Visual Poetry by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

Magazine Review by Katy Haas

The Fall 2019 issue of Seneca Review includes four pieces by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram. These visual pieces draw in the eye with text boxes layered over one another, reminding me of a house of cards that’s fallen, the cards now strewn in overlapping angles. They’re all titled “World Map:” with a different year following the colon.

In these pieces, Bertram speaks about race and sexuality. The exploration of these themes comes in snippets that repeat and fade away like memories that resurface repeatedly: instant messenger conversations, conversations with her mother, antagonization on the basketball court.

Bertram uses the visuals in an inventive way that helps the poetry move along and creates a bigger impact for the message. I read the four pieces over and over, fully admiring the way in which they were presented.

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