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Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started Joining Accounts Moderation Sunlight Billing Community Copyright and Ownership About HePo
Getting Started
How do I add a poem?
On the very top-right of the page, click your profile photo/icon. That will reveal your user menu, where you'll find the "Write a poem" button.
Where do I find new stuff to read?
The best place is the Front page. You can get there by clicking on "Hello Poetry" at the top center of the page. You might also like to check out the Classic poets.
What are these emotion/reactions to poems?
You can privately share if a poem made you... smile, laugh, cry, drool, or any of the 16 reactions. This has two benefits
  • You can go back to browse the poems that made you feel a certain way
  • When enough other people also react in a similar way to a poem, that poem will be added to the "Make me... ___" page. Then anyone who is in need of a laugh, or a cry, can visit that page and find something that might give them what they're looking for
It's an experiment, for sure, so we'd love feedback on this feature!
How does the front page work?
The front page is a mashup of: poems that trended, poems selected for the daily and poems that received sunshine. The poem's temperature is based on how the community responds positively to it (heats it up) and how long it's been on the front page (cools it down). Once you've read a poem, it will be collapsed the next time you view the page. If you thumb-down a poem, it will be hidden next time you view the page.
What do the thumb/heart/repost/sun/flag icons do?
After you read a poem, you can express your reaction in several ways. Thumbing up the poem will "like" it, clicking the heart will "love" it and save the poem to your favorites, clicking the repost (recycle) icon will post the poem to your profile and share it with all your followers, and clicking the sun icon lets you push the poem to the front page by purchasing suns. On the far right, you can also thumb down the poem if you don't like it and don't want to see it again, or click the flag icon to report something offensive or inappropriate to the moderators.
Will thumbing down a poem notify the author?
No, a thumbs down is a private action, however a thumbs up will notify the author that you "liked" it.
How does a poem trend?
Whether a poem trends is based primarily on measurable activity like reads, likes, loves and reposts, though there are a number of other smaller factors that, in aggregate, can greatly influence whether or not a poem trends.
How is the daily poem selected?
Daily poems are selected from some of the most successful poems added to the site within the last month or so. The selection is done algorithmically (using measurements similar to the trending algorithm) and each poem is selected just after midnight UTC.
Can I add poems that contain explicit material?
Yes. If your poem contains certain explicit words it will be automatically marked as explicit and hidden from those who don't want to see explicit work.
Why the **** are my poems censored?
We made the difficult decision to hide bad words from publicly visible poems given that more and more students are using the site in the classroom. Please note that if you are logged in (i.e. you're a member) then no poems will be censored, so this only is in effect for those without an account. It's an imperfect measure to be sure, but the best one we could come up with.
How can I get more readers on Hello Poetry?
Once you've posted some poems, dig around the site (trending poems, search poems) and find other poems and writers that you like. Write a nice comment, like a poem or two and find some people to follow. Basically, get involved and connect with other people, and you'll find that other people soon start discovering your work.
How many tags can I add to a poem?
A poem can be tagged with up to 10 tags.
How do I confirm my email address?
When you sign up, we send an email to the address you gave us. To confirm your email and start posting poetry, you just need to click the link in the email we sent you.
What if I don't receive the confirmation email?
Check your spam box and please mark the email as "not spam". If you still don't see it, you can click "resend confirmation email"
I cannot access my account. Help!?
Visit the Forgot password page and entire the email address you signed up with. Within minutes, you'll be emailed a link allowing you change your password and access your account.
How can I delete my Hello Poetry account?
Once you're logged in to the account you'd like to delete, click the "Delete my account permanently" link on Advanced Settings, where you'll be asked to confirm the decision.
What work is unacceptable on Hello Poetry?
As a member, here are the guidelines we ask you to consider when flagging others' work:
  • Obscene or Inappropriate: We are generous around here about sexuality and violence, particularly if it's not the only kind of content posted by a member, and it has some genuine creative intention. Heaven and hell are within, so some expression that may be upsetting is appropriate (and is actually encouraged here). However, an obvious indulgence in being hateful, crude, or upsetting others isn't tolerated.
  • Harassment: This should be self-explanatory. If another person or group is singled out, explicitly or not, in a harmful context, that is harassment. Criticism of others' work is part of what it means to be a creative outlet, but abuse of other members' characters is not acceptable and will result in longer suspensions that other categories.
  • Copyright Violation: Plain and simple: posting work you didn't write. Could be lyrics to your fav song, a contemporary poet, or copying someone else's work from HePo. Try building on top of what they wrote; improving it; destroying it; parodying it; anything but copying it verbatim.
  • Spam: Generally robot submitted garbage (selling ED pills, return of long lost love, promise of eternal salvation after you send money, etc), but could include someone overtly promoting or selling a product of their own. Rare now a days but you might still find some slip through the front door.
This list is a work in progress. Please message me if you have additions or refinements.
Who are the moderators?
It is a small group of members who have demonstrated an interest and commitment to making this place better for all of us.
Why was my poem "removed"?
Once enough users have flagged a poem, it is removed from the site, pending a review by the moderators. If the moderators agree with the flags, the poem will permanently be removed, otherwise it will be reinstated immediately. You'll be notified when your poem goes "under review", when it is "removed" or when it is "reinstated".
Why is my account "temporarily suspended"?
That's the direct result of having a poem removed for violating the guidelines. Each time a poem is removed, it increases the amount of time your account will be in "time out". You still can access your poetry, but cannot add new work or use the site as you normally would.

