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.

pic Pauletta green porch

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.
I’m here.

Other mornings
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

City of Cincinnati Poet Laureate Webpage

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

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

logo pauletta wnkuRadio 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

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 the writers almanac small fat rectanglePoem on The Writer’s Almanac, American Pubic Media, July 15, 2015

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 poetryPoem on American Life in Poetry selected by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate and the Poetry Foundation, April 2015

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

logo pauletta athens word of mouthPoem on Athens Word of Mouthpoetry blog, published June 2013

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