Jenuine Poetess has poemed her way through California and Texas since 2002. She is the founder of Waco Poets Society (2013) and ITWOW International (2010)–a grassroots writing circle project with chapters in Los Angeles, Texas, and Lebanon. Along with Sarah Frances Moran, Jenuine co-edited ITWOW International’s first printed anthology, published by Yellow Chair Press Spring 2016. With over 70 contributors spanning 4 continents, 6 countries, many generations, ethnicities, roles, and identities this collection is a stunning global glimpse into the depths of the I am/I am not dichotomy.
Jenuine’s poetry and prose have or will be appearing in such publications as, Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams: How Art Transforms Communities (Tia Chucha Press 2012), LOUDmouth Zine (CSULA 2011), Mujeres de Maiz Anthology (2012), di-verse-city AIPF Anthology (2013), Harbinger Asylum (Transcendent Zero Press, 2013, 2014), The Feminist Wire (2014), The Elephant Journal (2014), Final Poems (Entropy Magazine, 2015), 100Thousand Poets for Change Global Anthology (2015), Rock the Chair (Yellow Chair Press, 2015), Dead Snakes (2016), Poems for All (2016), Yellow Chair Review Anthology (Yellow Chair Press, 2016), Coiled Serpent: Poets arising from the cultural quakes and shifts of Los Angles (Tia Chucha Press, 2016), and Texas Poetry Calendar (Dos Gatos Press, 2017).
Jenuine’s debut chapbook, BloodStories: a cycle of 28 poems (Yellow Chair Press, 2016) is a poetic grappling through bleeding and becoming, deconstruction and healing, question-asking and discovery. This collection of poems spanning several years and a range of topics across a broad spectrum of social and personal justice issues is a literary rite of passage, a coming of age, a declaration of truths unapologetic.
In addition to her poetry works, Jenuine serves as a co-editor and periodic contributor for Act Locally Waco’s monthly Mental Health Blog, and is the writer for Act Locally Waco’s monthly Arts and Culture Blog. She has contributed to Not My Taboo blog and is the founder, editor, and midwife of truths at Unsilent.
As a spoken-word artist, Jenuine has graced stages and classrooms, cafes and community spaces as a performance poet in Los Angeles; Waco, Austin, and San Antonio, Texas; and Salerno, Italy. In early 2016, Jenuine was a featured poet at BookWoman’s Second Thursday Open Mic hosted by Cindy Huyser in Austin, Texas; a featured poet at Unsilent :: Survivors Speak at the Hippodrome in Waco, Texas. In 2015 she featured at La Palabra Poetry Series at Avenue 50 Studios in Los Angeles; Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural Open Mic in Sylmar, CA; 100Thousand Poets for Change Global Conference in Salerno, Italy; and the Hunger and Justice Summit Conference by Texas Hunger Institute in Waco, Texas.
Rooted in the conviction that creative health is a matter of justice, Jenuine organizes arts programming in her community empowering herself and others to realize their creative visions. When she is not curating the written & spoken-word arts for others, she enjoys crafting weird visual poems (paintings, collages) and pondering artful ways to disrupt the homeostasis.
She can be found on twitter and instagram at: @JenuineArtworks; on facebook at: /JenuineArtworks; and her website: www.jenuineartworks.com.
Available to book for:
Spoken-Word Performance Artist
Workshop Facilitator (children-8 years and older, adolescents, adults)
Arts Programming Consultant
Therapeutic Creative Writing Program Facilitator (youth)
I had the pleasure of working with Jenuine Poetess during the summer of 2014, during Baylor’s University for Young people gifted and talented summer Spoken Word/Poetry session. Well-known for her advocacy of the arts, specifically poetry and spoken word, Jenuine was incredibly helpful as I planned the curriculum of the course.
Most importantly, in speaking to my students, she offered tentative teenagers–new to writing and performing poetry–confidence in their own voices. She added legitimacy to my own teaching and encouraged the link between the classroom and community. She willingly highlighted youth community opportunities in which students could participate, supporting the mission of the Baylor GT summer program for community outreach. Her enthusiasm about her craft was palpable and contagious as she performed original works and provided a creative writing exercise for my students.
Partially as a result of our initial interactions, use of poetry and spoken word within the social studies has evolved as an academic research interest for me, and she continues to consult with me in these research endeavors. She is an invaluable community advocate and resource.
Dr. Sunny Wells
Social Studies Content Specialist
Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education
Praise for BloodStories
Jenuine’s voice is a skillful soul dance between the internal and external, transcendent and imminent, spirit and matter, dream and reality. Blood as a constant motif invites deep flowing as well as constant pouring of life liquid, which also traverses these lines, these images, these words. Thank you Jenuine for that moon glow, rain mist, woman flower. Reading BloodStories, I felt like a thirsty hummingbird gorging on precious nectar.
—Luis J. Rodriguez, Los Angeles Poet Laureate, author of Borrowed Bones and My Nature is Hunger
As I read BloodStories I let each drop of lost blood saturate my eyes, hands, and history. Jenuine Poetess is not only exercising her history, but the history of every person who has ever suffered in silence, illuminating the path for every person who has succumbed to the griefscream of disbelief, heartbreak, and disappointment. The weight of her words are for everyone, a must read for all, as each poem elucidates the long and bloody tradition of forced subordination of femme bodies under patriarchy.
–Caseyrenée Lopez, Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Crab Fat Magazine
Throughout Jenuine Poetess’ verses ‘…you will find / all our stories spilling out / the deep red blood of / our throbbing / our thriving’. This poet sings with a timeless, soulful lyricism rare among modern poets who play safe and lean toward prosaic language. In BloodStories we experience the shock and warm familiarity of blood as a signal of hurt, its shedding an inevitable part of the cycles of nature – all the while remaining the essence of life, and poetry, itself.
– Allan Aquino, poet and professor of Asian American Studies, California State University, Northridge
Reading BloodStories is like gazing deep into a glass abyss, waiting for the day when life goes back to normal, until you discover normal is living with the broken panes. Identity lies in the catastrophic trials, where growth through isolation reveals an elegant new strength. Jenuine Poetess reveals a glimpse of the trek within many of us, along with the very descriptive cycles of survival.
–Libbie Toler, writer
Bloodstories is thick with pains and memories, challenges, sorrows and reflections. Harsh truths mix with tender joy. Like a good cleansing these poems go deep, unafraid of revealing and voicing, leaving behind that which no longer serves a vibrant life. These poems flow unstoppable, like her. Bravo Jenuine!
– Trini Rodriguez, writer
Life giving, embarrassing. Self-realizing, painful. Oozing, running, sticky, leaking into panties or flowing onto paper through words. A celebration of you, us, we, them. A declaration of me. Crimson means life. Good, bad. But life. Jenuine has shared her crimson, her life in these words. She is poetess. She is woman.
– Chris Billings, poet