Stella Santamaria

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing: Poetry


School of Liberal Arts Dean's Award


Miami, Florida

Award Bio

Stella Santamaria is a Latinx writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a teaching assistant at Saint Mary’s College under Professor Brenda Hillman. Stella is an MFA candidate in Poetry and will be graduating this May, having studied with Professor Matthew Zapruder as well. She also studied meditation with Brother Camillus Chavez. Her poetry has been recently published in Juked, The Brooklyn Review, The Furious Gazelle, Pennsylvania English, The Courtship of Winds, and The Rumpus. Stella was a reader for MARY: A Journal of New Writing at Saint Mary’s College. She performed spoken word in the Lab in San Francisco and Nuyorican Poets’ Café in New York City. Recently, she was nominated for Best New Poets 2020. She was also featured in Latino in America, an HBO films and CNN documentary.

While earning my degree, my greatest supporters were

Hernan Mauricio Bucheli, Argentina Santamaria, Brenda Hillman, Matthew Zapruder, Sara Mumolo, Brother Camillus, Brothers, Geni Federas, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Jane Gregory, Cyrus Cassells, Christopher Sindt, Richard, Liz, Natalia and Sofia Santamaria, Andrea, Briana and Sasha Bucheli, Andrew, Caeden, Rachel, Charlie, Sage, Clayne, Sarah, Vicky, MFA CW Class of 2020, 2021 and 2019.

My favorite SMC memory is

Reading and sharing my poetry at Hagerty Lounge as part of our Graduate Reading Series on November 6th, 2019. I was introduced that evening by Vicky, I am very fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to share my newest works with the community.

I'm looking forward to most

Publishing a full length poetry book, teaching poetry at a college and seeing where my poems take me.
It was the spirit of poetry who reached out and found me as I stood there at the doorway between panic and love.

— Joy Harjo