The Yellow Toothbrush: A Memoir of Trauma and Mercy

Published: 9/8/2022

Eight years ago writer, mom, and oma Kathryn Gahl found herself on a train she didn’t want to be on, with a ticket she didn’t buy. The Yellow Toothbrush is her journey of mercy. From her daughter’s father’s mother, pregnant in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, to falling in love with her daughter’s father in Greenwich Village in the 70s, to raising her daughter in a farmhouse with a garden in Wisconsin, to visiting her daughter in prison and what happens after that, Gahl connects the dots of trauma and...

Hard Life, Hard Love

Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming

Coming Soon!

Hot Summer Sofa

A cricket on the sofa crossed her legs
settled her see-through wings
no one noticed her or offered her a drink
she didn’t mind, she said to the spiders who
        dropped in
she didn&rsquo...

Praise for Hard Life, Hard Love

"Kathryn Gahl’s poems are filled with the sweet but hard liquor of life. With delicious details, she writes of domesticity, of rural living, of taverns and school busses, of grease guns and chainsaws. Details like “the sound the treetops/make when they touch the sky” and “… a cuddle-mad moon”...

Messengers of the Gods: New & Select Poems 

Cornerstone Press, 2022

Published: 4/21/2022

Moving and mysterious, these poems have such a nice beat, you can dance to them--even if you have two left feet.

The Velocity of Love

Outstanding Achievement Award
The Wisconsin Library Association 2021

Published: 8/26/2020

Kathryn Gahl’s THE VELOCITY OF LOVE is a poetic memoir about wonder, loss, and longing. Kathryn’s magic lies in transforming unimaginable grief into everlasting grace.

Praise for The Velocity of Love

“A brave love song for a child too early lost. Prepare for a roller coaster range of emotions. And witness the love. Always the love."
— JULIA DAVIS, Director, Kiel Public Library 

"What I find most remarkable, then, is the courage to let this story unfold. Gahl returns to the joy of anticipation and is able to let it soar. She has the courage to let words do their work of re-creating what she anticipated as she anticipated it even though wha...

Life Drawing Class

Published: 4/1/2009

A preview of the title poem from the collection...

Life Drawing Class

She offers
herself up, nude
Nervous, curious
A pretense
of grace
As the pose is set
denial of
A ripple of chill
across her clavicles
Spasm in the great toe
and down the...

Praise for Life Drawing Class

"The graceful poems in Kathryn Gahl’s new collection titled LIFE DRAWING CLASS are an undeniable pleasure to read. Skillfully crafted, they reveal a firm control of pace, color and tone, taking the reader on an impressionistic journey through a high-risk world–from the poet’s girlhood to her coming-of-age in uneasy times, through marriage, motherhood, bereavement–and finally coming to rest at a point in mid-life marked not only by grief and loss, but also by life-affirming gain and en...