Raven" (1963), starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff. Based loosely on Poe's poem of the same name, "The Raven" tells the story of a magician who has been turned into a raven and must seek help from a former sorcerer.

Curator's Tour: "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe"
Thursday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m., at the Ransom Center
The Ransom Center's Curator of British and American Literature, Molly Schwartzburg, leads a second gallery tour of "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe."

Poe Film Series: "Spirits of the Dead (Histoires extraordinaires)"
Monday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m., at the Ransom Center
The Poe Film Series concludes as Federico Fellini, Louis Malle and Roger Vadim bring three adaptations of Poe stories to the screen in the 1968 film "Spirits of the Dead (Histoires extraordinaires)." Fellini adapts "Toby Dammit," starring Terrence Stamp as the drunken title character who travels to Rome to film a Catholic Western. Malle helms "William Wilson," starring Alain Delon as a sadistic Austrian student and Bridget Bardot as one of his victims. Vadim takes on "Metzengerstein," starring Jane Fonda as a Medieval countess and Peter Fonda as her dead lover.

High-resolution press images relating to all events are available.

For more information, contact: Alicia Dietrich, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512 232 3667;  Jennifer Tisdale, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512-471-8949.