Jenyth Jo Gearhart-Utchen

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Poetry


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 for justice for humans and non-humans.
— Brenda Hillman