As a reader, I sincerely and thoroughly enjoyed the event. Not only was I exposed to a genre I was unfamiliar with, I was able to be a part of a reading community which appreciates literature just as much as I do. The event was one for adults, which I worried would be irrelevant to me as a high school teacher; however, it was just the opposite. Surprisingly, I heard some biographical information about Poe's life along with his works. I felt invigorated as a reader, to continue to learn more about Poe, but also to learn more about writers and stories in that genre. I have always loved horror movies but never explored the genre in literature; this event has sparked my interest in reading scary stories. I also appreciated the event in its medium. I have never been to anything like it before. Listening to literature aloud was a refreshing experience and truly gave the stories a more sincere meaning. The authenticity of the event spoke to me on a personal level, and I intend to continue attending similar events.
As a teacher, the event not only provided an experience with the author Edgar Allen Poe, but it inspired an event I may want to see in my own classroom one day. Poe is a huge component of any American Literature class, and hearing his stories and poems read aloud - especially "The Tell-Tale Heart" - convinced me this is the only way for these stories to be presented. I would love to have someone like the readers from the event come into my classroom and read a Poe story aloud to my students, to show them a different experience with literature and provide something new to them. I could also read it aloud to them myself, if I practiced! Another idea I thought of was to have an event like this in my classroom as a sort of final project or end of the year celebration. Each student could read aloud a story, and not just by Poe; I could expand this idea across all genres, perhaps a themed event or perhaps not. My students could read stories, poems, or excerpts they loved from the class, any literature they found that they feel inclined to share, or any of their own original writing. I could make a whole day (or evening!) of it - provide refreshments, decorations, lighting, staging, invite parents and friends if it was after school. This concept is still in its baby stages, but I am truly inspired by the event to flesh something like this out in my own classroom.