Poet, Memoirist, Teacher and Editor Pauletta Hansel was recently named the first Poet Laureate of Cincinnati. She is author of five poetry collections, most recently 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 Almanac and Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. Links to poems and prose published online can be found below.
Pauletta has 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. She leads community writing workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond. She is a current editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. (Submission guidelines here.) Pauletta received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Originally from southeastern Kentucky, Pauletta lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Owen Cramer.
The Door is Round and Open
Some mornings the poem
is waiting for you, sits on
your sleep-damp chest
like a well-mannered cat
watching for one eye
to open before
putting a paw
to your cheek.
you are ripped from sleep,
the jagged edge of dream
caught in the wound
you will learn to call
Most days you must rise
in search of it; the poem
grown weary of your constant slumber
has clambered through the only open
window, burrowed out beneath
your garden fence
into the world beyond—
don’t go back to sleep.
From Tangle, Dos Madres Press 2015
Note: The title and final line of this poem are lines from a poem by Rumi.
Poetry Month Interview on WVXU, Around Cincinnati
CityBeat calls Pauletta 2017’s Best Ambassador for Poetry
Cincinnati Enquirer Article, April 23, 2016 on WordPlay’s Poet Tree Project.
Radio Interview on Around Cincinnati
WVXU broadcast September 25, 2015 “Pauletta Hansel Releases Her Newest Book Of Poetry, Tangle”
Radio Interview on Around Cincinnati, WVXU broadcast April 19, 2012
Online Interview on Dos Madres Press, Online Interview with Pauletta Hansel on Her New Book, Tangle
Radio Interview on Accents, WRFL broadcast Dec 14, 2012
Article on Soapbox Cincinnati, online magazine, published September 11, 2012
Radio Interview on WNKU, broadcast July 14, 2011
Poems and Essays
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: My Mother Has Stopped Telling Me She Loves Me in Stirring : A Literary Collection
Volume 18, Edition 7 : July 2016 (Sundress Publications)
Poem: Portrait of My Mother’s Dementia as Saturn’s Rings in Still The Journal, Summer 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!)
Poem on Postcard Poems and Prose, online magazine, published February 17, 2014
Poem on The Writer’s Almanac, American Pubic Media, July 15, 2015
Poem on American Life in Poetry selected by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate and the Poetry Foundation, April 2015