I love being from Massachusetts. The sports fans can be a little over the top, but no one can deny our local pride. Edgar Allan Poe – arguably the most influential author of the 19th century – may be commonly associated with his time spent in Baltimore, but we can’t forget that he was born in Boston, MA back in 1809.
I’ll tell you who hasn’t forgotten that fact: the folks at the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston. The nonprofit corporation was founded with the purpose of honoring Poe’s role in the cultural heritage of his birthplace and beyond. What better way to achieve this goal than by erecting a life-size statue of the author in the middle of the city?
Back in 2010, the Poe Foundation was awarded a $10,000 grant to design and install a permanent work of public art. 265 hopeful artists submitted their work before New York sculptor Stefanie Rocknak was chosen in 2012. Her piece, titled “Poe Returning to Boston,” depicts the iconic author with a raven flying out of his suitcase.
The full-size statue has been sculpted out of clay. Now it needs to be cast in bronze and installed, an undertaking that costs nearly $200,000. The Poe Foundation has done a fantastic job raising money so far, with around $15,000 left to fund the project. They are raising money in a variety of manners, including some cool bronze bobble heads. Victoria Price – daughter of the late, great Vincent Price – is also donating a percentage of each of the Raven shirts she sells to the statue.
Price isn’t the only notable figure to support the cause. “We can’t say enough how appreciative we are to Stephen and Tabitha King for their personal $5,000 donation,” Edgar Allan Poe Foundation president John LaFleur tells iHorror. “They are so generous with their foundation work, which is restricted to the state of Maine. We’re extremely grateful for their support as it triggered some wonderful PR and additional donations.”
The statue is expected to be up later this year, with the foundation aiming for the fall. It will be erected on the corner of Boylston and Charles Street – right across from Boston Common. This location was dubbed Edgar Allan Poe Square by then-mayor Thomas Menino during the bicentennial celebration of Poe’s birth in 2009.
To learn more or to make a donation, visit the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston’s website. Even if you don’t have the money to donate, you can like the foundation on Facebook. Not only will you be able to stay up-to-date on the statue’s progress, but you’ll also be considered a member of the foundation.