Poetry might be the perfect literature form for the smartphone, so it’s not surprising that there are a lot of poetry apps out there.
It makes sense—a lot of poems are short and can be read on a smartphone screen without scrolling. Poetry is also the distilled thoughts and feelings of a poet, so it makes sense that a poet might write poetry on their phone as they move through their day, observing the world around them.
Because poems adapt so well to the (very) small screen, developers have created poetry apps for just about everyone: there are apps for reading poetry, apps for creating poetry, apps for students of poetry, and even poem-based games.
Whatever your interaction with poetry, there’s an app for you out there. I collected some of favorites here. (This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the poetry apps out there—there are hundreds of apps out there.) There are some paid apps on this list, but since poets aren’t known for their wealth, I tried to include free ones wherever possible.
Where possible I wrote the app descriptions myself, but some of these blurbs come from the developers.
Poetry apps for reading poetry
POETRY from the Poetry Foundation (Android and iOS): One of two apps from the Poetry Foundation, POETRY is a poetry library for your phone. It’s filled with old favorites, but also serves up new poems.
Wings—Poems & Poets for the Love of Poetry (Android and iOS): Wings is a sort of combination library/Wikipedia/Instagram for poetry. It lets you read poetry, read information about that poetry, list your favorites, and pair your own photos with poems.
Poetry Daily (iOS): An anthology of contemporary poetry for your phone that offers you a new poem daily.
Poetry Magazine (Android and iOS): The second app from the Poetry Foundation allows subscribers to access the digital edition of Poetry Magazine on their phones.
Pocket Poetry (iOS): One poem a day, delivered to your Apple devices.
THF Haiku (iOS): The Haiku Foundation’s portable library of haiku.
Daily Haiku (Android): Haiku from Cornell University’s Mann Library, delivered to your phone every day.
Poetry apps for listening to poetry, anywhere
Poetry Everywhere (iOS): WGBH’s app features contemporary poets reading their own work.
SlamFind (Android): Looking for a poetry slam? SlamFind connects users to the world of performance poetry, allowing then to discover and connect with live poetry venues and poets all over the world.
Poetry apps for writing poetry
Word Palette (iOS): Experimental writers can create poems by dragging around “palettes” of scrambled words.
Rhymers’ Block (iOS): A rhyme dictionary for your phone, for poets, rappers, and lyricists.
Poet Assistant (Android): A rhyme dictionary for Android users.
Cannonball (Android and iOS): It’s billed as a game, but Cannonball is more of a way for poets to create work using images and hashtags, and then share those poems with friends.
Poetreat (iOS): A poetry apps that suggests rhymes as you write.
ImageQuote (iOS): This isn’t exactly a poetry app—it lets users add words to pictures, but it can be used as a poetry app for Instagram. Poets can add their poems right into the app, layer them over backgrounds, and share them as images.
Textgram (Android): An Instagram text overlay app for Android-using poets.
Instant Poetry 2 (iOS): Remember refrigerator poetry? This lets you create and share poems with fridge poetry without blocking the fridge door or having to manage all those little magnets.
Be a Poet (Android): Another fridge poetry app, designed for brainstorming, creation, and meditation.
Portapoet (iOS): A social network for poets, who can write, share, and battle with their poems using the app.
Poetry apps to learn more about poetry
Poems by Heart from Penguin Classics (iOS): Need to memorize a poem for class? This app will help you do that.
The Sonnet Project (Android): There are a lot of free apps with libraries of Shakespeare’s sonnets, but this one is different. The New York Shakespeare Exchange created short films at various historic locations in NYC, each based on one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets.
My Daily Haiku (Android): A random haiku generator.
Build a Poem (iOS): A turn-based game, which lets players write poems or song lyrics together.
HaikuJAM (Android): A multiplayer writing game that lets players write a poem together.
Poetry Slam (Android): A game that lets poets duel with words.
Shatoetry (.99 on iOS and Android, sorry not sorry): The one and only official app of William Shatner! Build a poem read in the voice of the original Captain Kirk! Would you pay a dollar for that? The Shat hopes you will.
What are your favorite poetry apps? Any that I missed?