Daniel James   Oct 5, 2011
Photo Me
Some people say the poet doesn’t matter, the poem stands alone. But imagine reading a poem that moves you to tears with its depth and sensitivity, clicking on the poet’s name to have a look at their profile and finding that it was written by Piers Morgan, or (perhaps worse) someone who wanted to be Piers Morgan and had a headshot of him for their profile pic.

The most common profile picture on Hello Poetry is a headshot, I’m going to assume of the actual poet in question as there’s no way of telling otherwise. Photos are automatically converted to black and white on being uploaded, which I assumed was a cheap trick by Eliot to make us all look like ‘proper’ poets. However, he insists it was actually because in the early days of the site, Neva Flores uploaded a headshot with so many millions of colours that it broke the system and the whole site was down for a week. You’ll have to make your own judgement.

In any case, some poets were simply made for headshots. And some, not so much. Which is great. If we all looked like we were on 90210, no one would have gotten creative with their jpegs and Hello Poetry would be in danger of looking like a line-up of literary mugshots.

Without further ado, here is that very lineup of intriguing literary mugshots and other, more inventive uses of the format.

Click on the photo to take you to a random poem by that person.

This was made with MS paint! Genius!

Poet’s must always wear their heart on their sleeves…

A nailbiting writer who is not afraid to use her hands!

That’s poet fire coming out of his brain!

Ah - She’s bending her knees so sweetly... or perhaps under the weight of that baseball bat with nails in it she's holding behind her back?

We all like a poet who tackles the big subjects…

And when the most interesting thing in a poet’s room isn’t the camera!

Diamond eyes?

Flower power + smile = I dare you not to click.

But can you do that and write poetry at the same time we wonder?

Who else could reasonably insist on Jack Nicholson playing them in their bio-pic?

Sometimes you can tell from a photo that someone’s poetry won’t throw you into a pit of depression.

I’m going straight to the mirror to work on my moustache. Very Jealous!

Wrong decade? Wrong instrument? Perfect photo!

Grrr. Now I’m going to have to work on my beard too. Not enough hours in the day.

I want some of what you got!

Justin’s not joking – he started writing poetry while he was in the military!

And if you still haven’t been intrigued enough to click through somewhere else and stop reading this post, perhaps you just prefer that blank box look after all. Click for a random poem from anyone old or new!

That’s it! As ephemera would say, go read something!

And a big thank you to everyone whose profile pic appeared in this post. I wish you new readers and a good sense of humour!