About Poetry & Purpose and E.T. Hansen

Poetry & Purpose is home to the writings and videos of E.T. Hansen, American writer originally from Hawaii, now living as an ex-pat in Berlin.

I write both fiction (thrillers and mysteries) and non-fiction (personal development). Until recently, I have written mainly in German – now I am returning to my home language.

This blog collects all the things I think about and encounter in the course of my work – including:

  • instruction on how to write (I also teach creative writing in Berlin);

  • how to become the man or woman you want to be (I am going through a process of personal transformation myself);

  • the lessons of life in general (60 years of life on this earth, 30 of those in a foreign country, not to mention the joys and vicissitudes of a writer’s life, have taught me a lot);

  • poetry and essays from guest writers I admire (especially German poetry I treasure, translated into English); and

  • news about my own writing and my adventures founding my own independent publishing house, Hula Ink, in order to bring my writing into the English-speaking world.

I hope you enjoy it – and if there’s anything you want to say, I am open to suggestions.

Who is E.T. Hansen?

I was raised in Hawaii, where I dreamed of going to Europe to see the Middle Ages and become a writer. I did both of those things (I studied medieval German literature in Munich and my first book was about a year-long trip through Germany in the footsteps of my personal heroes of the Middle Ages).

I first came to Germany as a Mormon missionary, then left the church (I tell that story in my book “Losing My Religion”) and moved to Berlin, where I wrote journalism, first in English then in German, for papers like Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, Die Zeit, Cicero and Süddeutsche Zeitung; then I began writing books in German, non-fiction at first (including “Planet Germany” and “Planet America”) and then thrillers.

When I turned 60, I decided to change my life, and am now in the midst fo that transformation; part of which is returning as a writer to my mother tongue English. To that purpose I have founded my own independent publisher, Hula Ink. I also teach creative writing in Germany.

My personal website is: ethansen.com

How did Poetry & Purpose get started?

Part of my efforts to establish Hula Ink as a successful publisher was building up a social media platform – I began making videos on a variety of subjects, and I named my YouTube-channel Poetry & Purpose. From there I expanded and began searching for a kind of hub that would include not just social media but also real writing – essays, fiction, and more.

When I discovered Substack, I decided to make my newsletter/blog here the hub of all my writing and video-making activities, under the same name: Poetry & Purpose.

We also have a website of the same name: Poetryandpurpose.life.

What is Hula Ink?

My independent publisher, after years of planning and learning, is now up and running.

Our first two books in English are The George Washington Rulebook of Achievement and You Will Find Love by digital artist and poet Cornelius Cornelius.

Our first German-language book, is Don’t Eat the Menu, a humorous non-fiction book about English as a second language.

Hula Ink also has a website: hulaink.com; Hula Ink Germany’s website is: hulaink.de

How can I support Poetry & Purpose?

Right now, everything on Poetry & Purpose is free. If you want to support Eric in his various activities, you can do that at Patreon.com.

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Practical advice and thoghtful rumination about life, writing and personal transformation from an American writer from Hawaii living in Berlin who decided, at the age of 60, to make a new life for himself.


E.T. Hansen

American writer in Berlin.