Take a look at what our alumni have been up to since graduation!

Alumni by Genre:


Jennifer (Chambliss) Bertman received her MFA from Saint Mary's College of California and her BA from the University of California at Irvine. Forthcoming from Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt is a middle-grade mystery series and a separate stand-alone mystery. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. She blogs at http://writerjenn.blogspot.com where she runs the "Creative Spaces" online interview series with children's book authors and illustrators about their workspaces and work habits.

Emily Breunig is a writer, educator, editor, and voracious reader. She was born in Houston, Texas, and promptly left for Connecticut, a pattern of frequent movement that pretty much sums up her life, up to and including the present. She attended high school in Orange County, California, graduated with a BA in English and a creative writing concentration from Yale University in 2003, and took an MFA in Creative Writing from St. Mary's College of California in 2007. While at St. Mary's, she was the recipient of the Jim Townsend and Agnes Butler scholarships. She has taught English and writing to elementary school students in China, community college students in Silicon Valley, and career teachers in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Her first novel, A Ghost at the Edge of the Sea, is represented by Levine Greenberg Literary Agency and is currently out on submission. Emily maintains a website at emilybreunig.com and lives in the South Bay with her husband and two cats.

Crystal Carey is a graduate from Oklahoma State University who received her MFA in fiction from St. Mary's College in 2005. She teaches high school English in Tulsa, OK, and instructs continuing creative writing courses at Tulsa Community College. Her fiction has received an honorable mention from Glimmer Train and New Letters and her poetry received a 2010 Illinois Writer's Guild Award.

Alix Christie received her B.A. from Vassar College, a Masters of Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MFA in fiction from St. Mary's. A longtime print journalist, she has reported from abroad for The Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post and the Guardian of London, among others. Her MFA project, an unpublished novel called "Hard News," was a semi-finalist for the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. She received the Southwest Review's McGinnis-Ritchie Award for the best fiction published in that magazine in 2011 and has published in Other Voices and a limited edition from Foolscap Press. In fall 2014, her debut novel, "Gutenberg's Apprentice," will be published by Harper in the United States and Headline in the United Kingdom. Christie currently lives in London with her husband and two children.

Benjamin Russack holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California as well as an MA in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, which he received in 2001 and 2009, respectively.

Katherine Maxfield’s non-fiction book “Starting Up Silicon Valley” (Greenleaf Books 2014) provides an inside look at ROLM Corporation, one of the Valley’s most iconic founding companies. Bill Davidow, tech columnist for The Atlantic, said, “There are two great ways to learn about what goes on inside a start-up – work for one or read this book.” Maxfield’s short stories have appeared in American Way, Room of One’s Own, Other Voices, Ontario Review, Jabberwock Review, and her personal essays have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine. She is working on a collection of short stories titled “Stories of Silicon Valley.” Maxfield is a retired technology marketing executive, with an MBA from Santa Clara University in addition to an MFA from St. Mary’s College.  

Mary Volmer (fiction, 2005) was raised in Grass Valley, California and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She was the recipient of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to the University of Wales, and a Chester Aaron and an Agnes Butler Scholarship in creative writing at Saint Mary’s College, California.  Her first novel, Crown of Dust, was published in UK in 2006 and rereleased the US in 2010.  Her non-fiction and short fiction has appeared in NPR's "this i believe" series, Women's Basketball Magazine, and the Farallon Review.  She is now happily at work on her second novel. 

Antonio K. Watkins, Jr. received an MFA from Saint Mary’s College.  Since then, he has taught in the composition and Seminar departments there, as well as English courses at Laney Community College and City College of San Francisco.  Tony occasionally submits work for publication, but is more often found reading student essays and editing the work of past classmates and current friends. 


Jason Bayani (poetry, 2010) is a graduate of Saint Mary’s MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology, Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology–– Learn Then Burn, and other publications. As a member of 7 National Poetry Slam teams, he's been National Poetry Slam finalist and represented Oakland at the International World Poetry Slam. He is also one of the founding members of the Filipino American Spoken Word troupe, Proletariat Bronze, and has been an organizer for the Asian and Pacific Islander Poetry and Spoken Word Summit. His first book, "Amulet" was published in 2013 through Write Bloody Press and has garnered acclaim in literary magazines such as Zyzzyva and Glint.

Claire Becker is the author of the book Where We Think It Should Go (Octopus Books) and the chapbooks Untoward (Lame House Press), Get You (Duration Press), Young Adult (Boxwood Editions), We Know in 2010, We Survive (Mondo Bummer), and The Werld (Horse Less Press).  Her poems have been published in Tarpaulin Sky, The Cultural Society, Octopus, Typo, The Poetry Project, Cannibal, and elsewhere.  She attended Pomona College for her BA and St. Mary’s College of California for her MFA.  She teaches high school at the California School for the Blind and, with Lily Brown, co-edits RealPoetik.  Originally from Kansas City, Missouri and Merriam, Kansas, she lives in San Francisco, California.

Sally Delehant received her BA in English from the University of Iowa. While attending Iowa she had the privilege of taking poetry workshops under G.C. Waldrep, Dean Young, and Emily Wilson. Sally is a graduate of Saint Mary's College of California's MFA program in Creative Writing and was awarded The Academy of American Poets' Russell & Yvonne Lannan Poetry Prize during her first year. Her work was published in series one of Calaveras and is forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review. Sally has recently moved to Chicago where she works in commercial real estate and, of course, writes poetry.

