Protesters march through City Park in Manhattan, Kan., on June 3, 2020. Photographed by Dene Dryden.

I’ll plainly admit that I have censored myself in situations where I should’ve spoken up for others, digitally and in person. When Sandra Bland died. When Eric Garner died. When the Standing Rock protests started. When two of my white professors used the n-word in class (in context with our readings, but still, that’s not acceptable).

I’m white and benefit from white privilege, and this reality is definitely part of why I have been quieter than I would’ve liked to have been in the past.

But also, in those above moments and more, I stifled my voice because of this…

The story of my 66 or so Poes.

This essay is adapted from a literary article I crafted for a Kansas State University English course taught by Dr. Steffi Dippold. Peek at the original version here. It’s also worthy to note that I have not received any type of sponsorship from Out of Print.

I did not expect to find Edgar Allan Poe on the Oregon coast over 3,000 miles away from his East Coast abodes of Boston, Massachusetts and Richmond, Virgina, but seeing his face was a welcome surprise. Well, faces is more accurate.

In the Books ‘n Bears…

Dené Kiera Dryden

News director for Wildcat 91.9 KSDB-FM, freelance reporter, poet to some degree. I write a lot of things that don’t end up here. Twitter: @denekdryden.

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