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 and The Guardian. He is a contributing editor at Gawker and the Fiction Editor at Booat Literary Magazine. He was a judge for the Indian Review Nonfiction Prize and the Black Warrior Review Prize in 2014.
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 was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014. He is the recipient of the 2015-2016 Grisham Writer in Residence Fellowship at the University of Mississippi. In addition in 2015 he was the Writer in Residence at Grinnell College and The Mission Creek Literary Festival.
Laymon has three books forthcoming including a UK edition of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others with Bloomsbury in February 2016, as well as A Fat Black Memoir to be released this upcoming Spring and and a novel And So On which can be expected in the Spring of 2017, both from Scribner.