The United States Artists [USA] arts funding organization in Chicago has awarded English Professor Kiese Laymon, one of six writers, its 2022 United States Artist Award. The award goes to 63 artists working across 10 creative disciplines to support their professional and creative development.
The 2022 NAACP Literary Image Award was given to Professor Kiese Laymon for his novel Long Division.
Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the author of the genre-bending novel, Long Division and the essay collection, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, 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, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Oxford Anerican, is at work on several new projects, including the long poem, Good God, the horror comedy, 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 young people and their parents more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing.