Saturday, August 18, 2018


"Invitation to a Country Called Aging"

by Patricia Garfinkel and Myra Sklarew

Illustrated by Blake Young

In this poetic memoir on aging, Garfinkel and Sklarew have given us much to absorb and contemplate, as we all will eventually travel the arduous journey, if we live to an old age. Here we learn of the anxieties of what to do and what not to do and the deep-rooted primordial fears of the human condition as the layer of years begin to wear down the resilience of the former selves we were. A resounding message that permeates the collection is that one needs to keep learning and moving forward, yet as Sklarew’s grandmother realized one best cultivate younger relationships, as with time the loss one is bound to experience is too hard to bear. Engaging the mind and spirit is key while protecting oneself from the social sharks that feed on the vulnerable while accepting all along that with summer comes the fall.

A compelling, instructive gift is given to us by these exceptional poets.

To purchase a copy, visit: Politics and Prose

Monday, February 19, 2018


"Dream of Another America" Is Released

Dream of Another America, winner of the Gival Press Novel Award, by Tyler McMahon, a Washington, DC native, is now available.

Chosen by John Domini, judge for the award, the novel has been well received. Kirkus Reviews (Dec. 11, 2017) had the following to say:

“McMahon’s contribution to the body of immigrant literature is entrenched in questions of nationality, poverty, and family. He achieves a storytelling feat by creating an incredibly realistic narrative that is as poignant as it is breathtaking.”
—To read the complete review, visit: KIRKUS REVIEWS - Dream of Another America

Advance Praise
Dream of Another America might at first seem the furthest thing from a dream. Yet Tyler McMahon has worked this desperate material into a headlong tumble of jeopardy and escape, sweeping up a remarkable array of souls—mostly Central American—in a spell so vivid it seems straight out of the deepest recesses of the unconscious.”
–John Domini, judge and author of Movieola!

Dream of Another America is a tautly-spun, dark and stirring migration parable, an ode to the impoverished, powerless, and double-crossed south of the proverbial border, and a sensuous, fast-moving train hop of a read that is every migrant’s nightmare, every inhabitant of Eden’s duty.”
—J. Reuben Appelman, author of The Kill Jar: Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit’s Most Notorious Serial Killer

“The ‘dream’ in Dream of Another America is both a noun and an imperative verb of hope: Tyler McMahon has written a Grapes of Wrath for contemporary America. Like Steinbeck’s classic, Dream of Another America urges readers to confront the costs and sacrifices of the American Dream. Beautifully written, emotionally gripping, narratively propulsive, and morally important, this book should be necessary reading for every American.”
—Shawna Yang Ryan, author of Green Island and Water Ghosts

About the Author
Tyler McMahon is the author of the novels How the Mistakes Were Made and Kilometer 99. He teaches writing at Hawai`i Pacific University, edits the Hawai`i Pacific Review, and organizes the Ko`oalu Writers Workshop.
Dream of Another America
ISBN: 978-1-940724-14-0
Perfect-bound paperback / 270 pages / $20
ebook / $9.99
Copyright date: 2017 / Release date: Feb. 19, 2018
Gival Press

To purchase a copy, please visit:
Dream of Another America
at Ingram, Amazon, BN, Gival Press, etc.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Rochelle Distelheim Wins the 2017 Gival Press Short Story Award

January 23, 2018. Congratulations to Rochelle Distelheim of Highland Park, Illinois whose story titled More Cousin's Club than Country has won the 2017 Gival Press Short Story Award, judged anonymously by Elaine C. Ray.

Distelheim's story is posted on the Gival Press website and will appear in ArLiJo. The award carries a cash prize of 1K.

Praise "In More Cousin’s Club than Country, Rochelle Distelheim deftly lures readers into a world that is at once intimately specific and universally resonant. Each of her characters is vividly drawn with dimension and agency. The narrator, Russian, Jewish and a woman, charms us with a voice full of vulnerability, wit and compassion. Set in Jerusalem in the early 1990s, the story explores the unsettling experience of leaving behind an oppressive culture and adjusting to a new but imperfect home. More Cousin’s Club than Country is grounded in history, imbued with humanity and threaded with that universal theme—hair.”
—Elaine C. Ray, judge

Photo by Lisa Barron.

