“Remembering Poe.” Sarah Helen Whitman Comes to the Betsey Williams Cottage

From the North Burial Ground Facebook page:

Celebrate National Poetry Month this April with North Burial Ground and the Roger Williams Park Museum of Natural History & Planetarium at the Betsey Williams Cottage! We are hosting a special afternoon performance of “Remembering Poe.” Join us on April 8th at 2pm in the Betsey Williams Cottage at Roger Williams Park.

Meet Sarah Helen Whitman, a descendant of one of the first families of Providence, as she courageously takes on the daunting challenge of defending the reputation of her one-time fiancée: Edgar Allan Poe. Like Poe, Whitman was an extremely intelligent poet and critic. Hear her recall in her own words what it was like to be courted by “The Raven” and her heroic efforts to counteract the libelous Poe biographer Rufus Griswold.

Whitman is performed by actress Helen McKenna, who retired from the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site. Collaborating with McKenna to help provide context will be up and coming Providence Whitman scholar Levi Lionel Leland.

NBG regulars will know that Sarah Helen Whitman is one of our favorite “residents” of the cemetery. We are so excited to be able to bring you this performance and chance to encounter Whitman in a new way. We are hosting the event in partnership with our friends at the RWP Museum of Natural History and Planetarium in the Betsey Williams Cottage at Roger Williams Park (we said it twice, so you all note that this isn’t at NBG). Sarah Helen Whitman and Betsey Williams were contemporaries, and while we don’t know for sure that Whitman ever visited Williams at the cottage, we are excited to present this program to you in an amazing historic space where Whitman would have felt right at home.

This program is free, but an RSVP is required as space is limited. To RSVP, please email northburialground@providenceri.gov by April 4th to reserve your space.

Hope to see you there!

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