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Book Launch for Claudia Cortese’s Wasp Queen and Gillian Cummings’ My Dim Aviary

April 1, 2017 @ 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM



Please join us for the launch party of Claudia Cortese’s Wasp Queen and Gillian CummingsMy Dim Aviary. Gillian and Claudia are press sisters whose books were just published by Black Lawrence Press.

Ocean Vuong says that “Claudia Cortese has given to Lucy what Anne Carson has given to Geryon: a life as desperate and fraught as our own, which is to say, a human rendition of the poetic potential. . . . I finished this Wasp Queen only to read it all over again, finding and losing myself, gladly, at every turn.

D. Nurkse says that My Dim Aviary is a book filled “with the ache of individuation, the estrangement of sexuality—‘a swan gouging its breast with its bill.’ Searing in its originality, My Dim Aviary is a masterful conception, a trance, a prayer of abandonment.”

There will be cupcakes! There will cake! There will be plastic tiaras! There will be purple mood lighting! There will be a most glorious mix playing (Whitney Houston, Bikini Kill, Pat Benatar…)

Grey Vild (bio below) will be emceeing; Claudia and Gillian will read from their gorgeous books; and these brilliant humans will also be reading:

Jayson P. Smith is a writer/performance artist from the Bronx. Their poems & interviews appear / are forthcoming in journals such as Gulf Coast, Vinyl Magazine, & The Offing. J is a 2016-17 Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow with The Poetry Project, & has received previous support from The Conversation Literary Festival & Millay Colony for the Arts. They currently live in Brooklyn and the internet at

Kaveh Akbar‘s poems appear recently or soon in The New Yorker, Poetry, Ploughshares, APR, Tin House, and elsewhere. His debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, will be published by Alice James Books in September 2017.

Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (2016, ELJ Publications) & Xenos (2016, Agape Editions).

Grey Vild is a Queer Art Mentorship & Brooklyn Poets fellow & a MFA candidate in poetry at Rutgers University. His work can be found at Them, Vetch, Harriet: The Blog and elsewhere.








April 1, 2017
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM