Sunday, October 03, 2010


Psaltery and Serpentines by Cecilia Martínez-Gil

Cecilia Martínez-Gil's collection
Psaltery and Serpentines: a book of poems

Date: Oct. 4, 2010
Contact: Robert L. Giron (703.351.0079)

October 4, 2010 (Arlington, VA) Gival Press is pleased to announce the release of Cecilia Martínez-Gil's collection Psaltery and Serpentines: a book of poems, winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award.

About the Author:
CECILIA MARTINEZ-GIL has published in Voices: A Santa Monica Women’s College Publication, Anthology of Latin American Writers in Los Angeles, and Imaginarias: Antología de Poesía (Ediciones de la Crítica, Montevideo, Uruguay). She translated and adapted from Spanish to English the critically acclaimed book Escape de Punta Carretas: LA FUGA by Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro, for a film project in 1999. She also co-wrote and played the lead character in the award-winning experimental video Itinerarios, directed by Roberto Mascaró. A graduate of both USC and UCLA, she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in English and creative writing at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, she now lives in Santa Monica, California.

Psaltery and Serpentines kisses its readers on the mouth so that the poetry becomes ‘the ripe fruit to . . . lips,’ and one wakes to loving poetry, this poetry in particular. Cecilia Martínez-Gil welcomes the reader into the
world of poetry as a partner in the creative act, and readers engage this
book-length seduction as tango partners and ‘symphonic creatures.’... Opening this book to any of its poems will sweep the imagination into the poet’s creation, and its reviewer’s lips will burn for hundreds of kisses.”
—Rich Murphy, author of Voyeur & judge for the 2009 Gival Press Poetry

“…This is a luscious and lustrous collection of poems, a delightful first book
from a poet who demonstrates convincingly here both the gravity and the
joy of her calling.”
—Gail Wronsky, author of Dying for Beauty

“Reading Cecilia Martínez-Gil’s collection of psaltery serpentines, one feels
the supremacy of metaphor and music over meaning and sense. ”
—Prof. Mario René Padilla, Santa Monica College

Fact Sheet for Psaltery and Serpentines: a book of poems
October 2010
Trade Paper
114 Pages
ISBN 978-1-928589-52-5
Gival Press, Arlington, VA
Available through Ingram from BookMasters,, & other outlets.

Click on the link:
Buy a copy at

About the Publisher:
GIVAL PRESS is an award-winning, privately owned press located in Arlington, Virginia, founded in 1998. Gival Press publishes literary work that has a social or philosophical message in English, French, and Spanish. Gival Press also sponsors four annual contests for fiction and poetry, including the Gival Press Poetry Award, Gival Press Novel Award, Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award, and Gival Press Short Story Award.

Friday, October 01, 2010


Second Acts by Tim W. Brown

Second Acts is a comic historical novel set in 1830s America, a time of great social upheaval and reform fervor, not unlike the 1960s. The novel tells the story of a young man, Dan Connor, who has followed his wife Rachel and her lover Bruce Bilson, a University of Chicago physics professor and the inventor of time travel, into the past. In his journey he obtains a mystical sidekick, a Potawatomi transvestite named Listening Rabbit (aka Bunny), and he befriends historical figures such as Albert Gallatin and Samuel J. Tilden. Rachel and Bilson maddeningly stay one step ahead of Connor. But as time moves forward, Connor’s fortunes rise while Bilson’s fall, and Rachel attains fame as a lyceum speaker, the Oprah of antebellum America. Second Acts refutes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s notion that “There are no second acts in American lives.”

Based on 10,000 pages of historical research, Second Acts describes 19th century life and culture while it satirizes timeless aspects of the American character with the same biting candor, dry wit, and laugh-out-loud moments as Brown’s earlier novels Deconstruction Acres, Left of the Loop, and Walking Man.

About the Author:
TIM W. BROWN graduated summa cum laude with an American studies degree from Northern Illinois University. He is the author of three novels, Deconstruction Acres (1997), Left of the Loop (2001) and Walking Man (2008). His latest literary effort is Second Acts, a comic historical novel set in 1830s America. Brown’s fiction, poetry and nonfiction have appeared in over two hundred publications, including Another Chicago Magazine, The Bloomsbury Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Chelsea, Chiron Review, Colorado Review, The Fiction Review, The Ledge, Main Street Rag, New Observations, Oyez Review, Pleiades, Poetry Project Newsletter, Rain Taxi, Rockford Review, Slipstream, Small Press Review, and Storyhead. A long-time resident of Chicago, where he was a fixture in that city’s literary scene as a writer, performer, and publisher of Tomorrow Magazine (1982-1999), Brown moved to New York in 2003. He currently earns his living as a writer at Bloomberg LP.

“Really clicking, Second Acts is a picaresque, sci-fi/western, such as Verne or Welles might have penned it. In subverting history Brown’s tale celebrates it, with a scholar’s eye for authentic details and at a pacing so swift the pages give off a nice breeze.”
–Peter Selgin

“Half-magical, half-farcical, Second Acts is full of vitality and humor, a modern update of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Second Acts is a sparkling gem of a book, one that inspires both contemplation and more than a few belly laughs.”
–Greg Downs

Second Acts draws equally upon history and imagining, and the result is a brilliant book that Mark Twain might’ve written had he shared a brain with Jack Finney for awhile.”
–Sharon Mesmer

“With Second Acts Tim W. Brown may well have written his masterpiece. In this surprising, satisfying novel, he channels Twain. Brown’s clever construction, arch humor and unforgiving candor are on hand as ever, but they’re leavened this time by a goodly dose of heart. Funny, engaging, relatable and even educational, it’s a great read.”
–Paul McComas

Fact Sheet for Second Acts
October 2010
Trade Paper
206 Pages
ISBN 978-1-928589-51-8
Gival Press, Arlington, VA
Available through Ingram from BookMasters,, & other outlets.

