The Persistence of Poe

On Thursday, November 7th, from 5:00-6:00pm in Reinsch Auditorium, Marymount will have the pleasure of hosting a screening of The Persistence of Poe, a documentary by Christine Stoddard, made in collaboration with co-writer/director David Fuchs. The short film is a narrative that documents the lesser-known details surrounding Edgar Allan Poe and his life in Richmond, Virginia.

Originally, Stoddard wanted the film to be experimental, but as her research evolved over the three-year lifespan of the project, the final product became “fairly straightforward because the story of Poe’s life in Richmond simply needed to be told.”

Her inspiration for The Persistence of Poe can be attributed to her studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she has several conferred credentials in English, creative writing, film, and production innovation.  While pursuing her degrees, she took full advantage of her location, visiting and actively participating in Poe Museum activities. Her idea for The Persistence of Poe was fully realized when she applied for and won a VCUarts Undergraduate Research Grant in 2009.

Regarding her favorite part of the project, from beginning to end, Stoddard says, “I loved conducting interviews and learning how Poe continues to inspire people in Richmond, Virginia’s creative community.” Because of the research and efforts surrounding this project, Stoddard reveals that she “learned a lot about the cemeteries of Richmond, Virginia” which serves as the inspiration for her current main project, a feature-length documentary entitled Richmond’s Dead and Buried.

Coupled with her feature-length cemetery project, Stoddard is finishing up Mixteco/RVA, an essay and photography book that narrates her year-long journey into understanding linguistic injustice in the Old Dominion. She was awarded another grant (The Puffin Foundation Emerging Artist Grant) for the project in 2012, and will be releasing it at the end of this year.

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