Gillian Olivia Blythe Hamel lives in Oakland, California, and holds an MFA in Poetry from St. Mary’s College.  Her work has appeared in the chapbook series Calaveras and will appear in the forthcoming anthology phrases/fragments.  She has worked on various small print and online publications around the Bay Area, including Mary, A Journal of New Writing, and is a poetry editor and web publicity manager for Omnidawn Publishing.

Jennifer Jean received her MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California where she won the Academy of American Poets Agnes Butler Award.  Her poetry, essays, literary interviews and reviews have appeared in such journals as North Dakota Quarterly, Denver Quarterly, Awakenings Review, Santa Clara Review, Southern California Review, Caketrain, The MOM Egg Journal, and Art Throb.  Currently the Poetry Editor of Art Throb, she is the author of the chapbook In the War (Big Table Publishing, 2010).  Jennifer is a key organizer of the annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and she teaches creative writing and literature at Salem State University. For more information go to: www.fishwifetales.com.

Nathaniel Mohatt has published poems recently in MiPOesias and Literary House Review.  He also completed his PhD in Creative Writing and Community Psychology through the University of Alaska Fairbanks' interdisciplinary program. His dissertation is a collection of poems and a long essay on cancer, health care, and healing. And soon he will start a National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Yale School of Medicine, where he will be conducting research on the role and impact of a community arts initiative on the recovery of people in behavioral health services.

Brian Mornar received a BA in English from Beloit College.  After taking an MFA in Poetry at St. Mary’s College in 2003, Mornar was admitted to the PhD program in English/Poetics at the State University of New York at Buffalo.  While completing his dissertation on the poetics of Lorine Niedecker, Charles Olson, Larry Eigner, and Susan Howe, Mornar teaches in the English Department at Columbia College of Chicago. The chapbook Repatterning was published by Punch Press in 2007 and full-length Three American Letters was published by Little Red Leaves in 2010.  Poems have appeared in many journals including, most recently, With+Stand and O Sweet Flowery Roses

Rusty Morrison’s the true keeps calm biding its story won the 2008 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, selected by Rae Armantrout, Claudia Rankine, and Bruce Smith. It also won The Ahsahta Press 2007 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, selected by Peter Gizzi, and the 2007 Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, selected by Susan Howe. Rusty Morrison’s first poetry collection, Whethering, won the Colorado Prize for Poetry (Center for Literary Publishing 2004), selected by Forrest Gander. She has been a recipient of the Cecil Hemley (2006), and Robert H. Winner (2003) Memorial Awards from The Poetry Society of America. She has also been a co-winner of the Five Fingers Review Poetry Contest (2003). Her poems, essays, or reviews have appeared in Boston Review, Chicago Review, Coconut, Colorado Review, Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature, Denver Quarterly, Eleven Eleven, First Intensity, The Modern Review, New American Writing, Parthenon West, Tinfish, Verse, VOLT, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor for Poetry Flash and co-publisher of Omnidawn.

Sara Mumolo is the author of Mortar (Omnidawn, 2013) and the Program Manager for the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of CA.  With Alisa Heinzman she is the co-editor of the chapbook series, Calaveras. She created and curated the Studio One Reading Series in Oakland, CA from 2008-2012, and Cannibal Books published her chapbook, March, in 2011. Poems have appeared in 1913: a journal of forms, Action Yes, Lana Turner, The Offending Adam, Real Poetik, and Volt, among others. She lives in Oakland, CA.

Kaya Oakes’ nonfiction book, Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture, was published by Henry Holt in 2009 and was selected as a San Francisco Chronicle notable book. She’s also the author of a collection of poetry, Telegraph, which received the Transcontinental Poetry Prize from Pavement Saw Press. Her memoir about radical faith, Ordinary Time, is forthcoming from Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press in 2012. In 2002, Kaya co-founded Kitchen Sink Magazine, which received the Utne Independent Press Award for Best New Magazine in 2003. Since 1999, she’s taught writing at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned an MFA in creative writing at Saint Mary’s College. Kaya has been the recipient of teaching fellowships from the Mellon Faculty Institute and the Bay Area Writing Project, as well as writing awards from the Academy of American Poets. She’s also twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in nonfiction. Her website is http://www.oakestown.org.

Kristen Sbrogna graduated in 2004 in Poetry. She received her BA in English and Women’s Studies from Boston College in 1999. In addition to being a poet, writer, and teacher, she is also passionate about sustainable agriculture and is certified in Permaculture Design and trained as an Alameda County Master Gardener. Her work has appeared recently in The Portland Alliance and The Berkeley Poetry Review. She lives in Berkeley with her family.

Creative Nonfiction

Jeff Chon graduated from Saint Mary's College with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction in 2013.  His work was most recently published in Barrelhouse and he has work forthcoming in The Seneca Review. He teaches at Saint Mary's College and Holy Names University.

Challen Clarke has recently worked as a travel writer for the Ministry of Tourism in Ecuador and a guidebook writer for Viva Travel Guides. She currently lives in Quito, Ecuador and does freelance writing for various marketing companies.

Vicki Hudson’s photographs as well as excerpts from a book in progress, Weekend Warrior, will be exhibited as part of the Swords to Plowshares SHOUT for Women Veterans in May at Hilliard Architects & Gallery in San Francisco. The exhibit will run through June.

Juan Alvarado Valdivia was awarded a 2011 Fellowship from The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, where he served a six-week residency earlier this year.  He was also selected to participate in the Voice of Our Nations Arts Foundation weeklong fiction Workshop with ZZ Packer. 





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