Edgar Allen Poe Bio

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Edgar Allen Poe is a very dark and macabre writer best known for his poems, short stories, and literary criticisms. He has been credited for inventing the detective story and written many psychological thrillers. Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories attributes one of his biggest influences to Poe ( The Edgar Allen Poe Society of Baltimore). Poe had a very tragic childhood. His father left within the first few years of his life, and his mother passed away when he was only 3 years old; perhaps contributing to his fascination with death and the unknown. Poe's first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems is published in 1827 in Boston by Calvin F. S. Thomas, writing under the pen name "A Bostonian." During this time he was enlisted in the army, and after his foster mother died, entered West Point. Poe's second book, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems is published in Baltimore in 1829.

In 1836, Poe and becomes editor of Thomas W. White's Southern Literary Messenger. He writes a great many critical reviews and receives both praise and scorn for these frank commentaries. He also prints a number of his own poems and stories. Poe wrote many stories dealing with science fiction such as "Colloquy of Monos and Una" (1841), "The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion" (1839), and "The Power of Words" (1845) . Poe was diversely influences by writers of many different genres. Among these influences were William Shakespeare, John Milton, Lord Byron, Alfred Tennyson, Alexander Pope, and Johnathan Swift. He was also a great admirer of Coleridge, stating in a letter "of Coleridge I cannot speak but with reverence...In reading his poetry I tremble-- like one who stands upon a volcano, conscious, from the very darkness bursting from the crater, of the...