Knowing Poe: The Literature, Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe... In Baltimore and Beyond

Maryland Public Television
2005 Webby Award Winner!
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Poe the Writer
Random Raven

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The inventor of the detective story...

The father of the modern American short story...

The architect who helped the world discover science fiction as a literary genre...

A skillful poet...

An important literary critic who helped define American literature, film, and other arts...

All these phrases—and many more—describe Edgar Allan Poe. His work has been praised by some and condemned by others. However, his poems and tales are an important part of American culture and American literature. In addition, hundreds of articles, stories, poems, and books have been written about or inspired by Poe, from serious works to humorous parodies.

Explore some of Poe's works, and the techniques he used to create them, through these activities.

Point of View
A look at how the point of view from which a story is told changes its readers' impressions

"The Bells"
Customize your own experience in hearing this important and musical poem.

The Poetic Principle
Do your ideas of what makes a poem perfect coincide with those Poe thought was important? Try this activity to see.

Secret Writing
Poe used code as an important part of his story "The Gold Bug." Find out more about this kind of secret writing.

Annotated Poe
What kind of decisions did Poe make in writing his famous poem, "The Raven?" Try this activity to find out more about the writing tools a poet can call on.

Poe the Perfectionist
Poe often reworked many of his poems and short stories to achieve just the right effect. Take an in-depth look at this process.

My Tell-Tale Heart
What's on your mind when you read Poe's work? Add your own thoughts and comments to his famous tale The Tell-Tale Heart.

Picture This
What pictures do you create in your mind as you read? Try this activity to help you "see" Poe's short story, "The Black Cat" in a new way.