Kiese Laymon, FREE, May 6th 6 PM, our George and Judy Marcus Spring Guest Speaker

Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 10:40


The Department of Creative Writing is excited to announce that Kiese Laymon will be the George & Judy Marcus Guest Speaker for the Spring 2021 semester. Laymon will read from his work and be in conversation with MFA candidate Lillian Giles on Thursday, May 6th at 6:00 pm PST. The event is free and open to the general public. Please pre-register for the Zoom Webinar by clicking here. The official Eventbrite page is located here

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. His bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Proce, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the best 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. It was named a best book of 2019 by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekley. 

His debut novel, Long Division, will be reissued in 2021, and was honored with the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and was shortlisted for several other awards, including The Believer Book Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Fiction Award. 

He is currently a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and Oxford American, has written for The New York Times, Esquire, ESPN The Magazine, Paris Review, NPR, Colorlines, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Ebony, Guernica, Fader, Travel & Leisure, Lit Hub, among others. 

A graduate of Oberlin College, he holds an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. He currently serves as the Hubert H. McAlexander Chair of English at the University of Mississippi, and is a 2020-2021 recipient of a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard. 

His current projects include a long poem, Good God, the horror novel, And So On, the children's book, City Summer, Country Summer, and the film Heavy: An American Memoir. He is the founder of "The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative," a program aimed at getting Mississippi kids and their parents more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing. 

We are thrilled to bring Laymon to SFSU this semester, and we hope that you are able to attend on May 6.