National Magazine Award Recognizes Utility of Poetry

by An Xiao on March 2, 2012

The POETRY App randomly selects a poem for you to read when you shake your phone. Image via

The POETRY App randomly selects a poem for you to read when you shake your phone. Image via

LOS ANGELES — The POETRY App has been selected as a finalist for a National Magazine Award for Digital Media. Put out by The Poetry Foundation, the app was honored as a “utility app,” which puts it alongside others like Healthy Menu Maker and The Cut on the Runway, also finalists.

As their press release noted, this is remarkable because the award basically recognizes that poetry — at least in the form of a cool app — has utility in our lives.

“We’re especially honored that the POETRY app has been chosen as a finalist in the category of ‘Utility App,’ because it reaffirms an opinion that we’ve long held: poetry is indeed useful,” said Catherine Halley, director of Digital Programs.

The app features a rich database of poetry organized by subject matter and mood. After selecting, say, ‘Passion,’ you can view poems by Kathryn Starbuck and John Donne. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you can simply shake the phone for a random selection.

The finalist nod recognizes The Poetry Foundation’s multimedia efforts to ensure poetry remains relevant and lively in people’s lives. They maintain an active Twitter feed, along with the Poetry Everywhere video series and Poetry Magazine. But the app to many, including to me, is the best part.

The Poetry Mobile App can be downloaded for free on iPhone and Android phones via the App Store and Android Market.

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