Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon headshot

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, MS. Laymon is author of the genre-bending novel, Long Division, and the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named Audiobook of the Year by Audible in 2018. Laymon is the recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. Laymon is at work on several new projects, including the long poem, Good God; the horror comedy, And So On; the children’s book, City Summer, Country Summer; and the film Heavy: An American Memoir. He is the founder of The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Program, which aims to get Mississippi kids and their parents more comfortable with reading, writing, revising, and sharing.

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