Poet, Memoirist, Teacher and Editor Pauletta Hansel served as the first Poet Laureate of Cincinnati from April 2016 through March 2018. She is author of six poetry collections, most recently Palindrome (Dos Madres Press, 2017), which was awarded the prestigious Weatherford Award for the best Appalachian poetry book of 2017. Read her blogs about the writing of Palindrome here.

Other recent books include  Tangle (Dos Madres Press, 2015), The Lives We Live in Houses (Wind Publications, 2011) and What I Did There (Dos Madres Press, 2011). Pauletta’s poetry and prose has been featured recently in journals including Talisman, Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, Atlanta Review, ABZ Journal, Postcard Poems and Prose, Still: The Journal, The Mom Egg, Penwood Review and Appalachian Journal and anthologized in A Gathering at the Forks; Old Wounds, New Words; A Kentucky Christmas; Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia; the Motif series and Creatures of Habitat and Crossing Lines.  Her poems have been featured on The Writer’s AlmanacTed Kooser’s American Life in Poetry and Verse Daily. Links to poems and prose published online can be found below.

Pauletta leads community writing workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond. She is managing editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. (Submission guidelines here.)  In addition to her role of Cincinnati’s Poet Laureate, Pauletta served as Writer in Residence at Thomas More College’s Creative Writing Vision Program and at WordPlay, a literary and literacy organization for younger writers. Pauletta received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Originally from southeastern Kentucky, Pauletta lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Owen Cramer.

pic Pauletta green porch

Wasp, old friend
from yesterday, wakes too 
with the sun, first a wide swath of silk
draped against the far knobs,
now a pulsing orb
I lean away from in my chair
to save my sight.
The wasp navigates the screen
that keeps him from flight
and death, come evening
frost that has already chilled
the leaves from the sycamore
where dark birds alight, then swoop
as in one gathered breath
away. Oh wasp!
Your careful crawl toward
blaze of death 
from which, for all my pretty words,
I would not save you.



Reading: Tending Green at Word of Mouth, Cincinnati

Reading: Strawberry Moon at Word of Mouth, Cincinnati

Reading: Of What We Make Our Poems on WVXU Around Cincinnati.

Reading: Our Words: Cincinnati, April 2017 on WVXU Around Cincinnati.

Poems and Essays

Poem: The City in Appalachian Heritage

Poem: To Break a Thing a collaborative poem by Leigh Cheak, Ron Houchin, and Pauletta Hansel in Still: The Journal.

Poem: Portrait of My Mother as a Dried Sunflower in Verse Daily

Poem: “A Blessing for the Feast of All Poets” read by the young Kentucky poet, Mackenzie Berry, in her first Word to Wellness Podcast.

Poem: Palindrome in Still: The Journal

Poem: Girl Villanelle in Silver Birch Press, ME at 17

Microfiction/Prose Poem: Secrets in Postcards Poems and Prose Magazine, 1/31/17

Poem: Photograph of a Woman at a Funeral in Journal of Kentucky Studies, Vol. 31, 2016

Poem: Portrait of My Mother’s Dementia as Saturn’s Rings in Still The Journal, Summer 2016

Poems on Accents Publishing’s Lexington Poetry Month Blog, June 2016

Of What We Make Our Poems: May 2016 Picture/Poem in Movers & Makers Cincinnati

Poem 314 it on the HIV Here & Now Project (For poet Joseph Enzweiler, who died of brain cancer, April 16, 2011. We miss you Joe!)

logo pauletta wvxu around cincinnati

National Poetry Month: A Poem From Cincinnati Poet Laureate Pauletta Hansel on WVXU

logo pauletta postcard poems prose fat rectanglePoem on Postcard Poems and Prose, online magazine, published February 17, 2014


logo pauletta still the journalPoems in Still: The Journal, author page
Poems in Still: The Journal, Haints & Saints: A Poetry Sampler 
Creative Nonfiction in Still: The Journal, “My Father’s Photograph”

logo pauletta appalachian heritagePoems in Appalachian Heritage, author page

logo pauletta american life in poetry

Poem: Husbands on American Life in Poetry selected by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, April 2015, the Poetry Foundation, and read by Garrison Keillor on The Writers Almanac, July 15, 2015.


logo pauletta whirlwind reviewPoems in The Whirlwind Reviewonline journal, published Autumn 2013

Poem on Athens Word of Mouthpoetry blog, published June 2013


Links to Articles and Interviews


Still the Journal: Linda Parsons reviews Palindrome 

WEKU: Award Winning Writer Pauletta Hansel to Lead Workshop

Berea College: Weatherford Award for Best Appalachian Books Announced

My Therapy Blog: 20 Valuable Blogs for Caregivers

Xavier University: Montessori Teaching Grounds Cincinnati Poet Laureate

Cincinnati.com: Springer Hosts Cincinnati Poet Laureate Pauletta Hansel

Ohio Arts Council Arts Blog: Appalalachian Writers Project Showcases the Power of the Small Press

Poetry Month Interview on WVXU, Around Cincinnati

CityBeat calls Pauletta 2017’s Best Ambassador for Poetry

Interview on Sundress Publications blog

Poet Laureate participation in the Opening Ceremony for the first annual Cincinnati Neighborhood Games.

Review of Tangle, Journal of Kentucky Studies

CityBeat Interview, May 25, 2016: Poetic Justice

Interview on “Inside the Writer’s Head” Cincinnati Public Library writer-in-residence Jeff Hillard’s podcast

Interview with WNKU’s Cheri Lawson, May 27, 2016

Cincinnati Enquirer Article, April 23, 2016 on WordPlay’s Poet Tree Project.

logo pauletta wvxu around cincinnati

Radio Interview on Around Cincinnati
WVXU broadcast September 25, 2015Pauletta Hansel Releases Her Newest Book Of Poetry, Tangle

Radio Interview on Around CincinnatiWVXU broadcast April 19, 2012


Online Interview on Dos Madres Press, Online Interview with Pauletta Hansel on Her New Book, Tangle

logo pauletta wrfl accents.pngRadio Interview on Accents, WRFL broadcast Dec 14, 2012

logo pauletta soapbox cincinnati.pngArticle on Soapbox Cincinnati, online magazine, published September 11, 2012

For more information, or to schedule a reading or event please contact me.

Palindrome cover