Program For Adults With Disabilities Tackle Horror Poetry & Edgar Allan Poe #DIHM

An innovative new educational program for adults with learning disabilities has turned to the original master of the macabre for inspiration. Kickstarted by the New York Times annual found poetry contest, the class teamed up with Empire State College to compose poems influenced by Edgar Allan Poe.

Image by Wayfair

The program took six months to develop, and asked students in mainstream education to team up with the students from the class of adults with disabilities. Most of the participants with disabilities were interested in further education, but faced barriers in achieving their goals. The integrated project was designed to make education accessible to the those with disabilities, and form connections between young adults both with and without disabilities.

Found poetry involved reworking lines and phrases from other sources – including newspapers and advertising – then constructing them into poems. The students worked together, discussing what words might be relevant to Poe and his work.  At the end of the project the participants presented their work aloud.

Here are a few of the poems created through the project that you can check out.


Edgar Allan Poe

by Nicole, Michele, Megan S and Jennifer R

Edgar Allan Poe unluckiest, misunderstood writer

His reputation, misfortunes were found morbid

His mysterious soul was lost in death

but he found redemption

His respectable horror stories were found deranged

Poe’s sunken eyes, haunted look by Terror of the Soul

His poem, The Raven, jet-black and red dark

was seen with every shade of thought or emotion

Poe suffered through poverty and drinking forever

He was a deadbeat, drunkard and wooer of woman

His Gothic imagination was exaggerated and obsessed

He was a highly gifted person trapped

in his own head


Edgar Allan Poe

by Ceyon M and La’Shea

Edgar Allan Poe, unluckiest misunderstood writer

Poe’s misfortune is America’s contemporaries

His work morbid and unreadable

in Baltimore wearing someone else’s clothes

mysteries tales and horror stories

lingering suspicion all deranged

obsessed with premature burial, and claustrophobia

the author himself

The novelist

Poe was undervalued

Terror of the Soul

Poe’s death left unfinished

“The Raven” Poe’s most popular hit


Edgar Allan Poe

by Kathleen H, JoAnn and Victoria

Poe’s death is critical at age 40

He died wearing someone else’s clothes

after a four day binge

A soul lost beyond all hope of redemption

Inspired treasures

The Raven

The Bells

Annabel Lee

Poe’s own handwriting

Haunted look

Dream of experiences

Mystery tales

Poe’s imagination

intellect and sensibility makes him so appealing

Throughout June, we are spotlighting disabled horror creators and discussing the portrayal of disability in horror media. Join us for a film night celebrating Disability in Horror Month on the 28th June – find out more here.