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Introducing Cincinnati's First Poet Laureate

City of Cincinnati

Cincinnati has an official Poet Laureate.

Pauletta Hansel is the author of five poetry collections and has been featured on The Writer's Almanac, and in the Atlanta Review, Appalachian Journal and Talisman. 

She has written five collections of poetry, served as Writer in Residence at Thomas More College and is currently Writer in Residence at WordPlay Cincinnati. She also leads writing workshops around the area.

In January 2015, Vice Mayor David Mann suggested reviving the position of official poet of the city and renaming it Cincinnati Poet Laureate. A seven member advisory committee reviewed applications for the position and recommended Hansel. She will serve in the position for two years.

"Ms. Hansel’s writing is compelling," Mayor John Cranley said in a statement. "Her poems evoke the type of emotional reaction and convey rich details that leave a lasting impression for the reader."

According to the release, the Poet Laureate "must have written poetry that exemplifies the characteristics or spirit of Cincinnati. Additionally, the Poet Laureate is expected to promote poetry appreciation, encourage the reading and writing of poetry throughout the city, as well as compose and read poems for special events."

Hansel holds a bachelor's degree in Human Services from Antioch University, a master’s in Education from Xavier University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. Also, she is managing editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative.

A formal announcement is expected April 15 at the Mercantile Library.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio in markets including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.