Born in Valga, Estonia, he graduated with a degree in mathematics in Tartu before pursuing a career as an author and poet. He was a member of the influential group of Estonian poets brought together in 1938 by literary scholar Ants Oras who was greatly influenced by T. S. Eliot. The small circle of six poets became known as Arbujad ("Soothsayers") and included Heiti Talvik, Betti Alver, Uku Masing, Bernard Kangro and Kersti Merilaas.
Viiding married Linda Viiding and had four children: Reet, Anni, Mari and the youngest (and only son) Juhan Viiding would become an influential poet and actor in the 1970s. His granddaughter Elo Viiding would also become a notable poet in the 1990s.
Paul Viiding died in Tallinn, Estonia in 1962.
- Tarand, Mari. Katse mõista Paul Viidingu teekonda. In: Akadeemia 1997, No. 3, pp. 598–611
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