Click here for the link to the Rochelle Distelheim webpage:
Distelheim (GPSS-2017), Rochelle

About the Author
Rochelle Distelheim has published in North American Review, Ascent, Other Voices, Descant, StoryQuarterly, Sequestrum, Nimrod,,, and Press 53 Anthology, Everywhere Stories. She has received The Katharine Anne Porter Prize, Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and Fellowships,The Ragdale Foundation Fellowships, Glimmer Train Second Place, Emerging Writers, and nominations for The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Press Prize. Her debut novel, Sadie in Love (Abade Publishing) will be released in early May 2018.

The finalists include:
How to Juggle by Noah Weisz of Austin, Texas.
The Island of No Secrets by Louis Dellaguzzo of Washington, DC.
Captain Death by Susan Lowell of Tucson, Arizona.
My Brother Billy Penn by Brian Heston of Atlanta, Georgia.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Dream Of Another America by Tyler McMahon

Tyler McMahon's Dream of Another America which won the 2016 Gival Press Novel Award will be released in early 2018.

“The ‘dream’ in Dream of Another America is both a noun and an imperative verb of hope: Tyler McMahon has written a Grapes of Wrath for contemporary America. Like Steinbeck’s classic, Dream of Another America urges readers to confront the costs and sacrifices of the American Dream. Beautifully written, emotionally gripping, narratively propulsive, and morally important, this book should be necessary reading for every American.”
—Shawna Yang Ryan, author of Green Island and Water Ghosts

Photo by Dabney Gough.

Friday, October 20, 2017


Review of "dirty laundry: a memoir in poems" by Janet Buck

“dirty laundry: a memoir in poems”
by Janet Buck (Vine Leaves Press)

Writing is a personal act and poetry is even more so in that the poet either takes on another’s voice or speaks directly from one’s core. In dirty laundry: a memoir in poems Janet Buck does more than that in her latest book as she washes through her memories and hangs her thoughts and actions out to dry in the sultry sunlight for others to read and perhaps more so for a needed catharsis.

Reading Buck’s work is at times simultaneously warm and chilling, for she is speaking on a level that anyone can relate to if only we allow ourselves to shy away from our inner thoughts and denials and allow ourselves to lie stripped of our disguises and clutter. In the poem “The Firm Eclipse” she writes:

Every memory I have is siphoned
from a wishing well.
I’m guessing I was born with thirst.
I crack my knuckles just to corner certainty
about what carrots used to do
when they were fresh—
to get a sense that something
breaks the silences.

In an earlier section in the same poem, she foretells what the undercurrent is:

I begged for snapshots of a flower
just to fill a scrapbook with a sketch of lies,
where skeletons belonged instead.
My husband says, “Your face is pale.”
I know the shade, the color of a raw potato
ready for a boiling pot.

In this poem like many others, Buck allows us into her personal world to fathom the intricacies of normal life, which when examined carefully, reveals the onion skin layers of wants and needs, much like those we all long for but are too afraid to speak of privately, much less publicly.

Be warned, this is not an easy book to read but absorbing it creates the same catharsis Buck is laying out to air. In the poem “Tooth Decay,” she reminds us that we all are playing with the same deck of cards:

Can’t put everything that wrong
In crock pots just to stew for hours.
I’ll shake garlic from a jar—
all my dread will disappear.
In the end, we all play bridge
with tattered cards, aces fall
from baggy sleeves.

On more than one occasion, Buck lets us know she has hope, as in “Counterpointing Onyx Clouds”

I want to say “Hello” to spring,
yet I’m not certain it will stay.

I need those open irises, lemon poppies,
daisy wheels a child picked because she could.

While in “Goodbye to This & That & Him,” she writes about their late father:

Rays of light are fast sleep, but
suns of polished marigolds must lie ahead.
My dad will meet me at the plane—
the other end of incubus.

Where both will meet on that ethereal, celestial plane.

