My name is Rob Velella (BA, American Literature; MA, English & Publishing) and I maintain "The American Literary Blog." My strong interest in 19th century American literature began with an interest in Edgar Allan Poe which was rekindled in college. I have come to appreciate both the works and the biography of many authors — and I hope my blog spreads that appreciation to others.
In fact, I am fascinated by the opportunities presented by digital media to reach out to broad audiences. I am particularly interested in how the internet (and other methods) can connect to younger audiences and instill a love of learning and of literature. To be clear, I am not myself a creative writer (but I'm a pretty good reader!). With reticence, I admit that I have very few interests outside of the literary world — my favorite activity is probably visiting author homes and burial places. I have proudly paid my personal respects at the graves of dozens of deceased authors — and the list keeps growing!
Professionally, I do make a living utilizing my knowledge of literary history, have published several articles, and I am a member of a few academic societies and professional organizations. However, I am not affiliated with an academic institution and I consider myself an independent scholar. In the past few years, I have made it my goal to do nothing less than bring 19th-century writers back from the dead. Because I can't do it literally, I do it by presenting lectures and dramatic readings, organizing exhibits, leading tours and, of course, by blogging. I've also recently turned to first-person in-character interpretation, portraying the young Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar A. Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Click here for more information. I am available for talks, interviews, etc; inquiries of all kinds are welcome. I can be contacted via email: robvelella (at) yahoo (dot) com.
Follow me on Twitter @LiteraryRob