Poet and artist Angelica Mercado-Ford inhabits the borderlands in between two cultures, two countries, and two identities. Mercado-Ford explores a way out of the in-between through poetry and mixed media artworks both playful and powerful. Mercado-Ford was born in Jalisco, Mexico, grew up in Fremont, NE, and now resides in Sioux Falls, SD with her wife Olivia, and their two mini dachshunds Rio & Sol. She earned her BA in Fine Arts from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA. She is now enrolled in a Master of Education in Teaching at the University of Sioux Falls. Both Mercado-Ford’s artwork and poetry have been used as educational tools to draw awareness to topics such as immigration, feminism, diversity, and cultural awareness. Her work has been published in the Briar Cliff Review, Cream City Review, Acentos Review, Roanoke Review, Glass Poetry Press, among others.
"Living in the Midwest, in a traditional Catholic Mexican household, has brought with it many hurdles. My work not only highlights what it's like to be a queer woman in a situation like this, but a woman in general. At times, machismo and traditional expectations become too difficult to ignore when they stem from a culture that has gone too long supporting these ideals. How do you survive it? You write about it. You educate the public about the issues, and you empower others to rise up and fight a flawed and damaging system of oppression that not only affects women culturally, but socially. As a Latina woman in the United States, you have two options, to either live in the shadows, or learn to stand up for yourself as a woman, a Latina, and as a human being, all while absorbing and celebrating the beautiful parts of your authentic self."