Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the Libby Shearn Moody Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rice University. Laymon is the author of Long Division, which won the 2022 NAACP Image Award for fiction, and the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, named a notable book of 2021 by the New York Times critics. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Barnes and Noble Discovery Award, 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 the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Laymon is the recipient of 2020-2021 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. Laymon is at work on the books, Good God, and City Summer, Country Summer, and a number of other film and television projects. He is the founder of “The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative,” a program based out of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, aimed at aiding young p eople in Jackson get more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing on their on their own terms, in their own communities. Kiese Laymon was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2022.