A Poet's Double Life

For poets working outside the literary world.

Poetry on the Go!

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Being a poet with a non-literary career means I don’t always have time to keep up with the latest poetry happenings. I need to know what’s buried in the state budget bill as much as I need to know how to craft a sestina. And even though poetry books are slim enough to fit into my favorite purse, I can’t carry the seven books I’m currently reading at the same time, not to mention the novel and classic craft book on diagramming sentences I just bought (more on my summer reading list in another post).Poetry iPhone Apps

That’s why a smartphone is a double life poet’s best friend. I have three mobile apps that let me access poems anytime:

  1. Poetry Daily: Sends a new contemporary poem each day, provides info on the author and links to the book or literary magazine that published the poem
  2. Poetry App from Poetry Foundation: Allows poetry lovers to browse poems by mood, subject, poet, and in the online audio archive
  3. Poem Flow: Daily poem with a visual component

In addition, I have Dictionary.com and a rhyming app on standby in case I get a flash of inspiration while riding the bus. A recent article on Make Use Of.com lists other must-have-apps for poets.

If you’re a self-proclaimed Luddite like several of my poet-friends, don’t worry! The apps I mentioned can be accessed online or sent to directly to your inbox. In fact, several websites have daily or weekly newsletters with useful information for poets. My favorites are Writer’s Almanac by Garrison Keillor, which features a daily poem and interesting facts in literary history, and About.com Poetry, where you can sign up to receive weekly poetry news or 30 poems for 30 days.

Also, two poetry organizations feature information and insight into the poetry world.

  1. Academy of American Poets fosters appreciation of contemporary poetry and has resources for poets at all stages on their website, Poets.org. You can sign up to have the poem-a-day or one of their 5 newsletters sent to your inbox, including  opportunities for community involvement.
  2. The Poetry Foundation publishes the literary magazine, Poetry, and offers many resources and awards to poets. Scrolling to the bottom of the website will give you several options to keep your inbox or favorite RSS Feed reader filled with poetry, including an audio poem of the day.

I also subscribe to poetry podcasts via iTunes and listen to them on my daily commute on the DRX bus or in the car.

  • Poetry Off-the-Shelf (weekly)
  • Poem Talk (monthly)
  • Living Poetry podcast (occasional)
  • PoemCast (archive)

Let me hear about how you take poetry on the go by leaving a comment!

Author: poetsdoublelife

Poet and data guru living in Massachusetts.

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