Hailey Mcmahan – Phoenix Rising: Book of Poems

Digital and Social Media





I chose to write and illustrate a book of poems for my senior project. Along with creating a book I will have created an Instagram page for my book, and gained a following in order to market my book through social media. I will be spending $25 on paid ads on the social media platform to get more awareness for my book.


My book is about my healing journey from an abusive relationship. There will be three sections in the book with a total of 50 poems. The illustrations will be spread out through the book under poems, on the section pages, and the cover.


From writing, illustrating, formatting, publishing, and maintaining an Instagram page I will have no problem reaching my total hours goal of 50 hours.




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For my illustrations I used the program Procreate. I used the Monoline brush in black to create an ink look for my drawings. I am in no way an artist but I am proud of what I was able to do for the illustrations.


The illustrations at the bottom of the poems depict what I felt or saw when writing the specific poem. I wanted the drawing to appear more like a sketch and depict the emotion behind the poem. The photos below are some of my favorite designs from my book!




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My book is separated into three parts. The Burning, The Rising, and Reborn. The first  part is about my experience being in an abusive relationship and how it affected me even when I was no longer in the relationship.

Below is a poem from the first section of my book:


Prick and poke the blood seeps through


The dark red contrasts against ghost white skin


He’s indirectly taken my life and shattered my soul after taking my body


He wanted a warm innocent place to hide


I was the perfect crime




The second part of my book, The Rising is about the beginning of my healing journey. It is a reawakening to the world’s beauty and opportunity. I begin to discover who I am and my worth. It outlines a new beginning.


Below is a poem from the second section of my book:


The flowers you cut off me are finally starting to bloom

Trusting and growing they’re filling the cracks you made

The colors are bright and the petals are smooth

They lift towards the sun and take in its warmth


My heart is surrounded by roses and my skin is bright like daises

I feel them make me whole

Your presence is leaving the only thing left is the chip you tore out of my soul

But ever so slowly I’m starting to feel something stitch it together


I think it’s love

I think it’s grace

I think it’s forgiveness

Not for you, but for me




     The last section of my book, Reborn, discusses my current state of healing. The title “Reborn” was chosen because in many ways I do feel reborn. I am a new person, transformed into who I am meant to be.


Below is a poem from the last section of my book:


I’m burned ashes buried in the earth

Surrounded by darkness I wait

Slowly the Earth embraces me, warming me, feeding me

I grow stronger everyday


Little by little I feel myself sprouting

I grow until I reach the surface

Sprouting, I take my first breath

My body is warm and smooth


My previous scars are gone

I am reborn

I stretch my wings and fly


-Phoenix Rising


I am very proud of what I have put together for this project, and I hope that you’ll be interested in reading it. If you’d like to read my book click here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qnqoiw2vf7p262b/Phoenix%20Rising.pdf?dl=0



     To market my book I created an Instagram page. I grew a following and posted updates on my books progress. I also participated in paid ads on Instagram to boost my page and hopefully bring more traffic to sell my book.


Check out my Instagram page here: @phoenixrisingbookofpoems





    Overall this project has been an amazing experience. I was able to prove to myself that I am capable of creating something that I can be proud of. I hope that my book is able to help others who have experienced abuse and trauma. I hope everyone who reads my book knows that they’re not alone, and that healing is possible.