September 15th Yuba Lit Features Memoirist Frances Stroh, Poet Eugene Berson, and Fiction Writer Elizabeth Soderstrom

When Frances Stroh was growing up in Detroit, her family’s Stroh Brewing Company had amassed the largest private beer fortune in America, worth $700 million. But the fortune dissolved in a decade, torn apart by divorce and drugs. Stroh will read from her acclaimed memoir about the family’s decline, Beer Money: A Memoir of Privilege and Loss, at the next Yuba Lit reading on Thursday, September 15th. The program starts at 7 p.m. at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley.


BEER MONEY: A Memoir of Privilege and Loss is at once a recollection of a city, an industry, and a dynasty in decline, and the story of a young artist who struggles to find her way out of the ruins. Publisher’s Weekly writes, “Stroh’s compelling memoir vividly portrays the aching permanence of loss and the palpability of hope that accompanies starting over.” Reading with Stroh will be Sierra foothills poet Eugene Berson and Nevada City fiction writer Elizabeth Soderstrom.

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, September 15th at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Dr., Grass Valley. The $5-$10 sliding scale 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 coffee, tea, and fresh food for sale.

More on Yuba Lit’s September Readers:


San Francisco-based writer Frances Stroh was born in Detroit and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She received her B.A. from Duke University and her M.A. from Chelsea College of Art in London as a Fulbright Scholar. She practiced as an installation artist, exhibiting in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London before turning to writing. Frances is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Her work across all media explores issues of identity, point of view, and the mythologies that define us.

Eugene Berson.jpeg

Sierra foothills resident Eugene Berson is working on a collection titled Yuba Grooves. Long active in the Bay Area poetry scene, Berson has published in American Poetry Review, Bastard Angel, Beatitude, Vanishing Cab, Abalone Moon and Referential Magazine and the anthology Honeydew. He has taught poetry workshops in everything from one-room Wyoming schoolhouses to reform schools, Indian reservations, and as a high school teacher in Oakland. He also worked in the trade show industry as a member of Sign Display Union, local 510.

Elizabeth Soderstrom

Nevada City environmentalist Elizabeth Soderstrom is working on her first novel, Malachite Drift, which takes place in northern Botswana in the Okavango Delta, where Soderstrom worked for the State Department and the US Agency for International Development. Soderstrom is a graduate in Creative Writing from Stanford University where she was also the fiction editor of Sequoia, Stanford’s literary magazine. She earned her PhD in Wildlands Research Science from UC Berkeley. Having spent the last 15 years working for environmental organizations, including the Natural Heritage Institute and American Rivers, Soderstrom is now a Program Manager at the Resources Legacy Fund, a foundation that addresses environmental issues.

About Yuba Lit

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 and co-produced by poet Angela Sells.  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

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Thanks to our home venue, The Open Book, and to Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters. Visit 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!