Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University and is currently the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Nonfiction at the University of Iowa in Fall 2017. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and Heavy: An American Memoir. Heavy, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal in Nonfiction, and finalist for the Kirkus Prize in nonfiction, and was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by the New York Times. Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, McSweeneys, New York Times, ESPN the Magazine, NPR, LitHub, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, The Best American Series, Ebony, Travel and Leisure, Paris Review, Guernica and more.