Although Edgar Allan Poe's literary career is best known for its Romantic short stories and poems, he also worked as an editor and literary critic. In the 1830s, he began working for the Southern Literary Messenger, and his severe reviews of his contemporaries' works earned him unsavory nicknames, including "the Comanche of literature" and "the Tomahawk." Poe wrote around a thousand pieces of literary criticism and worked hard to legitimize the genre in America.
Poe had a famous feud with the Romantic poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Poe accused Longfellow of plagiarizing the work of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Poe criticized Longfellow and other poets whom he felt relied too heavily on European models. Poe felt that America deserved its own identity in literature.
Poe had both supporters and detractors in his work as an editor and critic. Some, like James Russell Lowell, admired his discriminating taste, but Poe often offended the literary establishment and was frequently fired from his editorial positions.