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The Annotated Poe

The Annotated Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Edited by Kevin J. Hayes

ISBN 9780674055292

Publication date: 10/26/2015

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Edgar Allan Poe is perhaps America’s most famous writer. Adapted many times to the stage and screen and an inspiration to countless illustrators, graphic novelists, and musicians, his tales and poems remain a singular presence in popular culture. (His most famous poem inspired the name of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.) And then there is the matter of Poe’s literary influence. “How many things come out of Poe?” Jorge Luis Borges once asked. And yet Poe remains misunderstood, his works easily confused with the legend of a troubled genius. Now, in this annotated edition of selected tales and poems, Kevin J. Hayes debunks the Poe myth, enables a larger appreciation of Poe’s career and varied achievements, and investigates his weird afterlives.

With color illustrations and photographs throughout, The Annotated Poe contains in-depth notes placed conveniently alongside the tales and poems to elucidate Poe’s sources, obscure words and passages, and literary, biographical, and historical allusions. Like Poe’s own marginalia, Hayes’s marginal notes accommodate “multitudinous opinion”: he explains his own views and interpretations as well as those of other writers and critics, including Poe himself. In his Foreword, William Giraldi provides a spirited introduction to the writer who produced such indelible masterpieces as “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and “The Black Cat.”

The Annotated Poe offers much for both the professional and the general reader—but it will be especially prized by those who think of themselves as Poe aficionados.


  • The Annotated Poe is a stupendous hit. The annotations—presented in the form of marginalia and printed, delightfully, in red—provided by Hayes are perfectly, uncannily pitched to appeal both to readers who’ve never read a word of Edgar Allan Poe and readers who know his works backwards and forwards… It’s a bravura performance, lavish with illustrations.

    —Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly


  • Kevin J. Hayes is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.
  • William Giraldi is the author of the novels Busy Monsters and Hold the Dark.

Book Details

  • 440 pages
  • 8 x 9-1/2 inches
  • Belknap Press
  • Foreword by William Giraldi