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From a National Book Award nominated poet, this collection is about a life lived in the red, on the edges of great lack and great abundance, of financial and emotional margins

Negative Money follows a speaker continually coming of age while probing the binary thresholds of racial and gender identity, violence and safety, security and precarity, love and loneliness.

For readers of Readers Claudia Rankine, Torrey Peters, Ocean Vuong, and Jericho Brown, NBA nominated Lillian-Yvonne Bertrams's poems are innovative, conceptually thoughtful work. Through experimentation and muscular lyricism, Bertram maintains a style that observes a speaker's attempt to understand and exert multiple identities within the binary confines of race and gender.

Playing and gliding from acrostics to sonnets to maps, these compassionate, cerebral, and irreverent poems plainly recognize the larger and potentially escapable oppressive systems that dominate all of our lives by narrating the exhaustion that comes from living under constraining systems of relentless extraction, systems whose powers fracture all attempts at genuine love and intimacy.


Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is the author of several books. Travesty Generator was a National Book Award longlist, and winner of the 2018 Noemi Press Poetry Prize. Bertram is a 2014 recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Poetry Fellowship, and holds degrees in creative writing from the University of Utah where they are the current managing editor of Quarterly West; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Carnegie Mellon University. They are currently a Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellow at Ithaca College, where they teach creative writing.


  • Publisher: Soft Skull (June 27, 2023)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1593767536
  • ISBN-13: 9781593767532
  • Item Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.52 x 0.34 x 8.24 inches


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