The Big Read

WEEK 1 ~ WEEK 2 ~ WEEK 3 ~ WEEK 4

The BIG READ is a community-wide literacy program with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate literature. Our book selection this year is Edgar Allan Poe’s Great Tales and Poems. The program will have community-based reading programs featuring activities such as book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, live productions and art events. Free books will be distributed throughout the community. More information can be found at

 Oct. 7: The Fall of the House of Usher: A BIG READ Documentary
91.3FM, 2:30pm

Get ready for the BIG READ with an audio dive into the haunting world of Poe. Tune in for this 30-minute documentary that explores Poe's live, work, bouts with poverty, alcoholism, & more.

 Oct. 7: The BIG READ Kickoff
Alhambra Theatre, 7:00pm

The spirit of Edgar Allen Poe fills the Alhambra Theatre! Poe's ghost appears in the form of Helen McKenna, whose renowned personification of the horror master has been described as astonishing. Combining dramatic readings with documented facts of Poe's life, this performance is sure to sent chills down you spine. A Poe-themed photo booth, a student art exhibit, and free copies of the book to the first 100 readers!

 Oct. 8: The Big Bleed
Founders Square Parking Lot near Main Street
10:00am - 4:00pm

Roll up your sleeve and donate a pint to the Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center's blood mobile during this Poe-themed blood drive. To schedule an appointment, contact Robbin Shively at 888-684-9296.

 Oct. 8: Kentucky Ghosts & Ghouls - Oh My!
Hopkinsville-Christian County Library, 2:00pm

Author of more than 20 books on Kentucky regional history and lore, Dr. Lynwood Montell shares his expertise through storytelling of various ghost stories, including "The Young Woman in the Window."

 Oct. 12: Brown Bag Lunch
"Edgar Allan Poe, The Man" with Dan Kemp
Guild Gallery, 12:00pm

 Oct. 13: Calling All Book Clubs!
Hopkinsville-Christian County Library, 5:00pm

Join us for this multi-group discussion of a selection of Poe's short stories and poems. This event is open to book club members and people looking to join a book club. Enjoy wine, cheese, laughs, and Poe-themed fun.

 Oct. 14: Dream a Little Dream with Poe and Cayce
Pennyroyal Area Museum, 6:00pm

Emily Fox-Hill, a scholar of both Poe and Cayce, weaves together both Edgars' perspectives of dreams & their interpretation.

 Oct. 15: Dream Interpretation Workshop
L&N Depot, 10:00am

Based on the Cayce readings, this interactive workshop will help participants read their own dreams for guidance. Limited to 20 participants; call the Museum at 270-887-4270 to register.

 Oct. 15: Short Story Workshop
Hopkinsville-Christian County Library, 2:00pm-4:00pm

Poe defined the short story like no writer before or since. Peggy Kemp and Sarah Kranz will lead this workshop to teach the formula Poe developed. Craft your own masterpiece to enter in the WKMS "Give Me Some Poe" Short Story-Telling Contest.

 I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. 




 Oct. 16: Poe Film Festival
Alhambra Theatre, 2:00pm & 4:00pm, $5 each

Watch two of Poe's most well-known pieces in these adaptations for the big screen

2:00pm: The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), starring Vincent Price
4:00pm: The Raven (2012), starring John Cusack (rated R)

 Oct. 18: Book Discussion
"Edgar Allan Poe: Strange Tidbits and Tales" with Ann Nichols
Hopkinsville-Christian County Library, 12:00pm

 Oct. 18: Steampunk Jewelry Workshop
Guild Gallery, 5:00pm-7:00pm

Inspired by 19th century scientific romances and the steam-powered era, steampunk jewelry combines industrial and romantic elements in a unique style. This free, funky workshop is limited to 12 participants. Contact Henrietta Kemp at or at 270-887-8972.

 Oct. 19: Book Discussion
"Edgar Allan Poe: Strange Tidbits and Tales" with Ann Nichols
Books on Main, 12:00pm

 Oct. 19: Psychological Thriller vs. Misuse of Mental Illness:
What Poe Got Right and Many Modern Novels & Movies Get Wrong
Location To Be Announced, 6:00pm

Edgar Allan Poe wrote psychological thrillers, or mysteries and tales of horror that play on psychological vulnerabilities shared by most people. What did Poe get so right? What do modern depictions get so wrong? Dr. Susan Vaught, Western State Hospital, hopes to answer these questions.

 Oct. 20: The Raven, A Multi-Media Performance
Alhambra Theatre, 7:00pm

The Bosch Institute presents this theatrical audio collage that brings Poe's most famous poem to life in a way that draws on its musicality, drama, and symbolism.

 Oct. 22: Decode Poe
Downtown, 10:00am

Just like William Legrand in "The Gold Bug," you will need your best decoding skills to decipher the cryptographic clues to find the location of the treasure. Crack the clues on your own - or in a team of up to four people. Call the museum at 270-887-4270 to reserve your spot!

