Born in Puerto Rico, Judith Mercado moved at a young age to the U.S., where her parents became Pentecostal ministers. Early immersion in Latino and religious cultures preceded later experiences as a businesswoman, a White House Fellow, and life aboard a trawler cruising from Martha’s Vineyard to South America. Her short stories, poems, and essays reflect her own inclusive, yet sharply defined, journey across cultural and socioeconomic boundaries.
She calls herself an accidental poet. Only after being tested by multiple sclerosis did she begin writing poetry on a sustained basis. A happy surprise was discovering her love for the succinct expression haikus facilitate. While she honors the traditional haiku focus on nature, she also finds the haiku’s 5-7-5 syllabic structure to be an excellent way to organize her thoughts about any subject.
The Peace on the Journey poems first appeared over a number of years on her blog , Peace Be with You on Life’s Journey. After requests from her blog followers to create a book of poems, Judith Mercado decided she might not be a poet with a capital P, but her poems were obviously resonating with individuals needing acknowledgement and inspiration in the face of loss. It did not matter if the loss was due to illness, the death of a loved one, or terminated employment. The poems’ honestly expressed feelings seemed to help readers find hope and understanding.
From her blog’s close to 1200 poems, Judith Mercado chose 366 to form her book Peace on the Journey. In it, the reader can read a poem a day for a year, though he or she can start on any page and progress in any order. On her Kindle, Judith Mercado reads the poems for her own inspiration on a daily basis. She has said of this collection that it has been the universe’s gift to her, as she never expected to produce a book of poetry.