It is on a threshold, at the edge, where we are most able to alter our understanding of the world and of our own lives in it.

—Gregory Orr, “The Edge As Threshold”


Read Erin M. Bertram’s Q&A with WriteByNight


Erin M. Bertram is a cross-genre writer, educator, and author of IT’S NOT A LONELY WORLD: A MEMOIR ON THE EDGE (Trembling Pillow Press, forthcoming 2020), winner of the 2016 and 2017 Karen Dunning Creative Activity Awards, selected by the Women’s & Gender Studies Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  IT’S NOT A LONELY WORLD was named runner-up for the Marie Alexander Series in prose poetry.  Bertram’s most recent chapbook, RELIEF MAP (C&R Press, 2017), won the Summer Tide Pool Chapbook Prize, and their fourteenth chapbook, GENDER/GENRE (forthcoming 2020), will appear as part of Ravenna Press’s Triple Series.

Bertram holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing with a Certificate in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing with a Specialization in Women’s & Gender Studies from UNL, where they were a 2017-2018 Maude Hammond Fling Dissertation Fellow and received an Award in Teaching Excellence.  A Zen practitioner and former drummer for Busted Chandeliers, they have also completed continuing ed coursework in Documentary Studies and graduate coursework in Counseling.

Bertram has 15+ years of experience as a college English teacher and writing & study skills tutor at Wash U, UNL, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Augustana College, Northern Illinois University, and elsewhere.  They have also designed programming, facilitated workshops, served on panels, and provided mentorship on creative writing, inclusive pedagogy, and support for the queer community in both higher ed and community settings across the Midwest.  Past organizations include: the Midwest Writing Center, the Nebraska Writing Project, PEN America, the National Association for Poetry Therapy, and the International Writing Centers Association.

A former John Woods Scholar with Prague Summer Program for Writers, Bertram has been a published finalist in the Diagram Hybrid Essay Contest and a recipient of two Academy of American Poets Prizes.  Their current project, the cross-genre biography THE VANISHING OF CAMILLE CLAUDEL, has been a finalist for the [Pank] Book Series and was recently longlisted for the 2020 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize.  They live with their spouse in northern Illinois, where they work as a writing coach & consultant with WriteByNight and One Lit Place.