Maryam Hooleh

Maryam Hooleh (born 1978) is an Iranian writer and poet. Maryam Hooleh, a young Iranian Kurd and one of the most gifted poets of her generation who now lives in Sweden, is one of these writers who—for some time now—have turned into thorns in the side of the Iranian regime. The profoundly uninhibited and confrontational style of Hooleh’s poetry has daringly exposed the crude disregard of the Islamic regime for human life. It has also drawn attention to the bodies of women, the most manifest objects of repression by the regime. At the same time, this confrontational style can provide ammunition for a damaging assault on the mullahs’ regime. Her works have usually dark and ironic atmosphere and abstract language where no signifier refers back to its usual signified; her works are questioning religious and cultural taboos and criticize human condition in the postmodern world, and her poetry is usually labeled by postmodernism.

Hooleh was born in Tehran. She began to write at an early age. At the age of seventeen, Hooleh travelled from Iran to Greece, illegally and on foot. It took 23 days to make the trip to Athens. She stayed one year and then returned to Iran. Mansoureh Saboori, an American director and filmmaker, made a documentary about her life, her poems and her trip to Greece which is called Another Birth. (“Another birth” is also the name of a book written by Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad.)

Hooleh’s first book, The kite will never fly in my hands, was published in 1998 by Midland Graphic publishing in Chicago and her second book, In the Alleys of Athens, was published in 1999 by the Mir-Kasra publishing house in Tehran.

In 2000 Hooleh was invited by The Iranian Women Studies Foundation to Sweden where her third book, Cursed Booth, was published by Baran publications. In 2003 she won a literary scholarship from Swedish PEN and moved to Sweden. Her fourth and fifth books, Contemporaneous leprosy and Hell INC, were published by Arzan publications in 2004 and her sixth book, The Sticky Dreams of a Banished Butterfly, was published over the net as a E-book and Audio Book. Her poetry has also been among the most selected works for translation in anthologies.

Hooleh’s poems have been translated to English, Swedish, French, Kurdish, Turkish and some other languages, and she was one of the poets invited to the Struga Poetry Evnings in 2014.