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New Ebook Titles

My Heart, for Hostage (October, 2022). This tender love story between a young American lieutenant and a French girl in Paris after the first World War was published by poet (and Pulitzer Prize winner) Robert Hillyer in 1942. Out of print for several decades, this novel will be re-released for the first time as a low-cost ebook. A New York Times critic called it a "superbly written book, written perhaps as only a poet with and expert in the discipline of verse could write it."

Minor Sketches and Reveries (November, 2020) is a debut story collection by Alberto Balengo. Introspective tales involving animals, allegories and the everyday struggles of life.

Second Death of E.A. Poe and other tales (November, 2021) In contrast to previous story collections (which lean more to the cerebral or poetic), the Matthews stories collected here are down-to-earth yarns: gently satirical and reminiscent of John Cheever’s fiction. The title story is about a 19th century Baltimore doctor who has to figure out if the author Edgar Allen Poe faked his own death.

Coming Soon

Boxes of Time (Spring 2023) is the latest collection of Jack Matthews stories, featuring a variety of misfits and philosophical tricksters.

Early Poetry (1917-1927) of Robert Hillyer (Spring 2023) collects poetry by this Pulitzer-winning U.S. poet which were published before his 32nd birthday. By that time Hillyer had published 5 original poetry collections and edited or translated two others.

Existential Smut 1 (Spring 2023) is an anthology of artsy erotica. Edited by erotica author Hapax Legomenon. The second volume of this series will be published in 2024.

Noncrappy Things from my Blog (Late 2023) is a compilation of essays which originally appeared on the author's blog. Written by Personville Press editor Robert Nagle.

Personville Modern Classics series. Over the next few years this press will be digitalizing several out of print titles in the public domain and re-introducing them for the first time as low-cost or no-cost ebooks. The first two titles released will be by Robert Hillyer.

Ebooks Currently Available by Jack Matthews

Abruptions: 3 Minute Stories to Awaken the Mind. (Summer, 2017). Short prose poems written by Jack Matthews during his last decade of life. These 1 or 2 page fable-like pieces (which often take place in small rural towns) are less concerned with characters than showing how ordinary situations change one's perceptions of the world.

Soldier Boys. (2016) As a result of a lifelong interest in memoirs and personal letters of Civil War soldiers, Matthews wrote a series of philosophical tales about US Civil War soldiers. This is his first collection of short stories to be published in 23 years.

Interview with the Sphinx. (2013) In this provocative & immensely irritating comic play, the Sphinx from ancient Greece is interviewed in modern times as though she were a celebrity pop star. The problem is, she never answers any questions – never directly anyway. Also available as an audio play from most audiobook providers.

Hanger Stout Awake. (1967, 2012). The summer after graduating from high school, an aimless but serious-minded boy messes around at the car shop and discovers he has a quirky talent: the ability to free-hang from a metal bar longer than anybody! This slender first novel was widely praised and was listed by Antaeus Magazine as one of the neglected books of the 20th century.

Three Times Time. (2012). This free story sampler contains 3 stories which were previously published in the 1980s. It also contains a long interview with the author about the craft of storytelling. This can be downloaded for free from most ebook stores or directly from the author's home page (

A Worker's Writebook. (2011) Matthews distributed a photocopied version of this witty and erudite writing guide to his Ohio U. creative writing students. It offers insight about how successful writers mold raw experiences into a story and how language helps you to do that.

About Personville Press

Personville Press is a Texas-based ebook publisher of quality fiction at affordable prices. Founded in 2010 by Robert Nagle, it publishes a mixture of new fiction and out of print fiction. The photo above shows Nagle taking a selfie near a road sign at the main intersection of Personville, Texas. The small town, which was founded in 1854, never had a population of more than 2000 people, dwindling to less than 100 in recent years. "Personville" was also a name for a fictional town in Dashiell Hammett's 1929 novel, Red Harvest. This selfie photo is the result of the single hour Nagle actually spent there.