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Great poetry read aloud by great actors.

‘Poetry, this trinity of sound, sense and sensibility, gives voice to experience in the way that no other art form can’ Josephine Hart

The Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation has developed a free app, allowing users to read their favourite poetry collections alongside performances and narrations by great actors.

The Poetry Hour app was originally designed for the late author and poetry enthusiast, Josephine Hart. It is now being constantly updated to ensure that all the readings surrounding her infamous Poetry Hours will be available to view.

The Poetry Hour app will draw you into a parallel universe of over one hundred poems from sixteen of the greatest poets of all time. The poetry is accompanied by video and audio narrations from over thirty world-class actors and performers.

The Poetry Hour app was designed for students, teachers, poetry lovers and poetry novices – everyone should be given the chance to enjoy great poetry read aloud.

Read introductions and essays for each poet, beautifully written by Josephine Hart. Her knowledge of poetry and passion for verse makes this feature an ideal educational tool for anyone and everyone wanting to dive into the enchanting world of poetry.

Are you a poet? Do you fancy creating your own poetry? Write poems, save them into your very own library, and share your creations with your friends. If you get stuck along the way, The Poetry Hour app can supply you with inspirational words from all your favourite poets.

‘Poetry, once it entered my mind, surfaced at times of need and became a lifeline’ Josephine Hart


W.H Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Browning, Lord Byron, Emily Dickinson, T.S Eliot, Robert Frost, Rudyard Kipling, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, John Milton, Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath, Christina Rossetti, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Butler Yeats
Melvyn Bragg, Richard Eyre, David Hare, Frieda Hughes, Tom Stoppard, Alan Yentob, Peter Florence & Deborah Findlay

Eileen Atkins, Claire Bloom, Bono, Tom Burke, Nancy Carroll, Simon Callow, Alan Cox, Brian Cox, Kenneth Cranham, Sinead Cusack, Charles Dance, Hugh Dancy, Joanna David, Brian Dennehy, Lindsay Duncan, Rupert Evans, Ralph Fiennes, Deborah Findlay, Peter Florence, Edward Fox, Emilia Fox, Bob Geldof, Alexander Gilmour, Julian Glover, Grey Gowrie, Rupert Graves, Robert Hardy, Tom Hollander, Frieda Hughes, Jeremy Irons, Max Irons, Derek Jacobi, Felicity Jones, Felicity Kendal, Damien Lewis, Helen McCrory, Ian McDiarmid, Elizabeth McGovern, Roger Moore, John Mortimer, Harold Pinter, Rosamund Pike, Edna O’Brien, Charlotte Rampling, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Redmayne, Dan Stevens, Juliet Stevenson, Mark Strong, Harriet Walter, Dominic West, Samuel West, Greg Wise and Angus Wright.

WEBSITE: www.thepoetryhour.com

- Read poetry from sixteen of the greatest poets through the ages
- Listen and watch powerful narrations, as over thirty world-class actors and performers read poetry aloud
- Read in-depth introductions and essays by Josephine Hart on each poet and their poetry
- Share everything through Email, Twitter and Facebook
- Meme creator. Add your own meme with a background from your camera roll or take snaps directly with your phones camera
- Receive occasional push notifications to inform you of any notable new additions to the poetry collection
- Listen to a large collection of poetry read by great actors

What’s New

Version 3.0.2

Our new logo! And minor updates to support newer iPhones and iOS versions.

Ratings and Reviews

3.3 out of 5
15 Ratings
15 Ratings
BodyBeDifferent ,

Very limited selection of poets

Another reviewer already commented on the lack of representation. I’ll go further. Every poet here is White. I recognize this is a British program, but given their centuries old practice of colonizing everywhere and the fact that London is now one of the more diverse cities in the world, surely they could do better. One of their purported missions is education, particularly aimed at youth, perhaps they would better accomplish this task if they considered showing their target audience a wider expanse of the world, and they would not have to include more US American poets, although the ones presented here are understandable within this narrow view of poetry written in English. They could at least include Derek Walcott and Kamau Brathwaite, two hugely influential poets, who fall within their time frame and under the British umbrella, and their poetry is beautiful.

In addition, the presentation of the written poetry is cluttered and a lot of things are mislabeled.

Last but not least I could not get the sound to work.

I really wanted to love this app, but unfortunately I cannot give it my heart.

J_a_e_ ,

boring app

I'm disappointed several people have already commented about the lack of diversity and this app still hasn't reevaluated.

I'll go further to say it's NOT POETRY FOCUSED it was easier to find a bio on Eddie Redmayne for being a narrator (okay...) than any poet I could think of! My first search was for William Carlos Williams... no luck!

I had to rack my brain for names of poets before I found TS Eliot - and he's on there with his top 5 works, that's all.

I wanted to dig into real poetry. From around the world? Even better. An app of international poetry would be huge! And I just want to read I don't need all this pretentious sounding audio.

If it is good, it should shock you to the core of your humanness and make you question everything. It should make the sound of your next breath a stranger as you sit stiffly with goosebumps. It should be about the WRITING

not freakin Eddie Redmayne pictured there like an advertisement for an app I already have downloaded because hello I'm looking at it come on

ParkLee ,

An Extreme Lack of Diversity

I could tell the app would probably be like this but it’s still unfortunate and shameful.
In the category of poets, there are ZERO non-White poets included in the app. Are legendary writers like Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Nikki Giovani and James Weldon Johnson just not on your radar at all? Or do you believe British White people to be the only ones capable of writing great poetry?

In the category of readers, there is only ONE non-White person and I don’t think any non-British people. What about great actors/readers like the immortal MORGAN FREEMAN, Denzel Washington, Maya Angelou, James Earl Jones, Dennis Haysbert, Oprah Winfrey, and many, many more?

It’s 2018 guys. British White people aren’t the only ones who changed the world through writing.


The Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation
85.6 MB

Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
© Josephine Hart


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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