Saturday, February 24, 2024

Local literary historian Rob Velella portrays Edgar Allan Poe, including at a Saturday event planned for Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Halloween bliss is here: Access to Mount Auburn Cemetery’s breathtaking Bigelow Chapel to hear Edgar Allan Poe’s candid thoughts and classic works, including his “To Helen” in aria form by classical-meets-pop composer Mary Bichner.

Of course, it won’t be Poe himself reading his works and talking about the dead friends around Mount Auburn or his contentious relationship with Boston. He’ll be portrayed by local literary historian Rob Velella for the second year of historic cemetery tours as the author of everything from the horror of “The Tell-Tale Heart” to the seminal mystery of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” to the poetry of “Annabel Lee” and, of course, “To Helen.”

It’s a chance to learn more about why Poe excoriated the city of his birth and the literary Athens of America as a bunch of “Frogpondians” enforcing “the heresy of the didactic,” but also to hear some of the most haunting texts in U.S. literature amid one of the country’s most beautiful burial grounds.

The family-friendly talk, readings, musical accompaniment and question-and-answer period begin at 6 p.m. Saturday (doors open a half-hour earlier) at the cemetery chapel, 580 Mount Auburn St. Tickets are $10 for members of the Friends of Mount Auburn or $15 for nonmembers, and can be bought via the Mount Auburn website.

For information, send e-mail to [email protected] or visit the event Web page.

This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.