Big Read is Back!



Dearborn to read and celebrate the stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe

DEARBORN, Mich. – The Dearborn Public Library is a recipient of a grant in the amount of $10,000 to host The Big Read in Dearborn. The Big Read, which is managed by Arts Midwest, is a One Book One Community program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The book chosen for this time around is The Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. The Big Read Dearborn will attempt to “bring Poe back to life.” The tagline is Do You Know Poe? and the theme is Dreaming Dreams No Mortal Ever Dared to Dream Before. Activities will take place February through March 2016 with a teaser event in October 2015.

To help bring this massive project to life, the Dearborn Public Library is partnering with many institutions and organizations including The Henry Ford, the Arab American National Museum, the Dearborn Community Fund, the Dearborn Education Foundation, the Dearborn Public Schools, the Dearborn Library Foundation, Friends of the Library-Dearborn, the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) Mardigian Library, the UM-D Environmental Interpretative Center, the Dearborn Inn, Henry Ford College Eshleman Library, the AAUW Dearborn, the Dearborn Animal Shelter, the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Oakwood Medical Library, the Artist Society of Dearborn, and the Dearborn Heights Libraries. Sponsors include DFCU Financial, the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority, UM-D Mardigian Library, and Henry Ford College Eshleman Library. If any organization or individual is interested in being a sponsor of The Big Read Dearborn, please contact the Library at 313-943-2037.

Library Director, Maryanne Bartles is looking forward to Big Read Dearborn 2016.  “We are thrilled to be awarded The Big Read grant for another year. Our success with ‘Do You Hear the Call?’ in 2014 has inspired all the partners and sponsors to come together again to bring the community another literary adventure. We hope that you will join us!” she said.

The “awakening” begins with a project launch from 6 to 8 p.m. on October 8, the day after Poe’s recorded date of death, at Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn.  The event will include a film screening, a call for original Poe inspired stories or poems, and a craft to make flat Poes, ravens, or black cats, which can be used for a photo op.  Who knows what form Poe will take?

The real fun starts with a big kickoff event at Henry Ford Centennial Library on February 6 from 2-4 p.m., featuring music from Poe’s era, dramatic readings from his works, and the unveiling of his special tabloid created by students of Dearborn Public Schools. Throughout February and March, there will be a series of Poe related events for children, teens, and adults including a film festival, a dream interpretation presentation, mysteries in the library, book discussions, lectures (ravens, forensics, mortuary science, oh my!), and much more.

There are plans to purchase 400 copies of the book in paperback for the kickoff and print 10,000 copies in tabloid format for the entire program. In addition to this, dual language Arabic/English copies will be available. Local area schools will incorporate Poe into their curriculum in fun and exciting ways.

The program will wrap up in March with a special visit from Poe himself! Please visit for updates.

The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 37 selections from U.S. and world literature. The 75 selected organizations will receive Big Read grants to promote and carry out community-based reading programs. The NEA has also developed high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including reader’s guides, teacher’s guides, and audio programming, all of which are available to the public on

Get ready to dream dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before!