This collection of specially-commissioned essays by experts in the field explores key dimensions of Edgar Allan Poe's work and life. Contributions provide a series of alternative perspectives on one of the most enigmatic and controversial American writers. The essays, specially tailored to the needs of undergraduates, examine all of Poe's major writings, his poetry, short stories and criticism, and place his work in a variety of literary, cultural and political contexts. They situate his imaginative writings in relation to different modes of writing: humor, Gothicism, anti-slavery tracts, science fiction, the detective story, and sentimental fiction. Three chapters examine specific works: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, 'The Fall of the House of Usher', 'The Raven', and 'Ulalume'. The volume features a detailed chronology and a comprehensive guide to further reading, and will be of interest to students and scholars alike.