It Begins With The Body

By (author): Hana Shafi

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 illustrator (Frizz Kid). Her work frequently explores themes of feminism, body politics, racism, and pop culture. She’s published articles in publications such as The Walrus, Hazlitt, This Magazine, and more. She received the Women Who Inspire Award from the Canadian Council for Muslim Women in 2017. She is the author of People You Know, Places You’ve Been; Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World; and It Begins With The Body, which was selected by CBC Books as one of the best poetry titles of 2018. Hana and her family immigrated to Mississauga from Dubai in 1996. She now lives in Toronto with her two cute, but sometimes annoying, cats.


Praise for It Begins With The Body:

“Hana Shafi’s work is a sigh of relief for the queer Muslim brown kid I was, and the queer Muslim brown adult I know am. It’s the act of visibility, of being seen through the words on a page that are so life affirming. I feel grateful that I’m of a time where art like this is being made. It’s relatable, it’s a delight.” –Fariha Rï??isï??n, co-host of Two Brown Girls, a podcast

“This book is the anthem of my youth.” –Alysha Brilla, Juno Award nominated musician and songwriter

“In It Begins With The Body, Hana Shafi writes with a powerful and devastating honesty about the things women are told they ought not talk about. From body hair and financial angst to heartbreak and self-doubt, Shafi examines all the expectations society places on women–and pushes back against these outrages with a voice that is both vulnerable and damning. A brilliant and incisive book, full of rage and love in all the places where you need it to be.” –Lauren McKeon, author of F-Bomb, Dispatches from the War on Feminism


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
There are no other resources for this book.

Reader Reviews



96 Pages
8.80in * 6.00in * .20in


September 10, 2018


Book*hug Press



Book Subjects:

POETRY / Women Authors

Featured In:


Women Poets



No author posts found.

Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.