Selected Shorts: Fateful Meetings A Halloween Special

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Guest host Wyatt Cenac presents eerie and funny tales and poems for Halloween.

We pulled a few choice works out of the vault to celebrate one of our favorite holidays.

The program begins with an hilarious mock-Gothic narrative by the Canadian author Robertson Davies.  “The Cat that Went to Trinity” pays a kind of gruesome homage to Frankenstein, and pokes a little fun at academic ivory towers as well.  Davies is best known for his series of outré trilogies—Salterton, Deptford, Cornish, and Toronto—but was also the prolific author of many plays, essays, and critical works.  In addition, he was himself an academic, and the Massey College that is burdened with Frankenstein’s cat in this story was founded by him.  During his tenure as its Master he began a tradition of telling ghost stories featuring the college at Christmas.  These were later collected in the book High Spirits, and “The Cat That Went to Trinity,” is part of this collection.  Reader Charles Keating has a lot of fun with the melodrama.

What would Halloween be without America’s own master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe?  We offer three favorites here—his eerie poem “The Bells,” which plays with their many meanings in our lives; the haunting song of a lost love, “Annabel Lee;” and the ultimate revenge tale, “The Cask of Amontillado.”  The poems are read by Rene Auberjonois, Fionnula Flanagan, Isaiah Sheffer, and Harris Yulin.  “The Cask of Amontillado” is performed by host Wyatt Cenac.

“The Cat that Went to Trinity,” by Robertson Davies, performed by Charles Keating

 “The Bells,” by Edgar Allan Poe, performed by Rene Auberjonois, Fionnula Flanagan, Isaiah Sheffer, and Harris Yulin

“Annabel Lee,” by Edgar Allan Poe, performed by Rene Auberjonois, Isaiah Sheffer, and Harris Yulin

“The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar Allen Poe, performed by Wyatt Cenac

The SELECTED SHORTS theme is David Peterson's “That's the Deal,” performed by the Deardorf/Peterson Group.

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit

We’re interested in your response to these programs.  Please comment on this site or visit

And for more thoughts on the stories in SHORTS, check out literary commentator Hannah Tinti’s site at