Official Website of Poet and Novelist
Paul Kareem Tayyar was born in Los Angeles in 1977. The son of an Iranian father and an Irish Catholic mother, he was raised in Orange County, California, where he spent his childhood watching Warren Beatty and Robert Redford movies on television, listening to Born to Run and Purple Rain approximately 17 million times, and playing so much pickup basketball that he still can’t believe the L.A. Lakers didn’t sign him by the time he was twelve years old.
A long-time resident of Southern California, Tayyar’s work chronicles and celebrates the beauty, complexity, diversity, and energy of the region in work that is by turns funny, heartfelt, and spiritual. A Professor of English at Golden West Community College in Huntington Beach, California, he holds a Ph.D. in Literature from U.C. Riverside, and he is a recipient of a 2019 Wurlitzer Fellowship for Poetry. He is the Poetry Editor at Chiron Review.
IN THE PRESS
Don’t pigeonhole Paul Kareem Tayyar. While the short, gnomic poems of 'Postmark Atlantis' have elements of surrealism, parable, myth, and folk tale, many of them have even bigger surprises […] that, as with all the best poetry, elude categories.
LLOYD SCHWARTZ, Pulitzer Prize-winning Author of "Goodnight, Gracie" and "Cairo Traffic"
Sometimes serious, partly romantic and always grounded in an astounding knowledge of the world at large, this is a simple story that branches out as the protagonist takes a trip down memory lane or steps into quagmires that life throws his way. Sprinkling extra charm is the illustrative, almost lyrical, language, which transports the reader directly onto the scene of each page.
RHEA MAHBUBANI, LOS ANGELES TIMES
I long for such hope, transcendence, and honesty in a collection. A book that acts as both a mirror to the world and the world within this world, and I am thankful for Tayyar’s 'Magic Carpet Poems' for being one of those rare collections that transport me in the very ways I need to be transported.