Board members from the Emmett Lee Dickinson Museum and the Dickinson Organization of Poetry Enthusiasts visited Baltimore, Maryland, this past weekend to begin planning a huge event that will occur in Baltimore in 2023 -- the 200th anniversary of Dickinson's first performance with Edgar Allan Poe as the comedy duo "Izzy Sharp and Moe," a landmark event in the fields of entertainment and poetry.
In 1823, Edgar Allan Poe played banjo, sang comical songs, and told blue jokes under the name of Izzy Sharp at the Calvert Street Theatre on South Calvert Street in Baltimore. He later convinced his friend Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson's third cousin, twice removed -- at her request) that he needed a partner, and the two formed the comedy duo of Izzy Sharp and Moe. They were the first comedy team to tell "Why did the chicken cross the road?" and "Waiter, there's a fly in my soup" jokes.
Above: Baltimore's Calvert Street Theatre, where Poe and Dickinson performed as "Izzy Sharp & Moe." The building is now a Walgreens. Below left and right: Memorabilia from the 1800s: an antique postcard from the Calvert Street Theatre, and a theatre placard announcing a special morning performance by Poe and Dickinson.
Below: Additional shots from the Westminster Church cemetery. Right: A list of who is buried in the cemetery (click the image to enlarge).
Below: The city of Baltimore is sparing no expense for the bicentennial event in 2023. The Poe House at 203 North Amity Street is currently closed, and it is being completely restored for the event. Click the notice at the left to enlarge.
Below: The next stop on our tour was the stunning George Peabody Library, formerly known as the Library of the Peabody Institute of the City of Baltimore. The Peabody Library is now a 19th-century focused research library for The Johns Hopkins University, and it contains rare volumes of work by both Emily and Emmett Lee Dickinson.
Below: The library's card catalog led us to rare volumes of poetry by both Emily and Emmett Lee Dickinson. Click the image in the center to enlarge.
Below right: In anticipation of the event -- which is expected to draw the biggest crowds in the city's history -- Baltimore has already installed a massive plinth in the Wyman Park Dell -- just across from the Baltimore Museum of Art -- where a statue honoring Dickinson and Poe will stand.