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, Poetry As Survival
Erin M. Bertram is a cross-genre writer and educator originally from Chicagoland. They earned an MFA in Creative Writing 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 the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where they were a 2017-18 Maude Hammond Fling Fellow and received an Award in Teaching Excellence. A Zen practitioner and former drummer for the band Busted Chandeliers, they have also completed continuing ed coursework in documentary studies and graduate coursework in counseling.
A former John Woods Scholar with Prague Summer Program for Writers, Bertram is the author of the cross-genre memoir It’s Not a Lonely World (Trembling Pillow Press, forthcoming 2020), winner of the 2016 and 2017 Karen Dunning Creative Activity Awards. Their thirteen chapbooks include Relief Map (C&R Press, 2017), winner of the Summer Tide Pool Chapbook Prize, and Body of Water (Thorngate Road, 2007), winner of the Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award. And they were a published finalist in the 2013 Diagram Hybrid Essay Contest.
Bertram has 15+ years of experience as a writing & study skills tutor and college English teacher 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 education and community settings across the Midwest.
Bertram’s current project, the cross-genre biography The Vanishing of Camille Claudel, has been a finalist for the [Pank] Book Series. Recent work appears in Fourteen Hills and is forthcoming in Transgender Narratives Anthology. They work as a writing coach & consultant with One Lit Place, WriteByNight, and Dissertation By Design, and live with their spouse amid field and forest in northern Illinois.