• Kickoff: 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 13, Forsyth County Library, Cumming branch
The movie version of Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" will be shown, and there will be readings and refreshments. For elementary school-age children, readings and activities from the Lemony Snicket books will be offered. Free.
• Teen POE-etry Night: 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 16, Forsyth County Library, Sharon Forks branch
Middle and high schoolers are invited to an open-mic event to celebrate Poe and National Poetry Month. Students can read their own works or those of others. Poe's poetry and those in his style are especially welcome. Free.
• Authors of Mystery and Horror with Magician Chad Crews: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 28, Cumming Playhouse
Magician Chad Crews pairs magic with the stories of Poe, Stoker, Shelley and Doyle. Suggested for ages 10 and up. Cost: $5 for adults; $3 for students.
• Book Discussion -- Friend or Poe?: 7 to 8 p.m. May 14 and June 18, Cumming library; May 19 and July 7, Sharon Forks library
Discuss works of Poe after reading "Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe" or other Poe collection. Free.
• Movie Night: 6:30 to 8 p.m. June 11, Cumming library; June 9, Sharon Forks library
"The Hound of the Baskervilles" will be shown. Free.
• Movie Night: 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 9, Cumming library; July 13, Sharon Forks library
Filmed lecture by North Carolina professor Elliot Engel, "Edgar Allan Poe: A Light and Enlightening Look," delving into the life of Poe. Free.
• Contact: More information about Forsyth Reads Together can be found online at www.forsythreads.org. To learn more about CLCP, visit www.forsythcountyclcp.org.
Ghostly beating hearts, talking black ravens, crimson masks and other mysterious items await Forsyth County readers.
The local Certified Literate Community Program and public library system have again teamed up for Forsyth Reads Together, a program that seeks to unify the county through reading.
The kickoff event will be April 13 at the Cumming library branch, with several other events held through July.
In its inaugural year last year, the program focused on Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express." This year the program takes a darker turn into the eerie writings of Edgar Allan Poe.
Certified Literate Community Program provides free literacy tutoring, GED and English as a second language classes to adults.
Executive director Lorraine Stewart said that while the works of Poe may seem better suited for an October reading program, the organizing committee had several reasons for its choice.
"This year is Poe's 200th birthday," she said.
Also, the primary book the events will focus on is "Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe," a collection of short stories and poems.
Copies are available at the Cumming and Sharon Forks library branches or can be bought at Barnes & Noble at The Avenue Forsyth or Humpus Bumpus bookstore in Cumming, Stewart said.
By focusing on a body of works, rather than a single novel as last year, she said the program can provide more variety and allow for better discussions, while providing a wider range of activities.
"We thought we could engage more people if they could choose from a selection of stories and poems," Stewart said. "This way they can choose everything from very short poems to the full length book."
This year's activities range from movie nights and a teen poetry event to a performance by Chad Crews, who will pair magic tricks with stories of writers like Poe, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley and Arthur Conan Doyle.
"The magician ought to be a lot of fun," Stewart said.
"We're trying to get things that can appeal to a lot of different levels -- kids, teenagers, families," she said.
The events are family oriented, Stewart said. Given the dark nature of Poe's writing, however, elementary school-age readers are encouraged to read Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unforunate Events."
"We'll have a special break off event for younger readers during the kickoff focusing on Lemony Snicket," Stewart said.
Whether Poe or Snicket, Stewart said the goal of Forsyth Reads Together is to get people of all ages reading and talking about what they're reading.
"We hope to encourage everyone to read more, especially the reluctant reader," she said.