Hala Alyan was born in Carbondale, Illinois. She grew up in Kuwait, Oaklahoma, Texas, Maine, and Lebanon. She holds a BA from the American University of Beirut, an MA from Columbia University, and a PsyD from Rutgers University.
Alyan is the author of four books of poetry, including The Twenty-Ninth Year (Mariner Books, 2019); Hijra (Southern Illinois University, 2016), winner of the 2016 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry; and Atrium (Three Rooms Press, 2012), winner of the 2013 Arab American Book Award. Her debut novel, Salt Houses (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) was the winner of the Layton Literary Peace Prize.
Alyan was awarded a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and works as a clinical psychologist and as an adjunct assistant professor at New York University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.