Edgar Allan Poe published “The Raven” 170 years ago today

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“The Raven” was first published in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845 – 170 years ago today.

It tells the story of a talking raven’s midnight visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow descent into madness as he laments the loss of his love, Lenore.

Charles E. May is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Long Beach and has written about Poe’s work.He spoke to KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis.

We also asked some of our colleagues at KCRW to take a stab at dramatic readings of “The Raven,” which you can hear in the audio below.

“The Raven” is performed by Connie Alvarez, Danny Sway, Monika Scott, Molly Ortiz, Joseph Stone, Andrea Brody, Anna Scott, Evan George and Eric J. Lawrence.