Publication Year

It Begins With the Body

Poems & Illustrations

It Begins With The Body by Hana Shafi explores the milestones and hurdles of a brown girl coming into her own. Shafi’s poems display a raw and frank intimacy and address anxiety, unemployment, heartbreak, relationships, identity, and faith.

Accompanied by Shafi’s candid illustrations that share the same delightful mixture of grotesque and humour found in her poems, It Begins With The Body navigates the highs and lows of youth. It is about feeling like an outsider, and reconciling with pain and awkwardness. It’s about arguing with your mum about wanting to wax off your unibrow to the first time you threw up in a bar in your twenties, and everything in between. Funny and raw, personal and honest, Shafi’s exciting debut is about finding the right words you wished you had found when you needed them the most.


Hana Shafi

Hana Shafi is a writer and artist who illustrates under the name Frizz Kid. Both her visual art and writing frequently explore themes such as feminism, body politics, racism, and pop culture with an affinity to horror. A graduate of Ryerson University’s Journalism Program, she has published articles in publications such as The Walrus, Hazlitt, This Magazine, Torontoist, Huffington Post, and has been featured on Buzzfeed India, Buzzfeed Canada, CBC, Flare Magazine, Mashable, and Shameless, Known on Instagram for her weekly affirmation series, she is also the recipient of the Women Who Inspire Award, from the Canadian Council for Muslim Women. Born in Dubai, Shafi’s family immigrated to Mississauga, Ontario in 1996, and she currently lives and works in Toronto. It Begins With The Body is her first book.

Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


when will it be over? — body talk — fences he built — romantic comedies with a strong female lead — 24 years — esteemed — severe women 14 $1.40


blue jeans — this is our education — 10-year reunion — linoleum — gry/pch — sad n’ ugly — platform 24 — wear with style what kills you 18 $1.80


what am I supposed to do with all this stuff? — the friend breakup — white — vanilla — the strings on their wrist — enfp — red — closure 16 $1.60


avocado toast — you’re welcome — a wage debate — toronto is too expensive 10 $1.00


bad brown girl — good daughter — don’t tell — dl — the first party — but i like myself now 14 $1.40


jinn — friday class — a face to pray to — prostration — faith is a relationship 10 $1.00


designated bitter time slot — the doll i was — how i learned to forgive and keep living — ritual — a truth of mine 12 $1.20