Lillian Yvonne-Bertram

Lillian Yvonne-Bertram

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Off Campus

Writing Now Reading Series

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, where they teach in and direct the UMass Boston MFA in Creative Writing Program. They have previously taught at St. Lawrence University, Ithaca College, and Williams College. They also direct the Chautauqua Institution Writers’ Festival. 

They are the author of the poetry collections "Travesty Generator" (Noemi Press, 2019), winner of the 2018 Noemi Press Poetry Prize, and finalist for the National Poetry Series. "Travesty Generator" received the 2020 Poetry Society of America Anna Rabinowitz Prize for interdisciplinary and venturesome work, and was longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award. They are also the author of How Narrow My Escapes (Diagram/New Michigan, 2019); Personal Science (Tupelo Press, 2017); a slice from the cake made of air (Red Hen Press, 2016); and But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise (Red Hen Press, 2012), chosen by Claudia Rankine as the winner of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award. Bertram’s other publications include the chapbook "cutthroat glamours" (Phantom Books, 2012), winner of the Phantom Books chapbook award; the artist book Grand Dessein (commissioned by Container), a mixed media artifact that meditates on the work and writing of the artist Paul Klee and was acquired by the Special Collections Library at St. Lawrence University; and "Tierra Fisurada," a Spanish poetry chapbook published in Argentina (Editoriales del Duende, 2002).

Bertram has published poetry, prose, and essays in numerous journals. Their honors include a 2020 Massachusetts Cultural Council Poetry Fellowship, a 2017 Harvard University Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Grant, a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, a finalist nomination for the 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Cave Canem, and others. Bertram holds a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from the creative writing program at the University of Utah, among degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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