Mariposa María Teresa Fernández is an award-winning Afro Puerto Rican poet, spoken word performance artist, visual artist, educator, activist, scholar and Bronx native.

Mariposa’s poetry has been published in numerous anthologies including African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song, a Library of America Anthology, The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, The Afro Latin@ Reader: History & Culture in the United States, Manteca: Anthology of AfroLatin@ Poets and Bumrush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam. Mariposa’s poetry has been featured on HBO Latino in the critically acclaimed series Habla Ya! and Americanos: Latino Life if the U.S. Mariposa’s work is also featured in the documentary In Her Own Words: Nuyorican Poet and Activist, a film by Wilfried Raussert and Alina Muñoz Knudsen and Fragments of Belonging: El Alma Dividida de Puerto Rico, a film by Friederike Bischoff and Raphael Vazquez, both produced by Bielefeld University.

Mariposa has performed at numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, La Habana, Cuba, Berlin and Bielefeld, Germany and Durban, South Africa at the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism. Inspired by the poets who forged the Black Arts and Nuyorican Poetry movement and Old School Hip Hop, she writes about identity, belonging, decolonization, social justice, blackness and the Puerto Rican experience in Nueva York.

Mariposa is a member of the AfroLatin@ Forum, the New York City Latina Writers Group and Sankofa Sisterhood Writers. She is also a member of the Bronx-wide Coalition and the Urban Atabex Organizing and Healing in Community Network.

Mariposa merges art with community organizing to uplift youth & adults. Mariposa has served New York City as a teaching artist and has taught creative writing for numerous public schools and non-profit organizations including THE POINT CDC, The Caribbean Cultural Center, Poets & Writers, Poets House, The Bronx Council of the Arts, The Nuyorican Poets Café and Teachers and Writers Collaborative. she has also led poetry workshops at the Sankofa Sisterhood Writers Retreat for BIPOC women.

Mariposa is a CUNY faculty member and teaches at Herbert H. Lehman College in the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Africana Studies Department, as well as the Black Studies Program at The City College of New York. She served as cultural coordinator and chaperone for CUNY Service Corps Puerto Rico and worked with multiple cohorts of student volunteers to repair roofs after Hurricane Maria from 2018 to 2019.

Mariposa is a recipient of the 2020 CUNY Adjunct Incubator Grant, awarded by The Center for Humanities. The award will fund the Be A Buddy Multimedia Project, an exciting multimedia project of documenting community and neighborhood resilience, gathering stories of strength in the South Bronx. The project explores the impact and effectiveness of The Point CDC’s mutual aid projects and the community building efforts of neighbors taking care of each other from 2018 to the present pandemic. The project seeks to assess ongoing community needs and to identify future needs.