LIFE DRAWING CLASS: Poems both sassy & sophisticated

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Kathryn Gahl is a writer, dancer, and registered nurse. Born to an Irish nurse and German farmer, she grew up with seven siblings in a farmhouse located at the end of a half-mile gravel drive. She earned a B.S. in English at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a B.S. in Nursing at Syracuse University (NY). After 25 years in nursing and nursing management, she became a full-time writer, studying at Bread Loaf, Stonecoast, Sewanee, Iowa Writers’ Workshop Fiction Intensive, Iowa Summer Festival, Vermont College, and Taos.

Her poems and stories are widely published in small journals, including Eclipse, Hawaii Pacific Review, Permafrost, Porcupine Literary Arts Magazine, and Willow Review. Twice a Glimmer Train finalist, she received honorable mention from The Council of Wisconsin Writers. Margie named her a finalist for the 2006 Marjorie J. Wilson Award. Other finalist awards include poetry at Lumina and Chautauqua and fiction in the Arthur Edelstein Prize for Short Fiction plus the William Richey Short Story Contest.

Mother of two young adults, she loves red lipstick, the tango, and home cooking. Her readings have been described as “lively and pulsating. Even if you don’t like poetry, you will get goosebumps when you hear Kathryn.” She participates in Reading Buddies, a Wisconsin program supplying readers and picture books to preschoolers.

Gahl recently finished her first novel (hooray)! Inspiration flows from her father, who would have been a writer if it weren’t for frozen barn pipes, sows farrowing at midnight, rust in the wheat field, cows breaking into the raspberry patch, and eight children wanting lunch money. That, and his devotion to his wife and Saturday night dance partner, Kathryn's mother. This site is dedicated to them.


Life Drawing Class (The Cottage Corollary, 2009)

"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 enlightenment. The elements that Gahl consciously borrows from the visual arts--line, shape, shadow and light--are all realized here with delicacy and considerable passion, 'recalling love/​left in the marrow.'"
--Marilyn L. Taylor, Wisconsin Poet Laureate

"Art, even poetry, has its stars and character actors, both of whom essentially mirror themselves. However, there is no type-casting Kathryn Gahl, as LIFE DRAWING CLASS, this, her first collection, attests, with no two poems quite alike, each having assumed the mental of truth for the moment. Readers familiar with Walter Pater's 'To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life' will discover a kindred spirit here, the difference being never in the degree of energy the poet projects but in the many roles she assumes from sometimes sassy farm girl to savvy and sophisticated sensibility."
--Karl Elder, author of Gilgamesh at the Bellagio

This 75-page collection includes original watercolors.
$19.95 plus tax, S/​H.







Selected Works

Poetry
Chautauqua Poetry Contest Finalist
A tribute to land and those who honor it
view from a model
a poem about soldiering
A whimsical look at the art world
Fiction
This excerpt from Gahl’s first novel was a Glimmer Train finalist in the Very Short Fiction competition.
Short Story
A story of a very bad break-up
A one-night stand between an overweight dancer and a disc jockey creates some serendipitous issues.

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