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. Laymon is currently a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of the award-winning novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, The Guardian, McSweeneys, Colorlines, The Best American Series, Ebony and many others. He is a contributing editor of Oxford American.