For example, the first poem removal may only be a 24 hour suspension, but the second would be 3 days, the third 9 days and so on. The time frames increase dramatically but start low to give everyone a chance at redeeming themselves. Continued and deliberate disregard for the basic rules of decency and kindness we have in place will no longer be tolerated.
What can I do with suns?
Suns can be used to shine light on poems, pushing them onto the front page. Click the "sun" icon below the poem you'd like to shine light on. Another use for suns is in development! Stay tuned :)
How do I get suns?
You can purchase suns with a credit or debit card. Prices for suns range between $2.50 and $5.00 per sun, depending on how many you buy. You can also earn suns by writing good comments on others' poems. To purchase suns, click the button below

Get more suns
Why should I do this?
When you shine light on a poem you're:
  • deciding what poems are on the front page of Hello Poetry
  • supporting a poet's work that deserves attention
  • giving financial support to keep Hello Poetry running
Are there limits on how I can give sunshine?
Yes, you can shine light on one poem per day, and there is only so much sunlight available each day. Only active members can shine light on poems.
Can I shine light on my own poems?
Yes, light can be given to your own work just as you're free to stare into the sun, but it isn't recommended. It also takes more sunshine to do it.
What inspired this stupid/genius/unusual idea?
The inspiration for this gifting mechanism came from beautiful things like open source software, resources like Wikipedia, events like Burning Man and online funding platforms like Kickstarter. Ultimately though, it came out of a personal belief that people do like helping each other.
Is my credit card information safe with you?
Absolutely. Hello Poetry uses Stripe to securely store your credit card details. We only are allowed to issue charges to your card, and cannot access any of your card details. Ever.
Can I change my credit card on file?
Yes, currently you can by clicking the sun on a poem and then clicking "change" next to your card details.
What constitutes spam in the community?
We consider spam anything that abuses the features of the site to promote an agenda or product. Regrettably, limits have now been put in place to reduce spam, including how many poems one can like, people and collections one can follow, collections one can add a poem to and comments one can write. These limits are not final and based on activity within a period of time.
How can I block someone?
If someone is harassing you, or you dislike their work for any reason, you can block them. Once someone is blocked, they cannot read, like or comment on your work. You'll also stop seeing their work on the site (for example, on the trending page, or in a collection you follow). To block someone, click their name or photo to visit their profile, and look on the bottom right of the page for the "Block" button.
How can I un-block someone?
If you accidentally blocked someone, you can easily undo that by visiting the Manage blocked people page.
Can someone steal my poems?
Due to the nature of online publishing, someone can copy/paste your work without your permission, and there is little you can do to stop them. However, we've found this is rarely ever done, and is of little consequence when actually done.
Does Hello Poetry own my poetry?
Hello Poetry hasn't even dreamt of owning your poetry. If you read into the details of the Terms of Use of the website, you'll see that we do request the right to "use" your content only so we can display it on the website. That's it.
If I post my poems on Hello Poetry, can I still post them elsewhere?
Absolutely. We'd never think of asking for exclusive rights to your work; it is your work, after all!
Someone has posted one of my poems as their own! What can I do?
If you have found someone on Hello Poetry using your work, first contact that person directly via private message and ask them to take your work down.

If they do not respond, flag the poem as "Copyright Violation" and our moderators will review it. Please comment on the poem in question with your proof so our moderators can review that too.
I'd like to use a poem from the site, how can I contact the poet to request permission?
The best way is to contact the poet directly on the website. Create an account (a 'poem' is required, so just describe the nature of request in the poem field). Our moderators will approve the account, you can log in and then send the poet a message directly by going to their profile and clicking the "Message" button.
About HePo
What is Hello Poetry?
Hello Poetry (HePo) is for the poetry in your life; a place to belong; a place to practice expression, play, reflection, vulnerability, exposure, forgiveness; a place to be unfinished, unpolished, works in progress; a safe space for your expression, creativity and chaos; a tight-knit online community; whatever you want it to be.
Who runs the site?
Ah, this is where I introduce myself. Ahem, hello, my name is Eliot York. I built the site in the wee hours of many hot summer nights in 2009. Though the site has changed a lot since then, I'm still working on it part-time and it's intention is exactly the same: to create an online space for poetry that is, as much as humanly possible, 1) open to the dark 2) glowing with light, and 3) run with money but not for money. How're we doing?
How is the site run? Does it make money?
Until 2015, the site's costs were covered by me personally. Since then, the community has generously donated to cover the minimum server costs. One day, perhaps not too far in the future, my hope is the site could earn enough to cover servers AND support a small staff, myself included.
How can I contribute or donate to Hello Poetry?
Please read my brief note on the About page, which also has a list of options for supporting the site. Thank you :)
Is there an app for my iPhone or Android device?
Not currently. The site has been optimised so it should work well on your mobile phone's browser, but there is currently no native app.