Hana Shafi is a writer and an illustrator who uses the name Frizz Kid for her visual work. Born in Dubai, Shafi immigrated with her Indo-Iranian family to Canada in 1996 and settled in Mississauga, Ontario. Shafi is a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University’s Journalism Program. In the fall of 2020 Book*hug published her collection of essays, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World that are built around 30 affirmation artworks that she created and first shared on Instagram. Photograph by Orion Candelma courtesy of Hana Shafi.
It Begins With the Body: Poems & Illustrations
Toronto: Book*hug, 2018.
PS8637 .H345 I83 2018
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.
People You Know, Places You’ve Been: Poems and Illustrations
Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2023.
Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)
The latest poetry and artwork collection from Hana Shafi examines the everyday connections we make to the people and places we encounter. Despite the infinite variations of our lives, every urban dweller has sparred with a neighbour they disliked, seen beautiful strangers on public transit, told secrets to their hairdresser. We interact with these supporting characters on a daily basis—and often we are them for others.
Shafi celebrates the Antiheroes of the world (the alcoholic at your local bar, teenage girls); examines those in Beautiful Leading Roles (the hot professor, the rich couple); lauds older generations of Wizards and Crones; and flags the Nemeses (men who think they’re allies, competitors for produce at farmer’s markets). We sink into recognition at depictions of Palaces such as the greasy spoon, Dungeons of public transit, and the Liminal Spaces of checkout counters or waiting rooms (including that one at the end of the cosmos).
People You Know, Places You’ve Been is an insightful, charming collection that offers a sense of shared recognition and nostalgia, ultimately asking: what if seemingly mundane places are actually the foundations of who you are?