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Kiese Laymon

University of Mississippi

Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University and is currently a Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi.  Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division  and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, the UK edition released in 2016. Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, ESPN the Magazine, Colorlines, NPR, LitHub, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, PEN Journal, Oxford American, The Best American Series, Ebony and Guernica.

Long Division won the 2014 Saroyan International Writing Award and was named one of the Best of 2013 by Buzzfeed, The Believer, Salon, Guernica, Contemporary Literature, Mosaic Magazine, Library Journal, Chicago Tribune, and the Crunk Feminist Collective. Three essays from How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in Americahave been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and The Atlantic’s Best Essays of 2013. Laymon was selected a member of The Root 100 in 2013 and 2014 and Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 in 2015.

Kiese Laymon has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy and the novel called And So On which can be expected in 2017, both from Scribner.