About Jane Buck

Buck is the author of four books of poetry, including Tickets for a Closing Play which won the Gival Press Poetry Award. Her poems, over 4,000, have appeared in print and online. She was honored by being included in the United Nation's Exhibit Hall in New York for her disability poetry.

Click here below for the link at Amazon:
dirlty laundry: a memoir in poems

Friday, August 18, 2017


C.M. Mayo Wins the 2016 Gival Press Poetry Award

(Arlington, VA) Gival Press is pleased to announce that C.M. Mayo of Mexico City has won the 18th Gival Press Poetry Award for her manuscript titled Meteor. The ms was chosen anonymously by last year’s winner Linwood D. Rumney. As part of the prize of $1K, the ms Meteor will be published in fall 2018.

Photo by Teresa Castrane.

Advance Praise
Meteor pierces the psyche with a dazzling presence and otherworldly light. Mayo delights in the pleasures of language and the possibilities of imagination. By leveling a playfully skeptical voice that is wholly her own, she transforms the quotidian into the outlandish while making the bizarre seem familiar and inviting. Through her inexorable wit and endless inventiveness, Mayo crafts the most unusual work—a book that is both challenging and fun to read.”
—Linwood D. Rumney, judge and author of Abandoned Earth

About the Author:
C.M. Mayo is the author of several books of literary fiction and nonfiction, including The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire (a Library Journal Best Book of 2009) and Sky Over El Nido: Stories, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have been widely published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, among them, Beltway Quarterly, Creative Nonfiction, Gargoyle, Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Southwest Review, and the anthologies edited by Robert L. Giron, Poetic Voices Without Borders and Poetic Voices Without Borders 2. In 2017 Mayo was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters. A native of El Paso, Texas, raised in Palo Alto, California and educated at the University of Chicago, she lives in Mexico City.

The finalists for the award include the following:
Kopy Kat by Ellen McNeal of Summerville, SC & Michael Sickler of Minoa, NY.
Divining Bones by Charles Bondhus of Bridgewater, New Jersey.
Man on Terrace with Wine by Miles David Moore of Alexandria, Virginia.
Hex by Jeff Walt of San Diego, California.
Concerto for the Left Hand by John Isbell of Edinburg, Texas.


Monday, July 17, 2017


Dan Vera Wins the 2017 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award

Gival Press is pleased to announce that Dan Vera of Washington, DC has won the 2017 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award for his poem titled Lingering Fraction which was chosen by last year's winner Kevin McLellan.

Lingering Fraction

“Some homosexuals claim infallibility in identifying others of their kind ‘by the eyes -- there's a look that lingers a fraction of a second too long.’” “Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern” The New York Times, December 17, 1963

Hail the lingering fraction that secured us,
the inborn longing that led us to one another,
one by one on the street corners,
under the glowing lamps of the inviting city.

Praise the strength of a spirit that attempted to believe,
that ventured forth from body to body,
when the law and word was to condemn,
to revile, to electrocute a mind so wedded to love.

Holy the glimmer of recognition
in the eyes of those we sought,
who reflected back that fraction of belonging,
who spoke without words
what the heart would dare admit.

Copyright © 2017 by Dan Vera.

About the Author:
Dan Vera is a writer, editor, and literary historian. He's co-editor of Imaniman: Poets Writing In The Anzaldúan Borderlands (Aunt Lute); author of Speaking Wiri Wiri (Red Hen Press), the inaugural winner of the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize; and author of The Space Between Our Danger and Delight (Beothuk Books). His work is featured on the Poetry Foundation website; included in college and university curricula; published in various journals including Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly; and appears in The Travelers Vade Mecum, Queer South, and other anthologies. The recipient of awards from the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vera publishes other poets through Poetry Mutual Press and Souvenir Spoon Books, co-curates DC Writers’ Homes, and chairs the board of Split This Rock Poetry. For more, visit

Honorable Mentions:

The History of My Kisses by Tom Daley of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

space between by Deb Jannerson of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Gender Identity in Time of Watergate by John Smelcer of Kirksville, Missouri.

A Teenage High School Locker Room Attendant Speaks to the Man He Ogled by Tom Daley of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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