BNHA BNHA, Poe Baltimore Celebrate Edgar Allan Poe’s 215th Birthday, Announce Young Saturday Visiter Award Recipients

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BNHA, Poe Baltimore Celebrate Edgar Allan Poe’s 215th Birthday, Announce Young Saturday Visiter Award Recipients

Students from Western High School, Baltimore City College Win Top Place, Each to Receive Over $1,800 Prize


Baltimore, MD (January 19, 2024) – This evening, Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) and Poe Baltimore celebrated Edgar Allan Poe’s 215th Birthday by announcing the 3rd Annual Young Saturday “Visiter” Awards (YSVA). Two high school students—Naima Gordon, a Baltimore City College Junior, and Renee Yates, a Western High School Senior—received the top honor and a $1,816.13 prize.


“Edgar Allan Poe’s legacy is an integral part of Baltimore’s heritage,” said Shauntee Daniels, executive director of Baltimore National Heritage Area. “From the naming of our Super Bowl-bound NFL team and several restaurants and attractions throughout the city to Westminster Hall and Poe House, we are reminded daily of the great work of Edgar Allan Poe. This competition keeps his legacy alive by exposing Baltimore’s youth to this vital aspect of our city’s heritage.”


This competition invites Maryland high school students, grades 9-12 or equivalent, who are inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s life and work to submit art forms and works in any medium and genre in the following categories: “Adaptations of E.A. Poe’s Life or Works” and “Original works inspired by E.A. Poe’s Life and Writing.”


Naima Gordon of Baltimore City College, Grade 11, came in first place in the “Adaptations of E.A. Poe’s Life or Works” category with “The Shadows Soliloquy.” Renee Yates of Western High School, Grade 12, led in the “Original works inspired by E.A. Poe’s Life and Writing” category with “The Man.”


In 1833, Edgar Allan Poe submitted a short story to The Baltimore Saturday ‘Visiter’— a weekly publication—and won the competition, which helped to propel his famed career. The Saturday ‘Visiter’ Awards are named after this life-changing experience. The two first-place finishers—one for each category—will receive $1,816.13, equivalent to the $50 that Edger Allan Poe won in 1833.


Although a statewide competition, the finalists in each category for this year’s competition currently attend Baltimore City High Schools. Finalists include:


Adaptation Category

  • “ Them & Me Makes Us," by Daylen Wilks (Western High School, Grade 12; Baltimore City)
  • “ Not As Seemed Premature,” by Joyanne Gohl (Baltimore School for the Arts, Grade 9; Baltimore City)
  • “ The Shadows Soliloquy,” by Naima Gordon (Baltimore City College, Grade 11; Baltimore City)*


Original Works Category

  • “William Still Loves You, Jane," by Ra'Kiera Gibbs (Western High School, Grade 12; Baltimore City)
  • “ The Telling Tears," by Carlene Williams (Western High School, Grade 12; Baltimore City)
  • “The Man," by Renee Yates (Western High School, Grade 12; Baltimore City)*


“Congratulations to all the YSVA 2023-24 winners and finalists,” said Enrica Jang, executive director of Poe Baltimore/ The Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum. “Each year, the competition grows, and while it’s open to high students throughout the state, it’s beautiful to see the excitement among Baltimore-area students. We welcome students and families to visit The Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum to expand their knowledge of Poe’s legacy.”