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 an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College and the Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi for 2015-2016.  Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division  and a collection of essays,  How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in AmericaLaymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, ESPN the Magazine, Colorlines, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, PEN Journal, Oxford American, The Best American Series, and Guernica. He is a currently a columnist at The Guardian.

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. He was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014 and Ebony Magazine Power 100 in 2015. 

Kiese 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 memoir called Heavy which will be released in 2016 and the novel called And So On which can be expected in the Spring of 2017, both from Scribner.