Edgar Allan Poe’s love of cryptography

Edgar Allan Poe was fascinated by cryptography and codes.

Edgar Allan Poe was fascinated by cryptography and codes.

When you remember Edgar Allan Poe, you tend to think of people getting dismembered, buried or burnt alive.

Consequently, a lot of the programs during our Know Poe month this July are aimed toward teens and adults.

But we didn’t forget about the kids. We’ve found some fun ways to introduce Poe to children without traumatizing them.

For example, we’re hosting a program for kids about Poe’s love of cryptography this Saturday at our Headlands Branch.

And what is cryptography, you ask. It’s secret writing or, rather, it’s using codes and rubrics to hide secrets in plain sight. Poe was fascinated by cryptography and hid all sorts of secret messages in his prose and poetry. For example, he hid the name of his friend Sarah Anna Lewis in his poem “An Enigma.”

His treasure story, The Gold-Bug, even revolves around a coded message.

Kids entering third through sixth grade can solve a few cryptograms and even create a few of their own this Saturday at our Headlands Branch. Click here to register your child for our cryptography program. (By the way, all of our programs are free.)

And that’s not our only Know Poe program for kids. On  July 17, we’re unveiling a special obstacle course where all 10 obstacles come from Poe stories. Then, on July 22, kids can use their sleuthing skills to solve a mystery at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch. After all, Poe did invent the detective genre, as well as horror.

(By the way, I know it’s not for children but we’re hosting a special horror writing workshop for teens on on July 19 at our Main Branch. It’s a fun opportunity for young writers to hone their crafts.)

You can sign up for any and all of these Know Poe events on Mentor Public Library’s website.

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