Yuba Lit, the community reading series celebrating great live literature in the Sierras, is thrilled to announce a lineup of three bold women writers for its July program of fiction and poetry.

Ruth Galm will join us from San Francisco to read from her much-lauded debut novel, Into the Valley, about an anxious young woman on a counterfeit check-writing spree through California’s Central Valley circa 1967. Drawing many comparisons to early Joan Didion, Into the Valley earned starred reviews in Booklist and Publishers Weekly, which described it as “precisely written and casually paced. A standout debut.”

Grass Valley native Mary Volmer will return from the Bay Area, where she teaches in the Saint Mary’s College MFA program, to read from her recently released second novel, Reliance, Illinois, praised as “evocative” and “uplifting” by Shelf Awareness. 

Nevada City poet Alicia Vandevorst will read new poetry. Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Journal and Canary, A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis. She is also a playwright, and is at work on a series of children’s stories based on yogic philosophy.

In addition to Yuba Lit’s three featured readers, audience members are invited to bring a page or a poem for our opening flash readings. Any audience member who brings a poem or a page will be given a raffle ticket; five readers will be drawn from the raffle, and given the mike for three minutes each to read their work. The opening flash readings are always a lively highlight of Yuba Lit.

Yuba Lit starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 14th at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Dr., Grass Valley. The $10 cover (no one turned away for lack of funds), is split 50/50 between benefiting the Bear Yuba Land Trust, and supporting basic operating costs of Yuba Lit. Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters will offer wine and beer and fresh baked food for sale.

More on Yuba Lit’s July Readers:


Galm Original Author Photo Color

Ruth Galm’s writing has appeared in the Kenyon Review Online, Indiana Review, and on Joyland: A hub for short fiction. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and has been a resident of the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming. She was born and raised in San Jose, California, spent time in New York City and Boston, and now lives in San Francisco. Into the Valley (Soho Press, August 2015) is her first novel.

Mary Volmer

Grass Valley native Mary Volmer lives in Moraga, where she teaches in the Saint Mary’s College MFA program. Her recently released second novel is Reliance, Illinois. Set in 1874, the novel follows thirteen-year-old Madelyn Branch, whose mother Rebecca makes her pose as a younger sister so that she can re-wed through an ad in the Matrimonial Times. Madelyn soon leaves to work for a suffragette and purveyor of black market birth control, meanwhile pinning her hopes on a haunted Civil War vet. The San Jose Mercury News noted the novel’s “unexpected twists,” while Shelf Awareness writes, “Reliance, Illinois, with its universal themes and evocative period detail, is uplifting.” Volmer’s previous novel, set in the Gold Rush, is Crown of Dust.

Alicia headshot2016.jpg

Nevada City poet Alicia Vandevorst’s work has appeared in The American Poetry Journal and Canary, A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis. She has written poetry for over twenty years and studied with Patricia Donegan, Maxine Kumin, and Barbara Jordan, as well as with Arthur Sze at the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. A graduate in literature from Scripps College, she completed two performance pieces: a poem in four voices, written while researching ‘diaspora’ as a junior fellow of the Scripps Humanities Institute, and a set of four dance chants for Nucleus Expansion, a collaborative project with Professors Ronnie Brosterman and Nobuho Nagasawa. Other major projects include a libretto, a group of poems to accompany the photographs of Daniel Crozet, and a long poem, “The Sea Bell Canticle.” In 2015, she completed a play, Psyche, that combines poetry and theater, meditation and mask-work. Her other current project is a series of children’s stories, the Zesta Rompolis Stories, based on yogic philosophy.

A community reading series celebrating great writing in the Sierra foothills, Yuba Lit launched September 2015 with a program featuring novelists Joshua Mohr and Christian Kiefer, and poet Molly Fisk. The second Yuba Lit drew more than 65 audience members to hear readings from novelists Janis Cooke Newman, Louis B. Jones, and Amy Rutten, and the third Yuba Lit drew an equally robust audience for poet Indigo Moor, novelist Josh Weil, and memoirist Cris Mulvey.

Fifty percent of Yuba Lit’s proceeds benefit the Bear Yuba Land Trust.

Yuba Lit is produced and hosted by Nevada City memoirist and fiction writer Rachel Howard.  If you’d like to volunteer or join our mailing list, please email Rachel at rachel (dot) howard (at) gmail (dot) com.  You can learn more about Rachel at www.rachelhoward.com.

Thanks to our home venue, The Open Book, and to Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters.  Visit www.bylt.org to learn more about the trail building and conservation efforts of the Bear Yuba Land Trust.


Please join us to celebrate great writing in the Sierras at Yuba Lit!

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