WESTFORD — A new monument honoring Edgar Allan Poe will be unveiled at the Parish Center for the Arts this Sunday.
The monument, created by Westford firefighter and emergency medical technician David Christiana, says the monument is to honor the poet who “really made an impression” on him.
“We all know Edgar Allan Poe. For me, it was the Tell-Tale Heart. It’s a very gripping tale. I remember it vividly,” he told WestfordCAT. “It’s a way to highlight things I’m connected to.”
He added, “I wanted people to know the person, not necessarily the writer but more about him as a person and his interaction with Westford.”
Christiana says that though Poe already has a historic marker dedicated to him on Graniteville Road, he felt the existing marker is “very generic.”
“I think it’s cool, he’s an icon. He’s a literary king, he invented the detective story and his horror influence he had — he is an incredible writer,” he said.
He has created other monuments such as the Westford Knight, the 9/11 monument and a new marker on Connell Drive among others.
Christiana, a self-taught artist who has previously been honored for his work by the U.S. House of Representatives and Massachusetts General Court, says creating these monuments are a “way to give back to the town.”
“I grew up here, the town has always supported me and given me this job. I never went to college for art. I decided to pursue ‘giving back’ as a firefighter. I do this on the side,” he said.
Poe’s time in Westford
Poe spent a considerable part of his life in Westford, which he called his “paradise.” Much of his time was spent with Nancy Heywood Richmond who he shared a platonic friendship with, according to the Westford Historical Society.
“It is believed that after Poe started to call her Annie that she never again answered to another name and Poe wrote the poem “Annie” for her,” the Westford Historical Society wrote in a news release.
Poe’s last visit in Westford was in May of 1849, where he died four months later in Baltimore.
“I am sure he would’ve come back to visit, but who knows,” Christiana said. “He has a big impact on the family during his visits.”
He added, “but I wanted people to know the person, not necessarily the writer. Rather, I wanted people to know about him as a person and his interaction with Westford.”
The monument is sponsored by Westford Remembers and will be unveiled at the Parish Center for the Arts on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m.