American Poets – Part 5

Edgar Allan Poe

A portrait of Poe in an oval frame

A portrait of Poe in an oval frame

  • He was born as Edgar Poe on January 19th 1809, in Boston, Ma.
  • Both of his parents were actors
  • After his father abandoned the family and the death of his mother, he and his siblings were split up and he was taken in by the Allan family who gave him the “Allan” part of his name
  • Unable to get the funds to continue attending university, he enlisted in the army as Edgar A. Perry which is when he began his writing career as well; that was when he published his first book Tamerlane and other Poems
  • Two years into his 5-year enlistment, he sought to go to the United States Military Academy at West Point and later that year he intentionally got himself court-martialed
  • He was the first American to make a living off writing alone; it would prove difficult due to the lack of copyright laws and publishers making copies of unauthorized British works instead of paying American writers
  • His short story Found in a Bottle was noticed by John P. Kennedy, who through connections help Poe get a job as an assistant editor of the Southern Literature Messenger
  • Poe had a Gothic style, often questioning death; he also wrote humor stories, satire and hoaxes

Examples of his works in our collection

  • Poems DB016005
  • “The Raven” and Other Poems DB069751
April marks National Poetry Month! Throughout this month we will share information about some of the varying poetry styles practiced today and a little bit about their history. The purpose of the month is to increase the awareness and appreciation of poetry, and maybe help a few people find their inner poet talent.
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About nclbph

The North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NCLBPH) is a special public library that circulates books and magazines especially made for persons who cannot use regular printed material because of a visual or physical disability. The library is located in Raleigh, but mails materials throughout the state. The NCLBPH is a state agency operated by the State Library of North Carolina as a part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. It is also a part of the network of regional libraries operated by the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).
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