 All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. 




 Oct. 24: Book Discussion
"Edgar Allan Poe: Death, Drugs, & Demons" with HCC's Nursing Instructors
HCC Library, 12:00pm

 Oct. 25: "Edgar Allan Poe: Love, Death, and Women" Documentary Discussion with Dr. YeVette Howard
HCC Library, 12:00pm

This film investigates the life and work of Poe by examining his relationships with the women in his life. Tenuous at best, disastrous at worst - these relationships provided the inspiration for some of the most well-known and terrifying short stories and poems of the 19th century.

 Oct. 25: Movie: The Raven, with John Cusack (Rated R)
HCC Auditorium, 6:00pm

This 2012 thriller is a fictionalized account of the last days of Poe's life as he pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in Poe's stories.


 Oct. 26: Book Discussion
"Edgar Allan Poe: Father of Detective Fiction"with Dr. YeVette Howard
Books on Main, 12:00pm

 Oct. 27: Big Hallow READ
"Edgar Allan Poe: Father of Detective Fiction"with Dr. YeVette Howard
Hopkinsville-Christian County Library, 4:00pm-6:00pm

Storytelling, face painting, pumpkin decorating*, games, and more at the library. A perfect spooky evening for little readers!
*While Supplies Last

 Oct. 28: Supper at the Cemetery
Riverside Cemetery, 4:30pm

Tour the tombstones with the Museums of Hopkinsville and learn more about the art and history of this final resting place. After a delicious supper from the Pioneers, convene n the chapel to heat from local folks who made their way to the cemetery in ways that only Poe could have imagined. Tours start at 4:30pm; supper will be served at 5:30pm; and the show starts at 6:30pm. Call the Museum at 270-887-4270 to reserve your spot! $12 per person.

 Oct. 29: Paint Party
Griffins Studio, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Stop by Griffin's Studio on 6th Street to paint your own masterpiece inspired by Poe. Painting materials and 9"x12" canvases with pre-sketched scenes will be provided. $10 per person.

 Oct. 29: Torchlight Tales with William Turner
Jeffers Bend Environmental Center, 6:00pm

It's sunset in the river bottom below the cemetery, and Halloween is in the air. With the tales of Poe lurking in our minds, we can't think of a better evening to share a spooky story with a little local flare. Join Mr. William Turner at Jeffers Band as he shares our favorite campfire tale - The Legend of the Bell Witch.


Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. 




 Oct. 31 - Nov. 5: Restaurant Week

These fabulous local eateries offer a special dish or a special deal in honor of Poe and The BIG READ. Bring a copy of your book!

The Place, Quincy's Davo's Burgers & Fries, Amanda's Cupcake Café, Hopkinsville Brewing Company, DaVinci Little Italian Restaurant

 Oct. 31: Poems by Poe at the HCC Halloween Bash
HCC Auditorium, 6:00pm

Poe's poems will add an extra literary element to this costume party for students on HCC's campus.

 Nov. 1: Book Discussion
"Edgar Allan Poe: Father of Detective Fiction"with Dr. YeVette Howard
HCC Library, 12:00pm

 Nov. 1: Teen Book Discussion
Starbucks, 3:00pm

Sip a coffee and discuss Poe's characters, themes, and symbolism after school with HCCPL's Teen-Tivity Leader, Tressa Childs.

 Nov. 1: Dark and Dreary Dessert Café
Amanda's Cupcake Café, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Sink your teeth into a night of sweet treats, spooky music, and family fun!

 Nov. 2: Book Discussion
"Edgar Allan Poe: More than a Raven" with Wayne Goolsby
Books on Main, 12:00pm

 Nov. 2: Trivia of Terror
Davo's Burgers & Fries, 6:00pm

Do you love horror movies? What about scary stories? Put your knowledge to the test in this fun-filled trivia game.

 Nov. 3: What's in Your Genes?
Hopkinsville-Christian County Library, 5:00pm

What stories does your family tree tell? Discover how resources at the Library can uncover your family history, while you enjoy Poe's genealogy.

 Nov. 4: Community Reader Day

Age-appropriate titles that reflect Poe's themes will be read to thousands of local preschool and elementary students. To volunteer, contact the Literacy Council at 270-962-7114 or email

 Nov. 4: Pints & Poe-etry
Hopkinsville Brewing Company, 5:00pm-7:00pm

Sample local brews as folks dramatically read some of Poe's poems. Have a poem of your own to share? Step up to the mic!

 Nov. 5: BIG READ Finale & Masquerade Party
Alhambra Theatre, 7:00pm

The historic theater brings the stories and poems of Poe and the winners of the WKMS contest to life with readings and performances in this dramatic conclusion of the BIG READ. We'll supply the masks and Amontillado. (Click here to read Murray State's news release.)


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting,
dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.