My favorite (and most formal) presentation is "The Poet and His Songs," which features Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as a young man, explaining his woes as a harried professor and up-and-coming poet. The presentation takes him to about 1854, when his prospects in poetry suddenly mature.
I also portray Edgar A. Poe as if the writer/editor/critic had just risen from the dead. In addition to reading from both his trademark and lesser-known works, he often explains the process of writing and the meaning behind his tales and poems. Poe's appearances are easily customized — from horror to humor to literary criticism to poetry. Many of my public Poe performances have sold out.
More rarely, you might find a young Nathaniel Hawthorne making the rounds of his old haunts in New England. A reclusive writer who does not enjoy public appearances, Hawthorne prefers reading his works instead of making presentations. His short tales are well-suited to various audiences, but I also present an abridged version of his famous novel The Scarlet Letter.
A trademark of all my performances is a question-and-answer session. Please email me for more information: robvelella (at) yahoo (dot) com.
I am a member of the group Solo Together. Visit their web site to learn about many other living history performers.
- "The Poe Toaster" (NewTV) — Episode of The Folklorist featuring Rob Velella as Edgar Allan Poe (and a certain other mysterious character), broadcast October 29, 2013
- "Town of the Living Dead" (Los Angeles Review of Books) — A long article highlight living history performers of the famous Concord authors, including Rob Velella as Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Edgar Allan Poe (Rob Velella) on WBUR's "Here and Now" (National Public Radio) — Broadcasted on October 31, 2012
- Rob Velella as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on "Dead Air Live," Somerville Producers Group, April 2012
- Rob Velella as Edgar A. Poe — Thanks to Walter Skold and the Boston leg of the Poetry Marathon, October 2010
- Beauty, Sound & Death: Poe's Aesthetics — Interview on Poe's appeal and poetics
- A Conversation: Poe and Margaret Fuller — Performance as Poe (with Jessa Piaia as Margaret Fuller) at the Old Manse, Concord, August 2010 (in multiple parts)
- Longfellow visits Springfield Armory — Very brief mention from WWLP News (western Massachusetts), February 2011