Auspicious Friday the 13th Reading!

Nance Wheeler at PLIn the contrarian tradition of Peninsula Literary, we declared Friday the 13th a day of good tidings. We were not mistaken.

On Friday, October 13 an energetic audience braved moderate smoke from the ongoing tragic wine country fires to hear Lita Kurth, Brittany Perham, Margaret Juhae Lee, Jim Cole, and Gerard Sarnat regale us with humor and solid storytelling. Kurth started things off with her singular pithy humor, and Perham followed with character portraits laced with sensuality and ruthless guile. First time readers at Peninsula Literary, Cole, Juhae Lee, and Sarnat finished out the letters part of the evening with delightful variety, and artist, Nance Wheeler finished with a glimpse into the process behind her stunning creations.

We are grateful to everyone who came out to read, helped with setup and clean up, and made the evening one of the more memorable readings for us. We appreciate all the many ways you support literature and art, and allow us to be part of the vibrant Bay Area community.

Jean Znidarsic and Carrie Hechtman, Peninsula Literary

Lita Kurth at PLLita A. Kurth has published essays, poems, and short stories in eliipsis…literature and artTikkunCompositeArtsNewVerseNewsBlast Furnace, the Santa Clara ReviewVerbatim, Compose, the Exploratorium QuarterlyTattoo HighwayVermont Literary Review, and others. She regularly contributes to,, and

One of her creative nonfiction works, “Pivot,” appears in the 2012 University of Nebraska anthology, Becoming: What Makes a Woman and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her short story, “Lifetime TV Movie,” was a finalist for the 2012 Writers@Work contest.

She was a featured reader for PCSJ’s Well-Red series in 2016 and a performer in Cinequest’s 2016 Poetry and Performance sponsored by Reed Magazine.


Brittany Perham at PLBrittany Perham is the author of Double Portrait (W.W. Norton, 2017), which received the Barnard Women Poets Prize; The Curiosities (Free Verse Editions, 2012); and, with Kim Addonizio, the collaborative chapbook The Night Could Go in Either Direction (SHP, 2016). She is a Jones Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. She lives in San Francisco.




Jim Cole at PLJim Cole is a 2017 recipient of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers for his story “The Asphodel Meadow,” which was published this summer in the PEN America Best Debut Short Stories. Jim’s short story “Traveler #17” appeared in the July 2017 issue of JONAH Magazine. He has an MFA from the University of San Francisco, where his novel ffrrfr was nominated for the Association of Writers & Writing Program’s (AWP’s) Intro Journals Project. He was recently interviewed by Catapult Publishing on his writing. Jim lives in the town of Duncans Mills, north of San Francisco on the Russian River. When he’s not writing fiction, he works as a senior writer for a French-owned bank in San Francisco.


Gerard Sarnat at PLGerard Sarnat is the author of three previous collections: Homeless Chronicles:

from Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012) and 17s (2014). Melting

The Ice King (2016) and Gerry’s other books are available at select bookstores and

on Amazon. In 2015 work from Ice King was accepted by over seventy magazines,

including Gargoyle, and featured in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, Avocet, and others.

Gerry has built and staffed clinics for the marginalized and been a CEO of healthcare organizations and Stanford Medical School professor. Married since 1969, he and his wife have three children and three grandchildren.


Margaret Juhae Cho at PLMargaret Juhae Lee lives in Oakland, California. She is putting the finishing touches on a book titled Starry Field: A Memoir of Lost History, which chronicles her search for information on her grandfather who was a student revolutionary in colonial Korea. She received a Bunting Fellowship from Harvard University and a Korea Studies Fellowship from the Korea Foundation in support of research for her book. Previously, Margaret was an editor for the Books and the Arts section at The Nation magazine. She has written articles for The Nation, Newsday, Elle,and the Advocate, among other publications. She was awarded a residency at Mesa Refuge in Pt. Reyes. and a residency fellowship from the Sustainable Arts Foundation at the Mineral School in Mt. Rainier, Washington. Margaret currently works as a communications consultant for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Nance Wheeler (photo above) is an artist with influences from the American Midwest, West Coast and Japan.  Nance was born in Illinois and studied engineering at Purdue University.  While working in Silicon Valley her passion for painting was re-ignited and she earned an M.A. from California State University. An opportunity to live in Japan and travel throughout Asia influenced Nance’s work and awakened an interest in the different cultural interpretations of aesthetics.

In 2009, Nance had the opportunity to appear on a local television show.  Not only did she enjoy the experience but she became a volunteer at her local community access station and now produces a show called “Talk Art”.  In 2017, she received a national award for her work. Nance explores the beauty of science and engineering and the abstract forms that are generated in her mixed media paintings.  Nance currently shows her work at Gallery House, 320 S. California Ave, Palo Alto, CA.






Brittany Perham and Casey FitzSimons, January 27, 7:00 pm

 A good book is beyond price.Peninsula Literary presents

 an evening of poetry and prose.

 Featuring Brittany Perham and Casey FitzSimons

 With guest Artist Wendy Fitzgerald

 And guest readers Teri Carter, Virginia Bellis, Jessica Hahn and Richard Lawson

 Series Organizers Jean Znidarsic and Carrie  Hechtman

Find books by Peninsula Literary writers at Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park.


Casey FitzSimons’ poetry appears in print and online in The Newport Review, Hobo Camp Review, EarthSpeak, The Prose-Poem Project, flashquake, Leveler, and others. She has been a finalist in the River Styx and Writecorner Press poetry competitions. She has collected her works annually in chapbooks, most recently No Longer Any Need (2011) and Altering the Lay of Land (2010). Casey taught art in San Francisco for many years, publishing her studio drawing book, Serious Drawing, with Prentice Hall, and reviewing many exhibitions for Artweek. She has a master’s degree in Fine Arts from San Jose State University.

Brittany Perham is the author of “The Curiosities” (Parlor Press 2012). Her recent work may be found in Southern Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Lo-Ball, Linebreak, and elsewhere. She is a Jones Lecturer in poetry at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow from 2009-2011. She is a founding member of the word/music project Nonstop Beautiful Ladies and she lives in San Francisco.