Launched by a San Diego-based web poet and podcaster, Hellicane began modestly enough, featuring three eclectic poems addressing the disaster in different ways ( Within a few days, nearly a thousand visitors from around the world had visited the site, and the featured poems contributed by poets (including Hurricane Katrina victims themselves) swelled to twenty, with more submitted and posted every day.

Hellicane poems range from the highly political ("Translating Bush's Speech As He Cuts His Long Vacation Short") to the highly emotional ("Timeless Memories Of Our Past") and from the religious ("In The Midst Of The Storm, He Is There") to riveting first-hand accounts set to verse ("In This Land Of Plenty").

Contributing poets are just as diverse, ranging from a nursing home resident in Oregon to a newspaper reporter from Philadelphia, from a family member of New Orleans law enforcement officials to anonymous survivors of the storm.