The Mechanics of Love
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The Mechanics of Love

Price: £7.5

Selected by Carol Ann Duffy 

for the Laureate's Choice Collection 2019 (II)


The Mechanics of Love explores the impact of medicine on personal experiences and the human condition. As both biochemist and poet, Victoria Gatehouse is uniquely positioned to examine everything from mechanical heart valves and folklore to her experiences of an 80s childhood and being a mother with non-sentimental, scientific, yet tender scrutiny.



Pearls of deft humour and glistening humanity, packed with lines that sing, excite and generate such warmth. There is a light touch rarely found in poetry that plumbs the depths of human experience. A major talent.

– Keith Hutson


A sparkling collection. Birth, love and loss are handled with such tenderness and skill here it left me hungry for more.

– Carole Bromley


These poems are delicate, yet charged with grit. A well-wrought and compelling read.

– Elisabeth Sennitt Clough


The Mechanics of Love is a rich and sensuous collection, filled with Victoria Gatehouse’s empathy for the fragility of the body, a constant awareness of ‘the bleeding unseen beneath the gold.’

– John Foggin


Gatehouse's poems explore a diverse range of subjects: Artex men, love locks, 1980s perfume ads, cross dressers, owl pellets, pearl divers, Premier Inn hotel rooms, the visceral trials of a lab technician, lost tennis balls, spiders' webs, the delightful idiolectic 'Shunkley' and the speakers' ‘magpie need for bling’. Though there is distance between such subjects, Gatehouse skilfully unites them with the muscular language of the heart and sudden swerves, tricks and twists which take the poems to unexpected places.

– Gaia Holmes


These poems of lyric intensity and formal control glow like jewels in the fire-light. This short collection feels as achieved and expansive as a debut; enter here and enter an entire world re-envisioned.

– Sarah Corbett

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