ABOUT THE POET
“I know freedom as the heavy//hum of the air whipping/past my ears.” So begins this provocative, fiery collection of poems by Noor Hindi. For Filthy Woman, freedom is a heaviness and a rush, laden with the thrill of desire, the threat of shame, and the potential for self-invention through language. These poems snarl and buck; they dare you to look.
— Leila Chatti
In Diary of a Filthy Woman, the body is holy in existence & contradiction: in want, in prayer, in the filth it’s assigned & the filth it transcends. Here, internalized shame is dissected, conquered, and reclaimed; here, Hindi confronts the conversations we run from. Palestinians & Arabs need Hindi’s voice. As the West silences & rewrites Palestinian narratives, Hindi’s chapbook screams loudly to take back this stolen space. Hindi writes, “I am a filthy Immigrant//I take your jobs/ beware the way// I sink my knees/ into a dusty prayer// rug and wish you a happy Ramadan.” To call these poems “timely” is to reduce them to their interaction with a world that wants us dead, when in truth, Noor Hindi is a voice we have always needed. This chapbook is not small or tiny; this work is so much bigger than all of us can even imagine.
— George Abraham, author of the specimen’s apology (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019)
The world is a mess. Clearly we need a new heroine. Not Moll Flanders or even Lady Lazarus, but the remarkable protagonist of Noor Hindi’s Diary of a Filthy Woman. This is no coy literary adventurer of yesteryear, but a harrowing voice of wisdom, resistance, and vulnerability. The heroine we need, the one who urges us to embrace our ragged edges, speaks to empower those on the margins and in the crosshairs. “I stuff sunflowers into my mouth hoping / to be as delicate as their petals // rather than the hazardous waste that I am,” begins “Filthy Woman Just Wants to Be Beautiful.” And yet it’s the act of consumption that becomes the ultimate vehicle for beauty in this collection, steeped in Ohio landscape and roiling with tensions of identity and desire. With Diary of a Filthy Woman Hindi has distinguished herself among emerging poets, creating a vibrant persona with the power to “make a bonfire out of want.”
— Mary Biddinger