Claudia Cortese is the author of two chapbooks—Blood Medals (Thrush Poetry Press, 2015), a collection of prose poems, and The Red Essay and Other Histories (Horse Less Press, 2015), a book of lyric essays. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2011BlackbirdCrazyhorseKenyon Review Online, and Sixth Finch, and her essays and reviews have found homes at Black Warrior ReviewMid-American Review, and Iowa Review, among others. The daughter of Neapolitan immigrants, Cortese grew up in suburban Ohio and now lives in New Jersey, where she teaches at Montclair State University. Wasp Queen (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), which explores a girl named Lucy, is her first full-length collection.