Cities battle to claim Poe

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The 200th birthday celebration next month for Edgar Allan Poe has resulted in a friendly tussle among major East Coast cities about which has the strongest ties to the American author.

Poe - author of "The Raven," "The Tell-Tale Heart" and other poems and tales of the macabre - was born in Boston on Jan. 19, 1809. He was raised largely in Richmond. As an adult, he migrated between Richmond, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.

Befitting his difficulty establishing roots, Poe will be feted at birthday parties in those five cities in January. Events will continue throughout the year - including new museum exhibits, performances and readings of Poe's work, academic conferences and, in Baltimore, a reenactment of his funeral that is sure to draw more mourners than the hasty burial itself.

The push to honor Poe dovetails with an escalating debate about the places that were most important to the author's life and work.

"Every city has its claim to fame with Poe," said Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe House and Museum, in Baltimore.

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