Puerto Rican poet and performance artist Mariposa María Teresa Fernández was born and raised in the Bronx. The first in her family to graduate from college, she earned a BA and an MA at New York University. In her poems, which often combine Spanish and English lines, Mariposa explore themes of empowerment, family, and identity. She is the author of Born Bronxeña: Poems on Identity, Love & Survival (2001). Her poetry has been included in The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (2010, edited by Ilan Stavans), The [email protected] Reader: History and Culture in the United States (2010, edited by Miriam Jiménez Roman and Juan Flores), and Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam (2001, edited by Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera).
Her work has been featured on the HBO series Habla Ya! and in the HBO documentary Americanos: Latino Life in the United States, as well as in programming on the PBS, Lifetime TV, and BET networks. Mariposa has performed her poetry at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, the Essence Music Festival, and the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit. Founder of Poetry for Entrepreneurs, she organized the annual Crysálida: Cry of the Chrysalis fundraiser supporting young women’s empowerment programs and has served on the advisory board of Where Our Minds Empower Needs (W.O.M.E.N.). Mariposa has taught poetry at Poets House, the Bronx Writers Center, and the Caribbean Cultural Center and through Poets & Writers.
Mariposa’s honors include a Van Lier Fellowship, an El Comite Noviembre’s Lo Mejor de Nuestra Comunidad Award, and an award from the community nonprofit El Maestro. She lives in New York City.
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