Click here for the link:
Buy it at


The Cannibal of Guadalajara by David Winner

The Cannibal of Guadalajara is a refreshing dark comedy that centers around a middle aged divorcée named Margaret whose one night stand with a curiously troubled young Mexican-American named Dante leads to a wild emotional and geographical journey that stretches from the posh Upper East Side of Manhattan to Dante’s surreal familial estate in Guadalajara that is collapsing (literally and figuratively) under the weight of its nasty secrets. Along the way Margaret gets to know her ex-husband in the way she couldn’t during their long marriage and finds herself part of a family she never knew she had. Wildly imaginative, it paints a lush yet pointedly satirical portrait of New Yorkers in love and lust, baby boomers in mid-life misadventures, Gen-Xers in the grip of perennial childhood, and the aspirations that have led them all astray.

About the Author:
DAVID WINNER has received two Pushcart nominations and first prize in The Ledge’s 2003 Fiction Contest. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, Fiction, Confrontation, Cortland Review, Staple, Dream Catcher, Phantasmagori, KGB, and several other literary magazines in the USA and the UK. A film based on a short story of his was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007, and he’s the fiction editor of The American, a magazine based in Rome, Italy. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviews: “ a powerful tale of an unlikely ménage-à-trois…Winner’s controlled language is interspersed with adroitly incongruous adjectives that illuminate the absurdities he presents in ways that are psychologically subtle and often hilarious. But it’s also a book about American culture seen through the eyes of a writer who has spent enough time traveling through Latin America to alter his frame of cultural reference enough to identify and appraise that peculiar brand of American expatriate whose most ardent wish is to be reborn as Che Guevara...."
--Andrea Scrima, The Brooklyn Rail: Critical Perspectives on Arts, Politics, and Culture

"Families come in all shapes and sizes; sometimes they sneak up on us fully formed. This is what happens to Margaret Heller after her divorce.... Winner, who won the Gival Press Novel Award, writes with great cunning and precision... Winner transforms embarrassing moments into the briefest of epiphanies. Margaret, Dante and Alfred are as human as they possibly can be."
— Andi Diehn, Debut Fiction ForeSight Feature (May/June 2010), ForeWord Reviews

"Is this about ruptured families and their reframing? About Latin and North America commingling by way of Manhattan and Mexico, in a mess of nightmare and dream? Or have we a fine and bumpy ride, comic and yet catch-in-the-throat, through the surprises of sex and romance in a hitherto undemonstrative woman now nearing 60? The answer, as you’d expect in a thwacking sweetheart of a novel, is all the above…"
— John Domini, judge and author of A Tomb on the Periphery

"David Winner’s The Cannibal of Guadalajara is a terrific novel. It is high comedy–both sharp and sympathetic in its precise description of attitudes and manners—and painfully funny in its well-timed outbursts. And yet another aspect I admire—the range of age of the characters. Winner can do smart (though occasionally foolish) middle-aged female, difficult young guy, even more difficult old guy as well as a host of minor characters from scampering children to a crusted octogenarian."
— John Casey

"…a devilishly delicious and disorienting novel. Food, sex, ghastly travel experiences, tantrums, Cannibal has it all, along with one of the most peculiar versions of the family triad in literary years."
— Joy Williams

“David Winner has a clear bright eye and as fine an ear for what is poignant as for what is absurd. I look for more of his profane comic sense.”
— Shirley Hazzard

Fact Sheet for The Cannibal of Guadalajara
October 2010
Trade Paper
224 Pages
ISBN 978-1-928589-50-1
Gival Press, Arlington, VA
Available through Ingram from BookMasters,, & other outlets.

Click here for the link:
Buy it at


ArLiJo Is Featuring Poetry by James Bland

James Bland is the featured poet this month at ArLiJo.


After washing clothes
in the Maytag,
dad would haul them
to the backyard
in a green laundry basket,
cooked on one side
because I once left it
too close to the heater.

He’d lurch forward
like a robot,
the knitted sack
that contained
the wooden clothespins
baby-birded in the nook
between chin and clavicle.

Unable to do it herself,
grandma would eyeball him
from her bedroom window:
“Clothespin them at the seams.
If you spread them out,
they’ll dry faster …”

Glimpses —
in his frustration,
when she corrected him;
in his pride,
when she was content —
of the boy he once was.

Copyright © 2010 by James Bland.


James Bland earned an MFA in Poetry from Cornell University and a PhD in English and American Literature from Harvard University. He has received a collegiate Academy of American Poet 's Prize, a Bread Loaf Writer's Workshop Scholarship, a Saratoga Springs Writer's Fellowship, a Key West Writer's Fellowship, and has been awarded two MacDowell Colony residencies.

His work has or will appear in Callaloo, Agni Magazine, Columbia Magazine, Key West Review, Muleteeth, The Windless Orchard, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares Literary Journal, Standing on the Verge, South Carolina Review, Blue Moon Review, Antioch Review, and Potomac Review.

To read more of his work, visit:

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