City Poems: A New Literary iPhone App

Writing in The Guardian, Victor Keegan, a longtime journalist and poet, talks about his new iPhone app, City Poems. The newly released app will run you $2.99 on iTunes, which makes it less than open, I know. (Have you seen our free app, by the way?) But it’s admittedly a pretty nice concept for the cultural crowd, enough to justify giving it a quick mention here. About City Poems, Keegan says:

City Poems – published today – … uses satellite navigation to guide culture vultures and tourists alike through the streets of central London poem by poem. After weeks of researching poems about the city, I realised that you can learn more about the past life of a city from poems than from most guide books and histories. Wherever you are standing in London (or New York for that matter) with an iPhone (or iPod Touch or iPad) in your hand it will tell you how many metres you are away from places and events that poems have been written about.

They include the execution of the criminal Jonathan Wild (one of the inspirations for John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera), public burnings in Smithfield (“His guts filled a barrel”) or the curious stories behind the statues in Trafalgar Square, which I had passed by in ignorance for many decades…

Like I said, an intriguing concept, and it seems as though Keegan has plans to bring this material to other mobile platforms. You can grab the app on iTunes here.

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