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 and educator, and the 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 also named runner-up for the Marie Alexander Series in prose poetry.  Their 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.

They hold an MFA with a certificate in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and a PhD in English/Creative Writing with a specialization in Women’s & Gender Studies from UNL, where they were a 2017-18 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 higher ed and community settings across the Midwest.  Organizations include: the Midwest Writing Center, the Nebraska Writing Project, the Lincoln Zen Center, PEN America, Black Hawk College, 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 the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Prize in both 2008 and 2016.  Their current project, the cross-genre biography THE VANISHING OF CAMILLE CLAUDEL, has been a finalist for the [Pank] Book Series.  They live with their spouse in northern Illinois, where they are a writing coach & consultant with WriteByNight, One Lit Place, and Dissertation By Design.