What is Passions in Poetry?

The Passions in Poetry web site was founded in 1998, as a subdirectory off a personal web site. It was essentially just a few score of my own poems, organized in just five categories. It was the first Internet web site, I believe, to offer visitors an easy, interactive way to email the poetry to a friend or loved one, though that functionality was certainly much more basic than what we have available today. By the close of 1998, quite a number of other writers had joined the Passionate family as Resident Poets, and the number of poems available had increased to several hundred.

In early 1999, Passions in Poetry was moved to its own domain at www.netpoets.com, where it still resides today.

We quickly grew to thousands of Resident Poets, tens of thousands of poems and stories, and as I write these words in 2005, the site averages over two million unique visitors a month. Several other web sites have been spawned from the original Passions in Poetry, including our pipTalk Poetry Forums and, of course, our showcase for the best poems published at Passions, 100-poems.com.

How are the Best Poems selected?

Our selection process for 100-Poems.com list is really very simple. All of the poetry found here was originally published at the Passions in Poetry web site. That means each poem has already gone through a fairly rigorous culling, and it also means that each one of these poems has been read by a LOT of very diverse people.

Passions gets between one and two million unique visitors every single month, making it one of the most active and popular sites on the Internet. As I write these words, Passions has been visited by over 86 million people. As you read them, I'm sure it will be more.

Counting The Votes

Each of those many, many visitors are given the opportunity to vote for their favorite poems and can also, just like here, send their favorite poems to a special friend. When voting, people are encouraged to add a comment to their vote, and it's not unusual to find poems with several hundred such comments attached to them. Some have more than a thousand.

Those three items, taken together, determine the popularity of a poem.

A vote counts as one point. If they took the time to add a comment, we assume that means something, so we add another point. And if someone sends a poem to a friend, that's a real good indication they liked the poem enough to share it, so that gets another point.

Each visitor is allowed a single vote per day per author (rather than per poem). They can vote as often as they like, for as many poems as they like, but only the first vote for a particular author counts (voting for other authors is fine). This is designed to prevent Bobby from coming in and stuffing the ballot on all of his sister's poems, and we meticulously track IP addresses on every vote to insure everything remains fair.

It's also important to note that all of the poems at Passions are listed in the order they were published (within each of the many categories and sub-categories). This essentially means that the older poetry is often seen less often than the newer poetry and, in a sense, that serves to level the playing field. A poem that's been on Passions for two years has obviously had time to get a lot more votes, but as new poetry is added it gets less and less exposure and the votes tend to slow. That gives the new poetry a chance to play catch up.

While no procedure will ever be perfect, we've taken great pains to make our sysem as fair as possible. We think the quality of poetry you'll find in the 100 Poems list is a testament to how well the system continues to work.

Why can't I vote here?

Very simply, because it wouldn't be fair. If all of the many thousand poems at Passions in Poetry are to remain on a level playing field, then the main site can be the only place where votes are cast. Clearly, the several hundred poems showcased at 100-poems.com get a LOT of additional exposure, and it wouldn't be fair if that additional exposure was allowed to result in additional votes.

For that same reason, we don't even provide a direct link from a poem in our showcase to the same poem at the main site. If the votes from our visitors are to continue to have meaning, we have to be careful not to influence the final tallies.

Where do I submit my own poetry?

All of the poems in our 100-poems.com showcase site were originally published at the main site, Passions in Poetry. If you would like your poem or story to have any chance of being inducted into our 100 Favorite Poems gallery, you will first have to submit at the main site and be accepted there. After that, the fate of your work will rest with our many, many visitors.

In addition to the main site, however, poetry and prose is regularly published at our very popular pipTalk Poetry Forums. It's a smaller audience than the main site, a community of people who share their friendship as much as their writing.

Note: Due to heavy demand, submissions at the main site and registrations in the forums aren't always open. If you find either or both closed, please check back in a week or so. Like so much else in life, the best opportunities sometimes take a little perseverance.