this is my body: an anthology of women of color reclaiming narratives of self and body

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Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 10.13.58 AM.png

this is my body: an anthology of women of color reclaiming narratives of self and body


this is my body is an anthology of written works by women of color exploring their relationship with their bodies in the world they exist in. Each piece is accompanied by a powerful stage performance bringing the words from the page to life.

Contributors: Brittney Enin, Madiha Khan, Lulu Cheng, Brittany Rae Buckmire, Lauren Ito, Jade-Olivia Patton, Kiera A., Shemika Lamare, Mareko Prior, Sarah D. Park

Editors: Vina Vo and Odelia Younge (co-founders, Novalia Collective),

Watch a video about this moving project


Independent bookstores and libraries can order from our distributor, Small Press Distribution, here.

Praise for this is my body:

this is my body story collection and accompanying performance series will make you question the mundanity of beauty standards, from how we groom our pubic hair to orthodontics, and the powerful narratives that inflame questions of presentation. Though the stories you read may not be your own, the deeply empathetic storytelling contained within this book illuminates the struggles of its writers. Each story is prefaced by the author’s storytelling process and hints of biography that allows readers to deepen their own connection to their storytelling process and inspire new work. Readers will find deeply troubling accounts of American life—from deliberate hate to microaggressions that accompanies after-work drinks—causing us to reframe our own experience and way we address this behavior. Novalia Collective and the writers of this is my body have done immense emotional and creative labor to illuminate the experience of being a womxn of color in America today, and we as readers should honor this work by sharing their narratives and writing our own stories. 

– Rachel Will, MFA Fiction, UC Riverside

this is my body explores the hold and capturing that both self and body experience and gift throughout space and time. It discusses the interconnected and inseparable moments of violence and vulnerability, trespass and refusal, rejection and reclaiming. Here, in a chorus echoing the Combahee River Collective and the timeless This Bridge Called My Back, we are called again by a collective of women to re-member and re-call the first place, the only place, we've known as home. We are asked how we might or might not remodel or reconfigure this fleshy-spiritual homespace after an invasion? We are called to consider our personal politics of safety, security and self preservation, in a manner that also has ramifications for our domestic and national politics around surveillance and defense; yes, the flesh is political. The writers ask us to consider how much of ourselves, our freedoms, our essence, we are willing to sacrifice in order to survive and, perhaps more importantly, is survival worth more than living or thriving, even after theft, catastrophe or compounding, quotidian violations? This text is descriptive and revelatory, it is healing and instructive, salve and tincture; what Audre Lorde once called, "a litany for survival" and what Maya Angelou once called the blue print for her "mission in life" to "thrive, with some passion, some compassion, some humor and a little bit of style." The Ancestors smile as this collection enables more homes to be remade sturdy and fit for the thriving.

– Tabias Olajuawon Wilson, JD Author of Godless Circumcisions: A Recollecting and Re-membering of Blackness, Queerness & Flows of Survivance

Publication Details

All of our books are printed locally in Oakland, California. We strongly believe in supporting local publishers and local printers.

October 2019 • 5.5 x 8.5 • 45 pp. • Trade Paper

ISBN: 978-1-7327866-4-6

Cover artwork by Conn Ryder

Author portraits by Arthur Johnstone

Interior and cover design by Britta Fithian-Zurn

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