Vanessa Grubbs and Dallas Woodburn



Reading, August 10, 7 pm

at Gallery House, Palo Alto

Featuring Vanessa Grubbs

and Dallas Woodburn

with guest readers:

Haoning Jiang, Veronica Montes, and Tanu Wakefield



Woman Running Late in a Dress





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.





Jennifer Swanton Brown and Lori Ostlund, October 16

Maura Carta

Maura Carta

An Evening of Poetry and Prose

Friday, October 16, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

at Gallery House, 320 California Ave, Palo Alto

Featuring:  Poet Laureate Jennifer Swanton Brown
 &  Award-Winning Novelist Lori Ostlund
with artist Dorothy Burston Brown
Produced by
Carrie Hechtman and Jean Znidarsic

Kristi Moos and Kevin Sharp – January 30 7:00 PM



An Evening of Poetry and Prose

 Friday, January 30, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

at Gallery House, 320 California Avenue, Palo Alto

Featuring:  Kristi Moos and Kevin Sharp

 with Guest Readers:  Paul Carroll,  Mary-Marcia Casoly,  Sibel Sayiner, Preeva Tramiel 

Produced by Jean Znidarsic and Carrie Hechtman


Kevin Sharp is a former screenwriter and current high school creative writing teacher. His first novel, After Dakota, was published in 2013. His work has appeared online on The Weeklings and 100 Word Story; in print in Bookmarks magazine and in the Palo Alto Weekly. He will be featured in the upcoming Fiction Attic Press short story anthology. Looking back, he knows that working at a comic book store in high school was still the best job he’s ever had.

Kristi Moos’s poetry appears in Crab Orchard Review, Denver Quarterly, Ecotone, ISLE, New American Writing, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Winner of the Harold Taylor Prize from the Academy of American Poets and nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Kristi is currently finishing a collection of narrative poems set in California. She serves as editor of Poecology( and teaches at San Francisco State University.


September 12 Reading

John Nimmo Reads at Peninsula Literary September 12, 2014

John Nimmo Reads at Peninsula Literary September 12, 2014

Our September reading found us near the end of a hot day, everyone still wishing for rain. Gallery House filled up quickly with friends of the series, and we settled in for the pleasure of being read to by the authors themselves.

It’s always a surprise to watch a reading unfold in real time after all that goes into putting the program together. Together, the diverse voices and elements make an experience that is somehow more than the sum of its parts.

Below are the bios of our September readers. Thank you to all of them, and to all who helped set up, tear down, and all who came to join us! We hope to have videos of the reading online soon. Please check back.

Jean Znidarsic and Carrie Hechtman, Peninsula Literary


First Half


Alice LaPlante is an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction. She teaches creative writing at Stanford, where she was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and held a Jones Lectureship; and in the MFA program at San Francisco State. Her fiction has been published in numerous literary journals, and won a TransAtlantic Review prize. She’s the author of six books, including creative writing textbooks, The Making of a Story and Method and Madness (both published by Norton), and the novels, Turn of Mind, and Circle of Wives,which was published earlier this year.  


Lita Kurth has an MFA from Rainier Writers Workshop and has work accepted or published in FjordsReview, Redux, Raven Chronicles, Main Street Rag, Tikkun, NewVerseNews, Blast Furnace, eliipsis…literature and art, Compose, Tattoo Highway, Composite Arts, Verbatim Poetry, the Santa Clara Review, Vermont Literary Review, and others. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her CNF “This is the Way We Wash the Clothes,” presented at the Working Class Studies conference, 2012, won the 2014 Diana Woods Memorial Award (summer-fall 2014) and appeared in Lunchticket 2014. She contributes to,, and In 2013, she co-founded the Flash Fiction Forum, a reading series in San Jose. She teaches writing and creative writing at De Anza College and in private workshops.


Noorulain Noor is a clinical researcher at Stanford University and the poetry editor of Papercuts. Papercuts is a publication of Desi Writers’ Lounge, an online writing community for emerging South Asian writers, run entirely on a voluntary basis. Noorulain’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in ARDOR literary magazine, The Bangalore Review, Apeiron Review, Clapboard House, Blue Lake Review, aaduna, and other journals. Raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Noorulain now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she leads poetry workshops, blogs, and writes on the broad themes of identity, multiculturalism, and the immigrant experience.

Papercuts Magazine:



Erin Byrne writes travel essays, poetry, fiction and screenplays.  Her work has won numerous awards, including Travelers’ Tales Grand Prize Solas Awards for Travel Story of the Year, and appears in a variety of publications, including World Hum and Best Travel Writing.  Erin is writer of The Storykeeper, an award-winning film about occupied Paris.  She is occasional guest instructor at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, and is co-editor of  Vignettes & Postcards From Paris, the first in a series of anthologies based on her workshops in different parts of the world.






Peninsula Literary Series, Sept 12, 2014

Reader Bios



Second Half


David Roderick’s first book of poems, Blue Colonial, won the APR/Honickman Prize. This fall, the Pitt Poetry Series published his second book, The Americans. He teaches in the MFA Writing Program at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and hosts The Late Nite Poetry Show, an interview series on The Rumpus.



Rebekah Pickard studies with Peter Orner and Nona Caspers in the MFA fiction program at SF State. Glimmer Train named her short story, Pray Down the Rain, on the Top-25 list of their September 2012 fiction open contest. She is currently working on a novel with the working title of I Am My Brother’s River, the story of two brothers growing up together in rural Missouri in the 1920s.



John Nimmo has been seriously hooked on poetry since the mid 1990s. His poems have appeared in various online and paper journals, including Stirring, Rattle, Sand Hill Review, Pirene’s Fountain, and DMQ Review. He has an active career as an environmental physicist, and lives with his wife Elsa in Menlo Park.

John Evans and Angela Torres, April 25

Barn X 1Peninsula Literary Presents

A Reading on Friday, April 25, 2014, 7:00 p.m. 

At Gallery House, 320 South California Avenue,

Palo Alto@ Birch Street, through Printer’s Inc. Cafe 

Featuring John Evans and Angela Torres 

With Guest Readers Victoria Muirhead, Jeanne Watson, Katie Wu, Olga Zilberbourg and Guest Artist Maura Carta

Produced by Carrie Hechtman and Jean Znidarsic 

Angela Narciso Torres’s first book of poetry, Blood Orange, won the Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry and was published by Willow Books/Aquarius Press in September 2013. Recent work appears in Cimarron Review, Colorado Review, and Cream City Review. A graduate of Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Angela has received fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, Ragdale Foundation, and Midwest Writing Center. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Manila, she currently resides in Chicago, where she teaches poetry workshops and serves as a senior poetry editor for RHINO.

John W. Evans was born in Kansas and grew up in New York and Chicago. His memoir, Young Widower (University of Nebraska Press, 2014), won the 2013 River Teeth Book Prize. His poetry collection, The Consolations (Trio House Press, 2014), won the 2013 Trio Award. His poems and essays appear in SlateThe Missouri ReviewBoston ReviewZYZZYVAThe Rumpus, and Poetry Daily, as well as the chapbooks, No Season (FWQ, 2011) and Zugzwang (RockSaw, 2009). After completing a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in poetry, John was a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where he continues to teach creative writing today. He has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bangladesh, a public school teacher in Chicago, and a college teacher in Romania. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two young sons.