Girls Are Coming out of the Woods

Poetry Journaling with Noor Unnahar

poetry journal by noor unanahar

Poetry journaling is the self-care routine addition you’ll love prioritizing.

Most of the poets we know love journaling as much as they love writing poetry. Though similar, they each serve the artist in distinct ways. Both engage language and mine both the mind and the heart for truth and beauty, but they’re very different. And when the practices are paired together, it creates something beautiful.

In poet Noor Unnahar’s new book, Find Your Voice: A Guided Poetry Journal for Your Heart and Your Art, we’re treated to a space where we can engage in both. (You may remember Noor from her poetry collection, yesterday i was the moon.)

I have always felt poetry is an act of truth and rebellion; it comes from a magical place — somewhere that is free from social constraint, unconfined by the need to say something clearly or directly. It is playful, it breaks rules, and it allows us to create our own kind of language. Often we share our poetry with others.

With journaling, we are able to get everything out onto paper, sometimes telling it all detail by detail. It is usually a purposefully private act.

What about poetry journaling? How do the two come together?

Unnahar’s new book isn’t a collection of poetry, but a journal that compels readers to explore their own poetic voice. It contains over 100 prompts, all designed beautifully alongside collage-work, inspirational ideas, and thought-provoking words like “resistance” and “bravery.” You’ll also find original poems by Unnahar herself.

The book feels like something hand-constructed and intimate, something you might want to tuck under a pillow or keep in a secret drawer with a pressed rose petal for a bookmark. The way a book feels — like something that cares about you, like a secret little world — is a big part of how we connect with it. Unnahar’s journal goes a long way in this regard.

What Unnahar says about the journal is beautiful, too:

“The main purpose of this journal was to create a safe space for writing. A world of words and visuals hidden between these pages. When I started writing poetry, I wanted a journal that looked like mine. But the ones available at my side of the world were either words based or simply visual based.”

The journal isn’t just about creating poetry, though; in a sense, the journal is about self-exploration — using poetry as a mirror, as a way to converse with yourself.

The book’s contents go through plenty of topics, including finding your voice and learning about poetic styles and devices. The prompts are creative, too, like, “assign a color to the people in your life,” which is one I personally worked on for over an hour.

The time that was spent creating unique prompts made all the difference here, too. Even if you don’t end up creating a piece of finished work based off the prompts, what you will do is work the muscles, getting yourself to a place where you’re very comfortable thinking about things outside the box.

Perhaps the most beneficial thing about this journal is that it gives you permission to simply write, create, and daydream.

Take a peek inside:

If you’re interested in developing your poetic voice or simply finding a creative and calm way to get yourself thinking and dreaming, this book is stellar.

My advice would be to write in the journal, yes, but also purchase an accompanying journal or notebook where you can write, draw, and respond to the prompts with more space. Following the journal’s prompts, you’ll end up creating your very own book of thoughts and poems and ideas in a book of your own.

Girls Are Coming out of the Woods