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 the author of It’s Not a Lonely World (Trembling Pillow Press, forthcoming 2019)—a lyric hybrid text memoir about storge and transmasculinity—which was runner-up for the 2017 Marie Alexander Poetry Prize and winner of Karen Dunning Creative Activity Awards in 2016 and 2017.  They have also published thirteen chapbooks, including Relief Map (C&R Press, 2017), which won the Summer Tide Pool Prize.  A former college English teacher and recipient of a National Association for Poetry Therapy scholarship, their cross-genre work and poems appear in Diagram, South Dakota Review, Leveler, Uprooted: An Anthology on Gender and Illness, and elsewhere, and are forthcoming in Transgender Narratives Anthology.

Bertram holds an MFA in creative writing with a certificate in women, gender, & sexuality studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and a PhD in English with specializations in creative writing and women’s & gender studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  They are currently pursuing an MSEd in Counseling at Northern Illinois University, where they are a Graduate Assistant Writing Coach.


A selection from It’s Not a Lonely World was a finalist for the 2017 Gold Line Press Poetry Chapbook Contest and a runner-up for the 2018 Gazing Grain Press All-Genre Chapbook Prize, about which judge Khadijah Queen writes:

Beautifully written prose chronicling the insistence of gender from within and without, but also the insistence of mind and heart, too, to make its own definitions—a defiant liminality that refuses, however fearfully or gently or defiantly, even that misnomer. The speaker in Gender-Genre makes of reality a new body of the real, one that proclaims a hard-fought beingness, despite the tired binary the larger world often aggressively insists we agree upon.

Bertram’s current book project, The Vanishing of Camille Claudel—a lyric hybrid text about the life and work of the controversial 19th-century French sculptor—was a finalist for the 2017 [PANK] Book Series, a semifinalist for the 2017 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize, and an honorable mention for the 2017 Seneca Review Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize.