Carnegie Mellon University
April 18, 2023

Modern Languages Graduate Named a 2023 Tartan on the Rise

Writer, poet and professor Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (DC 2006) graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor's degree in Hispanic studies. Seventeen years later, they have been named a 2023 Tartan on the Rise.

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (DC 2006) truly has found their creative niche — combining computation and digital poetics.

“I write programs that write poems,” Lillian-Yvonne says. “I do different kinds of computational, generative work. I work a lot with artificial intelligence text generation, creatively, to bridge poetry and technology.”

Their most recent book of poems, “Travesty Generator,” was long-listed for a prestigious 2020 National Book Award, among other honors.

For it, Lillian-Yvonne started by entering their own text about the experiences of young Black men including Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner into algorithmic programs that reshape the words, much like a foreign language translator.

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Story by Elizabeth Speed