The physical intensity of the performance, according to Jim Knight, is one of the two main reasons he performs Poe.

The physical intensity of the performance, according to Jim Knight, is one of the two main reasons he performs Poe.

“That and presenting something someone may have never known about him,” Knight said after brining plenty of both to the Jackson Library’s Oct. 12 “Meet Edgar Allan Poe” program. It was a wonderful literary run-up to All Hallows Eve.

Knight, who works as a crime prevention specialist for the Stark County Prosecutor's office when he is not channeling Poe, said 10 years of community theater has helped develop the “Meet Edgar Allan Poe” presentation. It’s a deliciously creepy yet accessible journey that weaves the author and poet's personal history into movingly presented monologues. They include his earliest works, such as “The Telltale Heart,” which arguably invented the detective story genre, through Poe's best known poems like 1845's “The Raven,” to the beautiful “Annabelle Lee.”

“Annabelle Lee” was Poe’s last published poem and it ran after his death. It was printed in 1849, following the death of his beloved wife, Virginia Clemm.

“I have researched several of his biographies and pulled them together,” Knight said of the program. “I am trying to take the works and apply them to what happened in his life.”

Massillon residents and friends Elyse Ramirez and Chris Smith brought their respective kids Marella, 10, Meigen, 7, Corey, 6, and Laylee 7.  

Ramirez said the program's melding of Poe's literature and biography was interesting and felt Knight did a wonderful – and not too scary – job.

“They said it was for adults,” Smith laughed.  “But we made if family night.”