Edgar Allan Poe was a poet, short story writer, editor, and critic. Credited by many scholars as the inventor of the detective genre in fiction, he was a master at using elements of mystery, psychological terror, and the macabre in his writing. His most famous poem, “The Raven” (1845), combines his penchant for suspense with some of the most famous lines in American poetry. While editor of the Richmond-based, Poe carved out a philosophy of poetry that emphasized brevity and beauty for its own sake. Stories, he wrote, should be crafted to convey a single, unified impression, and for Poe, that impression was most often dread. “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843), for instance, memorably describes the paranoia of its narrator, who is guilty of murder. After leaving Richmond, Poe lived and worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New York, seeming to collect literary enemies wherever he went. Incensed by his especially sharp, often sarcastic style of criticism, they were not inclined to help Poe as his life unraveled because of sickness and poverty. After Poe’s death at the age of forty, a former colleague, Rufus W. Griswold, wrote a scathing biography that contributed, in the years to come, to a literary caricature. Poe’s poetry and prose, however, have endured.