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 in 1998. He earned an MFA from Indiana University in 2003 and is the author of Long Division (Agate Bolden, June 2013), and a collection of autobiographical essays called How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (Agate Bolden, August 2013). Laymon has written essays and stories for numerous publications including Gawker, ESPN.com, Esquire.com, Longman’s Hip Hop Reader, and more. He is a contributing editor at Gawker and an associate professor of English and co-director of Africana Studies at Vassar College.