Kiese Laymon in Conversation with Leadership and Character Students

Kiese Laymon believes in the power of truth-telling. It is an ideal that the award-wining author embodies in Heavy: An American Memoir, which traces his emergence from adolescence in Mississippi to explore the complexities of race, identity, friendship, and family in the American South and beyond. Heavy has received wide critical acclaim, including the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction, LA Times Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and Audible’s Audiobook of the Year.

On October 29, Laymon continued to tell his story in his conversation with fellow Mississippi-native Kenneth Townsend, Director of Leadership and Character in the Professional Schools, who has known Laymon for years. Students involved in the Program for Leadership and Character were invited to take part in this intimate conversation about dialogue across difference. One student described it as “one of [their] most meaningful experiences at Wake Forest.”

The next day, Laymon read excerpts of Heavy at a campus-wide event in the Porter Byrum Welcome Center. Laymon also led two writing workshops for students during his three-day residency at Wake Forest. Laymon is the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi and the author of one novel and two memoirs.

For more information about Laymon, click here.