Lillian-Yvonne Bertram Poetry Reading
But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise is in love with the universe of language – its forms, its sounds, and even its static.
“But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise is a rich book with plenty of channels coming through loud and clear. There’s plenty of thinking (and imagining) happening on the page. Bravo, Bertram.”–Rigoberto Gonzalez
The precision of Bertram’s lyrical and agile language is born out of the specificity of her gaze on what subliminally feels like a road trip through the towns that make up this country. These unforgettable poems awaken images so masterfully that reading and seeing become one thing: ‘We are claimed by middle country/where the river is cooked to steam in the factory belly/& every quivering shadow is missing its father.’ This award winning collection is an American portrait in which the poems are themselves, in Bertram’s words, ‘the elliptical mystery or the grief that walks different on everyone…’ It’s exhilarating to read poetry that pushes reading into the realm of experience. ”
—Claudia Rankine, Final Judge, 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award
Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is the author of But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise, chosen by Claudia Rankine as the winner of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award and published by Red Hen Press. She has been a Bread Loaf Writers’ Confererence work-study scholar, a writer-in-residence at the Montana Artists’ Refuge, and is a Cave Canem alumna. Her poetry has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Callaloo, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Narrative Magazine, Subtropics, The Winter Anthology and other journals. She received first place in the 2011 Summer Literary Seminars poetry contest, has won the Gulf Coast Magazine Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose, and was the winner of the 2011 Winter Anthology contest. Her manuscript a slice from the cake made of air was a finalist for the 2011 Tupelo Press Dorset Prize. Bertram is a graduate of the writing programs at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was a 2009-2011 Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow at Williams College where she taught creative writing and literature. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she is a Vice-Presidential Fellow at the Univiersity of Utah and occasionally reads and writes poetry at the Parklane senior living community.
You can read more about Lillian at her website: lillianbertram.com