The Academy of America Poets, one of the major nonprofits devoted to poetry and the organization that created National Poetry Month, has adapted its Web site for use on the iPhone and other mobile devices, according to Robin Beth Schaer, chief online coordinator. The Academy’s site, poets.org, features an expansive online archive of poems tagged by theme, essays about poetry, links to poetry related resources and other related content, and is a popular tool for finding poems to read at occasions, such as weddings and funerals. Using Web 2.0 standards as well as Apple’s Developer’s Guidelines, the Academy has added a new section to its site—poets.org/m—that refits and optimizes its content for mobile devices.
“Businesses know that people are going to want to find out about things like the news and the weather, and those kinds of companies all adapted to mobile formats very quickly. I do think poetry is every bit as essential. Its value far outweighs the dollar price for a poem,” said Tree Swenson, executive director of the Academy. And, of course, many poems are already the right size and shape to fit on a small mobile-device screen. “How many times have I been stuck in a line at the post office and bored to tears?” said Swenson. “How great to be able to read a poem—it drops the floor out from under wherever you are, and it is perfectly suited to the medium.”
The home page of the new site features buttons linked to poems by subjects, such as “Weddings,” “Parenting” “Politics,” “Love” and “Ageing.” According to Schaer, Apple’s Developer’s Guidelines dictate the whole format of the site in order to best make use of the iPhone’s capabilities, from the font to the navigational tabs and buttons. Future plans include video podcasts. As is the case throughout the book business, Schaer is excited about where the mobile Web is headed: “The iPhone keeps growing and changing, and the programming that’s available to us keeps expanding.”