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>> Stella Santamaria

Stella Santamaria

Albion, Michigan

Poetry with Cyrus Cassells


I am a Latinx writer. Daughter of a Cuban exile and a Guatemalan immigrant, granddaughter of Afro Cuban, Indigenous and Spanish exiles, I was born in Los Angeles and raised in Miami’s “Little Havana.”

Long story short: after working as an educator in Miami area schools for twenty years, I worked in Hollywood, CA as a freelance writer, translator and editor for screenplays from 2017-2019, traveling to and from the San Francisco Bay Area while working on my MFA in poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California. I’ve published poems in Mary, Nine Mile Magazine, Juked, Brooklyn Review, Pennsylvania English, Courtship of Winds and The Rumpus, among others and have performed spoken word in the Lab in San Francisco and in Nuyorican Poets’ Café in New York City. Featured in the HBO Films and CNN documentary “Latino in America. “

As an experimental poet, I am passionate about the influence of family, identity, migration, spirituality and place. In 2020, I completed a full-length poetry manuscript, California Silence, which was a finalist for the 2020 Autumn House Poetry Prize, and a chapbook entitled perpetual exile. Currently, I serve as the inaugural Poet Laureate and inaugural Arts Commissioner for Albion, Michigan. I live with my family in a home where deer and cardinals roam free.I am honored and grateful to be the Sandra Cisneros Fellow for Under the Volcano 2021, and to be a virtual Volcanista this year during poetry month.