GRAHAM READY TO RAVE: Having hosted poetry readings and live bands in his Tribeca store in the past, Gary Graham thought nothing of opening its doors for 70 fans of “Mrs. Poe” author Lynn Cullen for an Oct. 24 book party. The designer has yet to meet the writer but he enjoyed her tome and first leafed through Edgar Allen Poe years ago. Chatting with his publicist RoseMarie Terenzio and Gallery Books’ Jennifer Bergstrom, the conversation turned to books, including Cullen’s latest from the Simon & Schuster imprint. “It just really happened organically. This is not sales-driven for me which is kind of a nice place to be. It’s not on us. It’s about Lynn, the content of the book and storytelling,” he said. “The clothes will be around but this is more about mixing fashion people with people in publishing or whatever who are interested.”
Set in 1845 when Poe’s poem “The Raven” was all the rage, Cullen’s historical fiction paints the scene from his mistress’ point of view. Graham was intrigued by the New York lore that is woven into “Mrs. Poe,” which he will display in the windows of his 176 Franklin Street store next week. The fact that the famed author welcomed Herman Melville, Frederick Law Olmsted and the dietary reformer and graham cracker creator Sylvester Graham to his downtown apartment for salons appealed to Gary Graham (who is of no relation.) “Poe was kind of a pop star in a way. ‘The Raven’ had just come out and everyone was reading and talking about it,” Graham said. “He was making money but because of his demons he was always broke.”
The pre-Halloween timing of Graham’s party for Cullen is purely a coincidence. Nor will there be any cauldrons brewing, but “Mrs. Poe”-inspired cocktails will be offered so that guests shall be lifted nevermore.