First Person by Pauletta Hansel


Hansel takes the stuff of her life- that first person world- and spins a web which takes in all of us who have lived awhile. – Dana Wildsmith, author of One Good Hand


  • Kind: Chapbook
  • Pages: 36
  • Language: English
  • Published: September, 2007
  • ISBN: 978-1-933675-27-5

Praise for First Person

“Hansel takes the stuff of her life- that first person world- and spins a web which takes in all of us who have lived awhile. We travel through her poems blessed ‘with light for (our) journey’, feeling not like voyeurs but companions for whom, Hansel claims, ‘I must still give thanks.’ Enlarged by our journey, we offer our thanks back to her.” —Dana Wildsmith, author of One Good Hand

“These are poems of a wonderful grace, simplicity, and discipline. Each is cut fine as a jewel. Each takes a perfectly executed leap from the mundane. There is grief here, but something else as well. In a world of poetic lament, it is a joy to find poems that lift us into the poet’s joy.” —Michael Henson, author of The Tao of Longing and Crow Call

“First Person is Pauletta Hansel’s poetic record of a journey, one of discovery and reflection about her origins, family, work, children, love. Her road is sometimes jagged, rarely certain, and because of this, is courageous and honest in its quest for meaning, purpose and peace.” —Joseph Enzweiler, author of A Winter on Earth


Family Histories  

Speaking one night of fathers
I tell my friend this story,
but lightly, an afterthought—
it is easier to remember
the darkened rooms
of my sad father’s long nights.

But those nights came later;
he was simply daddy
that Sunday after church
when my little brother asked
why he had to preach so boring.
My friend asks me,

What did your father say to that?
But my memory holds this story
only as a small son’s speaking
of his truth.
I say, He laughed, perhaps?
Mussed up a mop of curls,

threw a smiling boy up in the air?
My friend says,
That would have been the belt for sure,
in my house, words filling me with ache
and gratitude, too easy to forget,
for my young father’s grin.

About the Author

hanselPauletta Hansel’s poetry has been featured in journals including Wind, Mountain Review, Adena, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Appalachian Journal, and anthologized in A Gathering at the Forks, Old Wounds, New Words, A Kentucky Christmas and Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia. Her first collection of poems, Divining, published in 2002, resulted in her selection by the Ohio Poetry Day Association as Poet of the Year and as Best Local Author by readers of the Cincinnati arts periodical CityBeat. Other awards include a Post-Corbett Award in Literary Arts, a residency at Hedgebrook Women Writers Retreat and the Antioch Writers Workshop’s Bill Baker Scholarship. Pauletta is Co-Director of Grailville Retreat and Education Center in Loveland, OH and an independent artist/consultant, leading creative writing workshops and other programs in schools, community centers and prisons. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Owen Cramer.

Additional information

Weight 3 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in