Blood Medals Claudia Cortese

Chapbook Release Party for Claudia Cortese’s Blood Medals

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Chapbook Release Party for Claudia Cortese’s Blood Medals
May 31, 2015 6:00 PM
May 31, 2015 9:00 PM
646 457 0859
May 8, 2015
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center
646 457 0859
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208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Blood Medals Claudia Cortese

Please join us to celebrate the release of Claudia Cortese’s chapbook Blood Medals. The poems in the book explore a girl named Lucy whom Winter Tangerine Review calls “a shitty little princess that we can’t help but adore.”


Poets Meghan Privitello, Aziza Barnes, and Alexis Pope will help Cortese celebrate her chap by reading their work, and then Cortese will perform her Lucy poems. The chapbook will be available at the party.


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About Blood Medals


Claudia Cortese’s “Lucy” poems are treacherously alive and important. Cortese navigates Lucy’s interior world with gorgeous starkness, refusing to be saccharine; rather, Lucy churns with playful viscera and violent intelligence: she is the kind of girl who “demands Santa stitch her a skin of bees, that her screams be not sound but solid: a stinger that stings and stings.” These prose poems are raw and fanatically simple, yet every trope is electric-charged, hot to the touch.

—Rusty Morrison, author of Beyond the Chainlink


. . . Navigating through the hauntingly sensual language of tumors, shrieking, sores, and knives, Blood Medals reveals the sinister underbellies of this world while still managing to glitter with the hope of transcendence. Each poem holds you by the skin on the back of your neck and dares you to look at where your own darkness hides. Cortese’s voice is morbidly beautiful, brutally honest, and “brighter than fire and cardinal”. Blood Medals will leave you haunted and broken and begging for more.

—Meghan Privitello, author of A New Language for Falling out of Love


Claudia Cortese has two chapbooks—Blood Medals (Thrush Poetry Press) and The Red Essay and Other Histories (forthcoming from Horse Less Press). Her poems and lyric essays have found homes at Black Warrior Review, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review Online, and Sixth Finch, among others. Cortese lives in New Jersey and is the poetry editor for Swarm (


Aziza Barnes is blk & alive. Born in Los Angeles, she currently lives in Bedstuy, New York. You can find her work currently or forthcoming in PANK, pluck!, Muzzle, Callaloo, Union Station, Phantom Limb, The Rumpus and The Breakbeat Poets, among other journals and collections. Her first chapbook, me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, was the first winner of the Exploding Pinecone Prize and published from Button Poetry, available for purchase here: She is a poetry & non-fiction editor at Kinfolks Quarterly, a Callaloo fellow, a graduate from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a current candidate for her MFA in Poetry at University of Mississippi. She is a member of The Dance Cartel & the divine fabrics collective.


Meghan Privitello is the author of A New Language for Falling Out of Love (YesYes Books, 2015). Poems have appeared in Boston Review, Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, Best New Poets 2012, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation, & elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2014 NJ State Council of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.


Alexis Pope is the author of Soft Threat (Coconut Books, 2014), as well as three chapbooks. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bat City Review, Denver Quarterly, Poor Claudia, Powderkeg, Sink Review, and The Volta, among others. Pope lives in Brooklyn, is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, and teaches at Brooklyn College.