Bonnie Proudfoot reviews Pauletta Hansel’s new book of poetry titled Friend on the Meredith Sue Willis’s Blog.
“In early March of 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic began to make itself known, Pauletta Hansel, former Cincinnati Poet Laureate, author of 7 previous books of poetry, and winner of the 2017 Weatherford Award, gathered a group of poet/participants together to explore the potential of the epistolary poem. The workshop met in person for the first week; then, the world changed. Gatherings were prohibited, non-essential workers were ordered to stay home, and staples like toilet paper began to disappear from shelves. Ohio residents tuned into the daily briefings of Governor Mike DeWine, everyone began counting. The result is Friend, a collection of poems written by Hansel in the form of letters, in part, to her students in the class that was no longer able to meet in person.”