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About Me

I am a writer, dancer, and former registered nurse. My dual degrees in English (UW-Stevens Point) and nursing (Syracuse University) led me to 25 years in nursing and managment, after which I studied writing at Bread Loaf, Stonecoast, Sewanee, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop Fiction Intensive, Iowa Summer Festival, Vermont College, and Taos.

My multi-genre works appear in many journals and several anthologies and have won awards from Glimmer Train, Margie, Chautauqua, Talking Writing, The Mill, the Hal Prize, and Wisconsin People & Ideas. The Council of Wisconsin Writers gave me the Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award in 2019.


Mother of two and oma to one, I love wordplay, dancing Tango, cooking, yoga, dark chocolate, deep sleep, a good laugh, and (you may have guessed) red lipstick. My readings have been described as “lively and pulsating. Even if you don’t like poetry, you will get goosebumps when you hear Kathryn," wrote Shana Deets. I've taught poetry to fourth-graders, appeared often on Storycatchers live storytelilng stage, and served as Writer-in-Residence at Lakeland University (WI). 


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.