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Don't look so gloomy, Edgar, it's party time!

In Baltimore, 2009 will be one long celebration of Edgar Allan Poe, who gave birth to the detective story and was a master of horror. This morning amid the treasures of the Enoch Pratt's Poe Room, local officials outlined a long list of events -- from lookalike contests to a funeral re-enactment -- marking the 200th anniversary of his birth. (Mayor Sheila Dixon was so enthusastic she mistakenly claimed Poe was born in here. Sorry, mayor, Boston holds that claim.)

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Among the events: A Poe tribute in January by actor John Astin (The Addams Family); a Pratt exhibition of memorabilia, including a handwritten poem and lock of hair; and a Cask of Amontillado-themed wine-tasting in the Westminster Hall catacombs. There will also be Poe-related performances, including a one-man show by David Keltz.

Details and ticket information are at Nevermore2009. Baltimore's Poe House and Museum has its own calendar at PoeBicentennial.

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