Dearborn celebrates launch of the Big Read

Photo by Zeinab Najm. Aiham Arpash, 8, of Dearborn focuses on coloring his Edger Allen Poe drawing as part of the Poe craft activity table during the Big Read Dearborn launch at Henry Ford Centennial Library Feb. 6.

Photo by Zeinab Najm. Aiham Arpash, 8, of Dearborn focuses on coloring his Edger Allen Poe drawing as part of the Poe craft activity table during the Big Read Dearborn launch at Henry Ford Centennial Library Feb. 6.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Families gathered at Henry Ford Centennial Library Feb. 6 to participate in the 2016 Big Read Dearborn kickoff filed with Edgar Allan Poe entertainment and actives.

Everyone in attendance was able to hear music from the Poe era, readings from Poe and create Poe-inspired crafts.

“We cannot do this without our partners and committee staff,” Library Director Maryanne Bartles said. “It was a citywide effort to make this happen for the second time.”

The city was granted its first Big Read Dearborn in 2014 where the focus was on author Jack London.

“The art of Edgar Allen Poe will continue to fascinate generation after generation,” said DFCU Financial Branch Manager Susan Harrison. “We are happy to be a sponsor and bring his work to the entire community.

Poe was a writer and editor who became known for his dark and creepy style including his famous poem “The Raven.”

“This event and project goes above the day-to-day work of the library staff,” Mayor John O’Reilly said. The creativity by everyone involved has been amazing this year.”

Attendees were spread throughout the library either enjoying music from the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, poem readings from Dearborn High School Thespian Troupe members, a performance of “The Tell-Tale Heart” or arts and crafts.

Families were able to color their choice of Poe or cat photos.

Dearborn resident Nolan Sorenson, 6, said he decided to fill in his cat with every color because he couldn’t decide on only one. Other children focused on Poe.

The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest, and is a One Book One Community program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The project aims to educate the public on the various works of Poe through events, activities movies, lectures, book discussions, crafts and re-enactments.

The project will feature 29 activities for the public through March 19 at locations throughout Dearborn.

A meet the illustrators of “Portraits of Poe” will be held Feb. 13 at Green Brain Comics, 13936 Michigan Ave., and a Poe Pub Crawl is scheduled for Feb. 24 at Dearborn Brewing, 21930 Michigan Ave.

The Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., will host a presentation on Poe’s interest in Arab and Islamic literature March. 15.

The final event on March 19 at HFCL, 16301 Michigan Ave., will give attendees the chance to meet an actor dressed as Poe.

For more information on the project or full list of events go to bigreaddearborn.org.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com)

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