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Featured Artist: Jaelen Isis

Come view works by Jaelen Isis at Woodland Pattern BookCenter on February 9th, 2018, 6-9pm.

I am a watercolor painter located in Chicago. I specializing in portraiture and mixed media. Watercolor brings forth an emotion to the eye; whatever the piece of art may be, the observer instantly feels a connection as an effect to the natural movements of the paint. The versatility of watercolor contributes to the color, detail, and movement of my pieces. 


In my paintings, I portray men, women, young people, people of color, etc. in relation to the stereotypes frequently attached to them. Using mixed media (if you look closely) you see illustrations hidden within the colors and lines of the background and foreground of each piece. Continue reading Featured Artist: Jaelen Isis

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Step Through the Door

Do you understand
that it matters?
All the same, it does.
You were my
very own mystery
but then you
became my door–
as eternal as the
universe itself.

My eyes widened
with intrigue.
Don’t forget,
I know my place,
a metal tongue,
keeping me on the edge,
reminding me that
sometimes it can be
cold and demanding.

Did you ever experience
a White Christmas?
A child’s smile?
The first warm day in spring?
The kind of day that
grasps hope in its palm.

That’s what it was like
when I realized that it all
may really be all right.



Photo Credit: Photo by Benjamin Lambert on Unsplash

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How I let go of you and held on too.

The night's crescent moon
The night’s crescent moon

I will get drunk on the poetry we wrote
throw my tears on the fire burning everlastingly.
That love didn’t stop your heart from turning cold for me.
Wrap my fingers around the words we spoke and
place them in the drawer that keeps your pictures too.
Watch my moon and stars collapse as I accept that my world
I must finally renew.
Write a prayer for us, for me, for you
on the same page lettered with your name in gold.
Take in a lesson or two.
Take a lesson or two. I will plant your roses outside my room
hang your artwork on the wall next to my bed.
Your kind words, I will give to someone else and
pray you get rewarded for them.
Our past, I will set on the shelf next to my favourite books.
These are the things I will hold onto
they belong to someone I once loved, once knew.

The people we were before still exist somewhere in time and space.
How unfortunate it would be to keep their chaos alive and instead
throw their love away.

– Samihah Pargas

– Instagram: ShadesOfHerInk

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Rico Lowe Jr. (@panafrico) – the message

the message
stale dreams crust over like a syrupy sweet
after all what’s to dream if chance of miracle’s bleak?
what’s to fight- if a man invests fear in defeat
what is love but a curious leap? – off the edge
what’s the purpose of men fighting for peace? –
when its said temp-tation and lust make men weak,
who’s to blame for the blood in the streets?
the hust-ler or the politician giving the speech?
y’all don’t hear me, if the world was to come to an end,
would the poet proceed to narrate with the pen?
doc-ument the event,
how those waves rose over our heads,
swallowed us in a tide- of death
what the may-ans said
does the soul really die in the flesh?
are men capable of righteous steps?
thine eyes have met- too many murders,
not enough sermons,
what else is veiled be-hind my curtains?
you will never know
and i guess thats the lesson of life
stop questioning; start counting blessings tonight,
the man that knows something knows nothing
but even men that know nothing know the feeling of suffering,
life is complicated, search for your vantage
and maybe then we can understand what the plan is,







Photo Credit: Photo by “My Life Through A Lens” on Unsplash

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The Ashes

I held onto her
With a grip so tight
Sand couldn’t even escape
Slip between my fingers

I held onto the thought of her
As if letting you go
Would suck out the life
That barely existed in me

Worry sets my brain on fire
She begins to slip away
My heart and soul begin to burn
I lose control
I become lost in a pile of ashes
One speck at a time
Being lifted by the frigid air
And blown away into the past

For the first time I realized
This feeling is different
You see I am no longer holding onto
My abuser or
The ones who have wronged me
I’m holding onto me
The old me
The me that was beaten down
And burned
Until she was just a pile of ashes
For she is something I learn from everyday
She taught me how to fight for me
She taught me how to believe in me
She taught me that time is magical

Though she is not in my bones anymore
I still see traces of her every day
That small bench
Where loneliness surrounded her
Not allowing anyone to come near
That creaky window
She covered up
So that no one could see her scars
And that porch with the swinging chair
Where she watched the people
Who were supposed to love her
Pass by
Without acknowledging her presence
Ignoring her humanity
Leaving teardrops
To saturate her t-shirt

I believe in her
But I can’t have her
I left the ashes on the ground
And walked away
To a better me
To a better life
And let me tell you–
The best is yet to come






Photo by John-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash

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For the People! a podcast

For the People!

a podcast

Why for the people? It should always be about the people.

We want to invite all readers of Genre: Urban Arts to become listeners to a new element of our diverse creative space.

During the podcast, we’ll discuss art in various spaces. Music, poetry, graffiti art, spoken word, amongst other things. We’ll also talk about creating that book, writing that blog post, making that creative outlet, and above all identifying yourself with art and it’s benefits towards a happier life.

We are…

For the People!


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Melanated Gardens

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Introducing Melanated Gardens: a collaborative project created by the mother-daughter writing duo Nia Pearl and Inja Vitero. Combining Nia’s poetry with Inja’s calligraphy, the pair are selling cards and prints of selected poems. Please check out their site and support your local black owned businesses:

More of Nia Pearl’s poetry can be found on instagram:

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Creative Juices

Creativity isn’t always beautiful. There is a desire in us as artists to share what we feel inside with the world; how can we do so when we can’t find the words ourselves? There isn’t always an easy road with which to release my emotions to words. It can be quite painful. That doesn’t make it any less meaningful.

“There are days when words and feelings pour out of me like a volcano. Aggressive and fierce, I stab through the lines on the page and rip it apart like my brain is ripping me. Then there are days when I can do nothing, My creative juices are dried up- I am breathing in coarse sand, I cough up ideas but also blood. It lines the paper all the same.”


follow me on instagram @victimlessrhymes

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Like a carver whittling away wood,
like a butcher slicing carcass,
like a razor piercing skin.

A needle etching into blood,
a knife engraving letters into a tree,
a dog tearing through bone.

Like a mosquito making meal of me.
You are always here, gnawing.

m.e. peters






Photography: Lanaya