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University of Iowa News Release


April 19, 2010

UI Press will release 'Poe in His Own Time' May 1

poe"Poe in His Own Time," edited by Benjamin F. Fisher, will become available May 1 in the Writers in Their Own Time series from the University of Iowa Press.

The book will be available at bookstores or directly from the press, 800-621-2736 or Customers in Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at It is also available as a PDF e-book:

"Poe in His Own Time" is a biographical chronicle of Edgar Allan Poe's life, drawn from recollections, interviews and memoirs by his family, friends and associates.

An image of Poe (1809-1849) as a man of gloom and mystery continues to hold great popular appeal. Long recognized as one of the greats of American literature, he elicited either highly commendatory or absolutely hostile reactions from many who knew him, from others who claimed to comprehend him as person or as writer and from still others who circulated as fact opinions intuited from his writings.

Whether promoting him as angel or demon, "a man of great and original genius‚" or "extraordinarily wicked," the viewpoints in this dramatic collection of primary materials provide vigorous testimony to support the contradictory images of the man and the writer that have prevailed for a century and a half.

Fisher, a noted Poe scholar, includes a comprehensive introduction and a detailed chronology of Poe's short life: each entry is introduced by a short headnote that places the selection in historical and cultural context, and explanatory notes provide information about people and places.

The 69 recollections gathered in "Poe in His Own Time" form a dramatic, real-time biographical narrative designed to provide a multitude of perspectives on the famous author, sometimes in conflict with each other and sometimes in agreement.

Stephen Rachman, president of the Poe Studies Association, commented, "It is very useful to have such a striking array of verbal portraits and snapshots of Poe in one handy volume. One would have to consult letters, biographies and dozens of other sources in order to obtain such a concise yet moving picture of Poe. This collection reminds us why Poe cut a controversial figure in his day. Poe's friends and enemies alike can be heard in their own embattled voices."

Professor of English at the University of Mississippi, Fisher has focused on the life and writings of Poe for four decades. Most recently, he is the author of "Poe and the 1890s" and the editor of "Masques, Mysteries, Mastodons: A Poe Miscellany," the Poe volume in the American Critical Archives series and "Poe's Horror Stories."

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Means, UI Press,; Winston Barclay, UI News Services, 319-430-1013,