Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started Joining Signing in 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.
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.
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"
Signing in
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 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.
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 that does not work, please contact us.
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!
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) unmediated by 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.