Mercy Tullis-Bukhari is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer who finds inspiration from being a Bronx-bred Afro-Latina American, Honduran and Garifuna, of Jamaican descent. Her maternal grandparents are from Belize and her paternal grandparents are from Jamaica. They all immigrated to Honduras, where her parents were born. As a result, Mercy grew up eating curried goat with tortillas, fried fish with tajadas, baliadas and rotis, machuka, and jerk chicken. Of course, because she was and always will be a Bronx girl, she grew up eating lots of pizza in between.
She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s in English and American Literature, minoring in English Education. She later received her Master’s from Herbert H. Lehman College in English Literature. She is a tenured high school English teacher, and is currently in her thirteenth year of having taught high school English Language Arts primarily in The Bronx.
Mercy believes that as a woman and an individual, staying busy and relevant encourages her to be open to challenges while being a positive example of strength and individuality for her two children. The piece that she is proudest of is “Naming It,” dedicated to her daughter. In this piece, Mercy writes about acceptance of self and body with raw honesty and love.
Being Afro-Latina American, to Mercy, means total acceptance of self. Who she is today reflects her Africanness, her Latinidad, and being American. She validates her identity by accepting her history, and proudly accepts that being a Black woman, Latina, who is a Bronx-bred American, is the sopa marinero of all that she is today.
She is currently promoting her first anthology of poems titled SMOKE, published by Blind Beggar Press, Inc. She is a Callaloo Fellow (Oxford, 2016); her work can be found in several literary journals. You can find her reading her work throughout New York City. She has read at the Bowery Poetry Club and has been a featured reader at the Nuyorican Poets Café, the Bronx Library Center, and for the Caribbean Cultural Theatre. Mercy is currently writing her first novel through the MFA program in Creative Writing at The College of New Rochelle, and she is compiling poems for her second anthology.