Writer/Artist/Educator

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Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

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writer/artist/educator

 

"Lillian-Yvonne Bertram’s But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise is an offering to those of us for whom normalcy is the constant shift between a sense of location and dislocation. The shrewdness of these poems accumulates into a critique of our American desires and failures. 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, author of Citizen and Final Judge, 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award