Marcy Rae Henry es una Latina/e born and raised in Mexican-America/The Borderlands. She received her BA from the University of New Mexico where she studied music and gave the valedictory address for the Political Science department. While on deferment from Columbia Law School in New York City she lived in Europe, taking classes at la Universidad de Granada, and Asia, where she earned certification for Ancient Thai Massage in Kathmandu, Nepal. After riding a motorcycle through Greece, Turkey, Syria and Jordan (at times presenting as a boy), Marcy Rae volunteered for Middle East Peace Process activities in Israel/Palestine. She returned to the States and earned an MA in Interdisciplinary Art at Columbia College Chicago. She has studied Buddhism in centers from Bodhi Manda Zen Center in Jemez, New Mexico to Chanmyay Yeiktha in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar), The November Retreat at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal and El Centro de Meditación de Vilcabamba, Ecuador. In India, where she lived for a couple of years, she studied at the Tushita Meditation Centre and received teachings and initiations from His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.
Henry's fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art appear or are forthcoming in: Moon City Review, 100 Thousand Poets for Change: 10+ Years of Poetic Activism--A Collective Memory (2011-2023), The Worcester Review, ONE ART: a journal of poetry, Guesthouse, RHINO, The Columbia Review, Mud Season Review, The Brooklyn Review, PANK, The Southern Review, Epiphany, Star 82 Review, Waxwing, The Shore, Superstition Review, Hobart, carte blanche, Writers Resist, Oyster River Pages, Sundog Lit, Lumiere: JUSTICE initiative, Panoplyzine, The Glacier Journal, Mediterranean Poetry, The William and Mary Review, Arkana, Cherry Tree, Sunspot Lit, Rise Up Review, Palette Poetry, The Dewdrop, The Muleskinner Journal, So To Speak: Feminist Journal of Language and Art, Black Coffee Review, BathHouse Journal, The Closed Eye Open, Manzano Mountain Review, Mom Egg Review, Channel: an Irish magazine born out of climate crisis, Hags on Fire, Pretty Owl Poetry, Rogue Agent, Pangyrus, Pilgrimage Press, Cauldron Anthology, Another Chicago Magazine, Cathexis Northwest, Contemporary Verse 2, Newcity, Thimble Literary Magazine, The Wild Word, Beautiful Losers, Flowersong Books: Selena Anthology, Shanghai Literary Review, Chicago Literati, The Chaffey Review, World Haiku Review, Damaged Goods Press/TQ Review: A Journal of Trans & Queer Voices and South Broadway Ghost Society's Thought For Food Book Fundraiser for Denver Food Rescue. Excerpts from the novel Cumbia Therapy have been published in Suburbia, Somos en escrito, New Mexico Review and The Acentos Review. An excerpt from the novel The Between was published by Muleskinner Journal in 2022. In October 2023 DoubleCross Press published the poetry collection We Are Primary Colors.
In December 2023 M.R. Henry's chapbook dream life of night owls won the 2023 Open Country Chapbook Prize and her chap the body is where it all begins was accepted for publication by Querencia Press. In September 2023 her work made the Best New Poets of 2023 list and will appear in the University of Virginia Press' anthology in cooperation with Meridian. In March 2023 her chapbook The body is where it all begins made the shortlist for Steel Toe Books' 2022 Chapbook Award. In April 2022 her poetry was a finalist in River Styx's International Poetry Contest. In October 2021 her Spanglish novel, Cumbia Therapy, won 1st place in Suburbia's Novel Excerpt Contest and, years earlier, received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. In January 2021 her fiction manuscript 'Southwest Stories: A Mexican Wedding and The Magnetic Poles' was chosen as a finalist in Black Lawrence Press' Black River Chapbook Competition and her nonfiction manuscript, 'Eternal September,' based on her motorcycle travels through the Middle East, was chosen as a semi-finalist. In November 2020 she was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for poetry. In July 2020 her poem 'Years that ask questions,' inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, received honorable mention in the New Millennium Writing Awards. The title is a nod to Zora Neale Hurston. In April 2020 her poem '8th Day' was selected by Rodney Gómez as a finalist in Puerto del Sol's annual poetry contest. In March 2020 her poetry was longlisted for the Disquiet Literary Prize. In January 2020 her pre-pandemic apocalyptic story, 'Come, my friends, ’tis not too late to seek a newer world,' received Honorable Mention in the New Millennium Writing Awards. The title is a line from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem, “Ulysses.” In 2018, the story 'The Letter' was a semi-finalist in the American Short(er) Fiction Contest. In 2016 the story, 'To Dao,' was longlisted for the Irish Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Contest and another piece, 'Space and Place,' was shortlisted for their 2014 Memoir Prize. The CTA Chronicles, a collection of fiction, nonfiction and haiku about Chicago's CTA received a City of Chicago Community Arts Assistance Grant. Of the latter, Audrey Niffenegger says, “Henry has written the true Chicago, the true El, stuffed with humans, source of strange encounters and disturbing memories. Her gorgeous writing captures the transience and the beauty of the city.”
Marcy Rae Henry is an associate professor of English, Literature and Creative Writing at Wilbur Wright College, where she serves as Coordinator of Latin American and Latine Studies, and an associate editor for RHINO. Artist residencies include Arte Studio Ginestrelle in Assisi, Italy and The Chicago Cultural Center. She has participated in multidisciplinary events, experiments, conferences and festivals across the U.S. and Asia and is based in Chicago, where she composes and plays music in local venues. She is a digital minimalist with no social media accounts and listed at Poets&Writers.