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New, anonymous 'Poe Toaster' selected by secret ballot

Roses lay on Edgar Allan Poe's grave site.
Roses lay on Edgar Allan Poe's grave site. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Edgar Allan Poe lovers performed their artistic interpretations of the Baltimore poet's macabre works Saturday night, and one of them — whose identity is secret — was named the next "Poe Toaster."

From the 1930s until 2009, a mysterious visitor with the nickname would leave three roses and a bottle of cognac at Poe's grave on the night of his birthday.

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When the roses ceased as mysteriously as they appeared, the Maryland Historical Society, Poe Baltimore and Westminster Burying Grounds decided to hold a contest to revive the tradition and select a new Poe Toaster.

They accepted proposals for how each candidate would pay tribute to Poe and picked finalists, who performed for an audience of more than 100 at the Historical Society building in Mount Vernon Sunday night. The winner was selected by secret ballot.

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He or she will perform a tribute at Poe's gravesite at Westminster Hall during the writer's birthday weekend in January, as well as at other city events throughout 2016.

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