Poet, Memoirist, Teacher and Editor Pauletta Hansel is the 2022 Writer-in- Residence for the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library. She served as the first Poet Laureate of Cincinnati from April 2016 through March 2018.

Pauletta is author of nine poetry collections including  Heartbreak Tree, released in March 2022 by Madville Publishing.  Heartbreak Tree is a poetic exploration of the intersection of gender and place in Appalachia. Read three poems from the collection published in Still: The Journal here and via links below.

Other recent books include Friend (Dos Madres Press, 2020),  Coal Town Photograph (Dos Madres Press, 2019) and  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. Read poet Linda Parson’s review in Still The Journal here.

Previous books are 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 Oxford American, One (Jacar Press), New Verse News, JukeJoint, Change Seven, The Cincinnati Review, Rattle, The Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Northern Appalachian Review, Heartwood Literary Magazine, Sheila-na-Gig, Persimmon, Hong Kong Review, Thimble, Psaltery and Lyre, Molecule, Writing In A Woman’s Voice, Main Street Rag, Literary Accents, PoetrySouthTalisman, Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, Atlanta Review, ABZ Journal, Postcard Poems and Prose, Still: The Journal, The Mom Egg, and Appalachian Journal and anthologized in Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice; Feminine RisingA 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, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry and Verse Daily. Links to several 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 past 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.


Those big-boned, black-haired country boys… (Panoply)

Three poems in Still: The Journal

Two poems in Sheila-Na-Gig Online

At The Lifestyle Center (Roanoke Review)

Letter to Myself, 15 (Persimmon Tree)

May 1, 2020 Oxford American

May 1, 2020

cincinnatireview.com-miCRo Postcard from the Pandemic by Pauletta Hansel2


                                                                                                     By Kentucky Rose Photography

Falcon Theater’s online performance of poems from Pauletta’s newest book,  Coal Town Photograph, with music by Raison D’Etre:

Reading: Postcard from the Pandemic (March 23, 2020), The Cincinnati Review

Reading: Harlan County, USA (2019) in Rattle (Poets Respond)

Reading: I Confess in Rattle (Poets Respond)

Reading: Villanelle in a Minor Key on WVXU Around Cincinnati

Reading: When She Was Done from Coal Town Photograph on WVXU Around Cincinnati

Reading: Tracy Crow’s Accept Your Gifts Podcast  (Poetry Month collection of poems from several poets.)

Reading: The River at Brier Books. (Note: public video on Facebook)

Reading at Lees College, Jackson, KY, 2/12/19 (Note: public video on Facebook)

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

Two Poems (Letter to Myself, 15 and Story) Change Seven

The Road, Poetry Daily

Appalachia Re-Visioned Heartwood Literary Magazine

PANDEMIC: A Dictionary Guide The New Verse News

Postcard from the Pandemic (April 20, 2020) Juke Joint

Postcard from the Pandemic (April 13, 2020) The New Verse News

Postcard from the Pandemic (March 23, 2020), The Cincinnati Review

Poem: Home Is the Place Where, When You Have to Go There, You Only Think About How to Get Out 2019 Contest Winner in Still: The Journal

Poem: Harlan County, USA (2019) in Rattle (Poets Respond)

Poem: I Confess in Rattle (Poets Respond)

Poem: The View from There on American Life in Poetry selected by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate

Poem: Villanelle in a Minor Key in Still: The Journal

Poem: Morning, Loretto Motherhouse, Late November in Still: The Journal

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

Thomas More University Spotlight, Part One and Part Two.

Interview about the creation of the poem, “When You Ask Me To Tell You About My Father” on Chris Ann Cooper’s blog series, The Backstory of the Poem.

Radio Feature/ Interview on WEKU March 21, 2019

Radio Interview on Around Cincinnati, WVXU Broadcast, March 3, 2019

Bluegrass Bookend Interview part 1

Bluegrass Bookend Interview Part 2

Bluegrass Bookend Interview Part 3

Bluegrass Bookend Interview Part 4

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.