Black Lawrence Press

Poetry Consultations with Claudia Cortese

During the month of October, Black Lawrence Press poets Claudia Cortese, Lisa Fay Coutley, and Charlotte Pence are on board to critique poetry.They are accepting individual poems, folios, chapbooks, and full-length collections. The fees and parameters for page lengths for each of these categories is as follows:

  • Individual poems, up to two pages in length, $10
  • Folios, up to 7 pages in length, not to include more than five poems, $30
  • Chapbooks, 16-40 pages in length, $150
  • Full-length collections, 45-80 pages in length, $250

All manuscripts should be formatted in twelve point font.

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is October 31. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by November 30.

Space in this program is limited, so please be sure to submit your work soon!

Note: Please do not send manuscripts that promote hate speech, are intended to harass or bully a specific person or group of persons, or include glorified sexual violence.

Click Here to Submit

Statement of Purpose

When reading your work,  I will point out where I see it most succeeding—where it pops and sings and electrifies the page—and where I see it most struggling—where it falls flat or turns dull. There are many literary traditions—from hip-hop to confessional poetry to fabulism, to name just a few—and though all artists have biases and aesthetic preferences, I will work hard to not get so mired in my own tastes that I cannot see beyond them. In other words, I will try to understand the traditions and aesthetics that inspire you, even if they are not my own aesthetics and traditions. I often get most excited by artists who write in ways I never could—succeed in ways I often fail.

I will offer both micro-level comments about diction, rhythm, lines, imagery, and so on, and macro-level comments about the issues and themes your poems constellate around. I love hybrid work and I myself write in many genres, so please feel free to submit even if your poems are not strictly, well, poems! The writers I draw the most inspiration from—Aaron Apps, Claudia Rankine, Jenny Boully, Adrienne Rich, Khadijah Queen, Natalie Eilbert, to name a few—write at the intersection of multiple genres.

In addition to written comments on each piece and at the end of your manuscript, I will provide you with a link to a short video in which I discuss your work.

I look forward to reading your poems!


By Claudia Cortese

Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.

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Upcoming Consultations

November — NaNoWriMo! We’ll have a great crew of experienced fiction writers on hand to critique your-in progress novel.


Claudia Cortese

Claudia Cortese is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her first full-length collection, WASP QUEEN (Black Lawrence Press), explores the privilege and pathology, trauma and brattiness of suburban girlhood. Cortese is also the author of two chapbooks: Blood Medals (Thrush Poetry Press) and The Red Essay and Other Histories (Horse Less Press). Her work has appeared in Blackbird, Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast Online, The Offing, and Sixth Finch, among others. The daughter of Neapolitan immigrants, Cortese grew up in Ohio and lives in New Jersey, where she teaches at Montclair State University.

Cortese © Boris Tsessarsky Author page