Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston, Inc.

160 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116

Email: info@bostonpoe.org



Artist Stefanie Rocknak

Artist Stefanie Rocknak (above)
and Poe (below)

Image description

Stefanie Rocknak is a professor of philosophy and the director of the Cognitive Science Program at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, where she has taught since 2001. A graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, with a B.A. in American Studies and Art History with a concentration in studio art, she holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston University. Her interests include the 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume (the subject of her 2013 book, Imagined Causes: Hume's Conception of Objects), the philosophy of art, and the philosophy of the mind.
Describing her dual roles as artist and philosopher in Colby Magazine, Rocknak said: "Initially I kept them totally separate, … but making representational art is a manifestation of my philosophical belief that all art doesn’t have to be conceptual.” She said her figurative artwork, usually created in wood, is cathartic, representing "a way to externalize certain emotions."
According to Rocknak, “Poe Returning to Boston" reflects Poe’s conflicted relationship with the city. Just off the train, the figure will be walking south toward his likely place of birth. This is a triumphant Poe, returning confidently after 165 years of literary success. Unlike the work of the “Frogpondians,” including Longfellow and Emerson, that Poe mocked, this sculpture is neither pretentious nor didactic. The imagery is obvious and immediate. The raven represents his global fame and endurance, the trunk full of papers symbolizes the scope and power of his work, and the trailing pages are engraved with texts published in or written about Boston.”  


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Board of Directors

 Patricia Bartevian, Treasurer

John LaFleur, President

Paul Lewis, Chair

Rob Velella

Advisory Board

Katherine Kim

Richard Kopley

Philip E. Phillips

Stefanie Rocknak

Susan Jaffe Tane