Book Review: find your voice

find your voice – A Guided Poetry Journal for Your Heart and Your Art

Author: Noor Unnahar
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Date: 2018

Open your heart to these pages.
Don’t stop creating.
Illuminate your writing style, discover poetic devices, collage found imagery with your prose or rhymes, and explore yourself fearlessly.

– Taken from the back cover blurb –

I came across this Poetry Journal recently in a large bookshop that specialised in arts and literature publications. It was an absolute Aladdin’s Cave of unusual delights and I succumbed to this and another poetry book.

‘find your’ voice’ promises to guide you towards finding – rediscovering – your poetic voice, taking you by the hand through free writing exercises, writing prompts based on different poetic forms, and illustrating these with image and word collages.

a sample double spread : write without stopping for five minutes

Book format

Being the size of a regular paperback (7″ x 5″ / 18.5 x 13 cm) and with 159 pages it’s small enough to slip into a handbag / messenger bag / laptop case / even a fair-size pocket. Add a pen or pencil and you’re set to begin your journey.

Part 1: Uncover your writing style
47 pages of warm-up exercises and prompts for writing and collage imagery
Part 2: Discover poetic devices
47 pages introducing and exploring seven traditional poetic forms, eg found poetry, Epistle, Ghazal
Part 3: Find your voice
47 pages to venture out with your own unique poetic voice and image

Page format, double spread

  • both blank for writing, some plain, some ruled
  • both blank, one each for writing and collage
  • one blank for writing and a printed collage opposite

As there are sections with instructions it would seem preferable to work through front to back. I do feel that it offers some latitude though in that the individual can choose which order to work within these sections.

Verdict

I’ve posted previously that I tend to think in verse when I’m putting thoughts together or getting to grips with difficult emotions so I’m not sure what attracted me to this particular book. Suffice it to say although much of the early section is more about prose writing and making collages than poetic outflow it has already led me to writing about matters I hadn’t previously entertained.
Whether you are new to poetry or if you’ve written verse for years this small volume has the potential to open up the way to compose with greater confidence and to awaken the creative giant slumbering within.

Being creative is the mainstay of my life, and poetry, prose, and photography is where I express my deepest emotions. I also enjoy the challenge of design and create jewellery, fabric bags, and garments and home items in yarn. Diagnosed with ASD at the age of 68 after fifty years in and out of the mental health system, I now aim to explore and share my experiences over these years. Apart from blogs and short articles I'll share my life in my verse and images.

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