Boston, come this fall, you’re going to get one awesome statue. Professional sculptor Stefanie Rocknak beat out 265 other artists from 42 states and 13 countries to create a sculpture honoring author and poet Edgar Allan Poe. A five-member artist selection committee decided on Rocknak’s stunning work that shows Poe with a suitcase in hand and a raven in front of him. Boston is the place of Poe’s birth.
“I propose to cast a life-size figure of Poe in bronze. Just off the train, the figure would be walking south towards his place of birth, where his mother and father once lived. Poe, with a trunk full of ideas–and worldwide success–is finally coming home,” said Rocknak of the design she calls Poe Returning to Boston. “His expression is complex. He is determined and his stride is decisive. His face reflects a mixture of pain, anger and sadness, and from some angles, a subtle sense of hope. As he walks towards Carver Street, he openly dismisses what is behind him with his left hand; the Frogpondians to the north. Boston is not claiming Poe, Poe is claiming Boston. To punctuate this, he leaves a literal paper trail behind him. He has not only left his mark on the world, he has left it on the city of his birth. His ideas are jumping off the page and cascading out of his trunk; a heart lies just behind him, and an oversized Raven explodes to the south. The Raven, which has become symbolic of Poe’s brooding creative spirit, visually reflects Poe; his coat mimics the raven’s wing, and, like a bird, Poe is slightly pigeon-toed. They are one, heading up-wind towards their final resting place.”
“The sense of Poe returning triumphant with creative ideas bursting forth from his suitcase is very appealing,” according to project manager Jean Mineo. “The review committee, and public input, conveyed great excitement with the dynamic sense of movement, accessible style, and Poe’s creative energy expressed in the proposal. There is also strong support for Steff’s approachable, ground level statue that helps humanize Poe and place him in the context of this active neighborhood,” Mineo said.
The eerie, ghost-like statue, which will be life-sized or approximately 5′ 8″ tall, is set to be unveiled on October 5, 2014 at 2pm, just two days before the 165th anniversary of the writer’s death. (This is the final design model in clay.) It will live at the corner of Boylston Street and Charles Street South or the place where Mayor Menino dubbed “Edgar Allan Poe Square.” This is just two blocks north of where Poe was born back in 1809.