"The Velocity of Love is a love story like no other. Written in a series of poems that follow the conception, birth, and death of her grandson, Kathryn Gahl's words fly at you with the speed and pressure of excruciating love and pain. Her words are breathtaking in their depth and clarity of what it may be like to fall in love with an angel. Before there was psychotherapy, there was poetry. Kathryn's poetry takes extreme emotions and bottles them like tinctures that heal. In so doing, she gives voice to mystic truths."
BROOKE LAUFER, Psy.D.
"This is a breathtaking collection of bearing witness: To magic. To the ordinary. To life. To grief. To an invisible but indestructible chord of connection. Each poem sings on its own, but strung together, they dance."
TARA POHLKOTTE, founder, Storycatchers
"Spoiler alert: The Velocity of Love is analogous to Poe's prose inklings about Beauty, about transmogrification from joy to melancholy, about effect-heartbeat to heartbreak, 'the way an echo / will not leave // and can be heard / long after gone.' Equally, that echo is Kathryn Gahl's raven. One other thing, though. Poe penned that the perfect topic for poetry in order to affect an audience is death of a beautiful woman. He got it wrong."
KARL ELDER, author of the forthcoming Alpha Images: Poems Selected and New
"Kathryn Gahl addresses her grandson from embryo to the eternal in poems that chronicle what their lives might have been together: boisterous, joyous discovery, voluminous love and snuggling. Spoken directly to the child, these poems are both beautiful and terrible. No woman, grandmother, mother should feel the need to write these, but there is the power of poetry, its ability to say the unsayable. "Everywhere / I feel you: my head wobbly, / ribs imprisoned, heart seizing / at the thought of you /...." These poems will break your heart."
KARLA HUSTON, Wisconsin Poet Laureate 2017-2018
Kathryn Gahl's The Velocity of Love is a rollercoaster read - the slow rise with a gorgeous view, the foreboding pause at the top, and then the unbearable plummet. These poems are both ethereal and meaty, beautiful renderings of a terrible experience. A genuine wow."
CATHRYN COFELL, author of Stick Figure With Skirt
The Velocity of Love is a balm in Gilead which Kathryn Gahl delivers in a concise language of everyday life. Gahl unflinchingly carries us with her through a crucible of loss, which ultimately reveals itself to be a pathway of love-a love which forges a universalizing wholeness of being. Gahl invites the reader in with "the small of me in the arc of you," and "Be beautiful. / Be fierce. / Be anything but mad." With a clarity of vision, such as "how we hold our / head to joy / because we have seen / another side," Gahl shows us how to "favor circles over straight lines" and embrace life's gifts-"such a fine beat / I shall dance to it."
SYLVIA CAVANAUGH, author of Icarus: An Anthropology of Addiction