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 from Indiana University and is currently an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon has written essays and stories for numerous publications including Esquire, ESPN, Colorlines, NPR, Gawker, The Los Angeles Times, PEN Journal, Truthout, Longman’s Hip Hop Reader, The Best American Series, Guernica, Mythium and Politics and Culture. He was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014. Laymon is the recipient of the 2015-2016 Grisham Writer in Residence Fellowship at the University of Mississippi.
Long Division 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. It was also short-listed for the Believer Book Award, the Ernest Gaines Award and the Morning News Tournament of Books. Long Division won the 2014 Saroyan International Writing Award on November 10th.
Three essays in "How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America" have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic's Best Essays of 2013. Laymon has two books forthcoming from Scribner: A Fat Black Memoir and a novel And So On.