Happy If You Know It is a collection of poetry, fiction, confessional writing, art and photography that tackles the question, “What does it mean to trust our intuition?”

How do we know if we’re in the right place, or if we’re making the right decisions? How do we know when we’re happy? We’re told to listen to our “intuition” like it’s the foremost expert on what will make us happiest — but what if our intuition isn’t loud enough? What if it leads us astray? What does it mean to trust your “gut?”

Don’t confuse Happy If You Know It with a traditional self-help book. This anthology relies on personal experience and exploration rather than facts, figures, or Instagrammable affirmations. This book is not a guide. There are no actionable steps, no checklists. Instead, this book features personal, revelatory contributions from 15 different women including Toronto muralist and artist Ness Lee, long-established painter and filmmaker Margaux Williamson, celebrated writer/musician Vivek Shraya and Rogers Writers’ Trust 2017 Fiction Prize shortlister Carleigh Baker.

Other (remarkable!) contributors and collaborators include: Najla Nubyanluv, Anne Thériault, Vasiliki Marapas, Frankie Barnet, Lauren Tamaki, Alexandra Bowman, Jill Andrew, Aisha Fairclough, Hollie Pocsai, Liz Worth, Tania Love, Sam Pierre, Dae, Jen Spinner, Angela Lewis, Erin Pehlivan, Kait Souch and Erin Klassen.

I am constantly unsure. There are voices inside me that I absolutely don’t trust. There are days when self-love feels like an impossible emotional mountain, so I tell myself: You’re tired today. You can start the climb tomorrow. What I do know is that taking up space through art makes me feel more connected to others and to myself, like I’m growing in the right direction. Like I’m reaching out into the void and maybe someone’s reaching back. For today, that’s enough.
— Erin Klassen, from her Introduction "How Do You Know?"

All photos by Angela Lewis