SMC Seal for placeholder image

Natalie Jane Dunn

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Poetry

Rai Maia Ahmed-Green

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction


School of Liberal Arts Dean's Award


Irvine, CA

Award Bio

Rai Ahmed-Green is committed to writing about the struggle and necessity of finding joy where it exists. Her writing explores the nature of truth in memory, often captured in essays about home, nature, love, and grief. Her current projects include a collection of nonfiction essays about love in its many facets and an Afrofuturistic novel that questions the relationship between God and humanity.

My Greatest Supporters

Many thanks to my greatest supporters and sources of inspiration, my parents, Zahra Ahmed, Darian Green, Jonathan Gilmer and Natasha Green. My grandmothers Grandma Z and Grandma Dorothy. My grandfathers Grandpa Abah and Grandpa Benny, my cousin Whitney Smith and my dear friend Nyasha Makaza.

Tanya Castro

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Poetry


Los Angeles, CA

My Greatest Supporters

My parents and my younger brother have supported my dreams of becoming a writer since the very start. I owe everything I am to them.
My dog Oreo, who has sat next to me as I written and rewritten poems. You are the best dog a girl can ask for.
To the lifelong friends I have met in the program. Liala, Stella, and Dakota. Thank you for always cheering me on.

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

I'll miss gathering with my peers and going to readings at De La Salle Hall. I'll miss walking by baby deer after hours when classes are over and the sun has set. I'll miss grabbing a late night cup of hot chocolate at Cafe Louis. I'll miss Dante Hall and poetry.

My Next Chapter

I hope to publish my first collection of poems within the next few years and to finish my fiction novel I have started working on. I know I'll continue writing for the rest of my life but I am excited to see what I'll learn next, what I'll see next and who will be by my side. I hope the next chapter is full of happiness above all.

Favorite Quote

What is done with love is done well.
— Van Gogh