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Julia Gardner

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Poetry

Jenyth Jo Gearhart-Utchen

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Poetry

Hometown

San Ramon

My Greatest Supporters

I worked and waited thirty years to attend a creative writing program. Without the support of my daughters, Audrey Jo and Lauren, my son-on-law Oliver, and my partner Gary, I would not have completed a poetry book and a memoir during the past eighteen months. Cheers to my friends Judy, Lisa, Katy, Shelly, Kathryn, Eileen, and my dog Archer.

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

On my highlight reel: meeting my classmates at the fountain in front of Dryden Dining Hall before class in the fall of 2019... Cafe Louis for a glass of wine after workshop...Graduate Student Lounge in the library...Pavilion #9, where I taught English 4 to 12 terrific humans, and where coyotes and deer listened in at 8:00 a.m. next to the lacrosse field.

My Next Chapter

My term as San Ramon's Poet Laureate runs through 2022, so I'll be writing and performing poetry in my home town for awhile. In the meantime, I'm returning to SMC to study Creative Non-Fiction and work with the incomparable Marilyn Abildskov on my Stanford volleyball memoir. I will return to France to finish my tour of the graves of WW1 Poets as well.

Clubs and Activities

Graduate Student Reading Series Host May 2021
SMC Guest Writer Reading coordinator Oct. 2020
SMC MFA Alumni Reading Series Host April 2021
Class of 2021 Graduation Party coordinator

Favorite Quote

Poetry is not a “specialized field.” It has universal and eternal value. It is what humans read to each other at weddings and funerals. It takes us into vast spiritual adventures. It enacts original dreams... imagine a stranger who may be reading one of your poems in secret someday...hold love in your heart...work for justice for humans and non-humans.
— Brenda Hillman
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Nicholas Lane Golden

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction/Fiction

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Xin He

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction

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Eric Christiansen

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Poetry

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Anneke L. Cronander

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Fiction

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Mikaela Sutherland Dunitz

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction

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Natalie Jane Dunn

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Poetry

Rai Maia Ahmed-Green

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction

Honors

School of Liberal Arts Dean's Award

Hometown

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

Hometown

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