James Bertolino
Biographical Information


James Bertolino taught literature and creative writing for 36 years, and retired from a position as Writer-in-Residence at Willamette University in 2006. Bertolino's poetry has been appearing internationally in books, magazines and anthologies for well over 40 years. His first book was published in 1968, and his most recent of 27 titles appeared in 2014—which was Ravenous Bliss: New and Selected Love Poems from MoonPath Press.

James Bertolino

Bertolino�s poetry has been recognized nationally by the Book-of-the-Month Club Poetry Fellowship, the Discovery Award, a Hart Crane publication award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two Quarterly Review of Literature book publication awards and the Jeanne Lohmann Poetry Prize for Washington State Poets. Twelve volumes and fifteen chapbooks of his poetry and prose have been published by such publishers as Copper Canyon Press, Carnegie Mellon University Press, New Rivers Press, Ithaca House (associated with Cornell University), Bonewhistle Press (associated with Brown University), Quarterly Review of Literature Award Series (Princeton University), Cherry Grove Collections, and World Enough Writers. Two of his out-of-print books have been reprinted by the Connecticut College Contemporary American Poetry Archive.

He holds an MFA from Cornell University, and taught creative writing for over 36 years at Cornell, Washington State University, University of Cincinnati and Western Washington University, as well as at Skagit Valley College, Edmonds Community College and Shoreline Community College in Washington State. He retired in 2006, following a year as Writer-in-Residence and Hallie Ford Chair of Creative Writing at Willamette University in Oregon.

Over a hundred magazines, including Ploughshares, Poetry, Notre Dame Review, Indiana Review, Partisan Review, Florida Quarterly, Paris Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Raven Chronicles, StringTown and Crab Creek Review have printed his poems.

The 42 anthologies that reprint his poems include Poets Against the War, The Nation Books; Under A Silver Sky: Pacific Northwest Poetry, Evergreen State College; The Writer�s Journal, Dell Publishing; Poems One Line & Longer, Grossman Publishers; Saints of Hysteria, Soft Skull Press; Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets, Oregon State University Press; The Carnegie Mellon Anthology of Poetry, Carnegie Mellon University Press; A Gathering of Poets, Kent State University Press; New Poets of the American West, Many Voices Press; New Hungers for Old: One Hundred Years of Italian-American Poetry, Star Cloud Press; Life Prayers, Harper San Francisco; I Have My Song For It, University of Akron Press; Urban Nature, Milkweed Editions; Heartland II: Poets of the Midwest, Northern Illinois University Press; Odd Angles of Heaven, Harold Shaw Publishers; The Talking of Hands, New Rivers Press; Italo-American Poets, Antonio Carello Editore (Italy), and Parnassus of World Poets, 1997, Ramasamy Devaraj (India).

Bertolino�s most recent prose book is The Path of Water, an interview-memoir conducted by Mathew Campbell Roberts, 2008, Stone Marrow Press. He spent the month of March, 2008, as a resident artist at the Espy Foundation in Oysterville, Washington�where he also enjoyed a productive residency at Willapa Bay AiR in September, 2013.

He lives with his wife Anita K. Boyle—herself a poet, poetry publisher and graphic designer—as well as a dog, and two cats on five rural acres near Bellingham, Washington.