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2013 The Root 100

Through powerful essays, Kiese Laymon and the writers he curates for Gawker touch on difficult topics regarding race, gender, culture and class.

  • Influence: 158.7
  • Reach: 9.37
  • Substance: 7.2
  • Media Mentions: 61
  • Internet Mentions: 27100
  • Twitter Followers: 1389
  • Kiese Laymon

  • Editor of Gawker Media's long-form narrative pieces.
  • Job: Author, contributing editor to Gawker
  • Sector: Entertainment/Media
  • Twitter: @KieseLaymon
  • Location: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
  • Age: 38
  • Bio:

    With writing that is beautiful, controversial and emotionally intense, Gawker's contributing editor, Kiese Laymon, has made the long-form essay an art form for Gawker -- a site known more for its pop-culture snark than its literary journalism. Laymon and the writers with whom he works for Gawker's "True Stories" often go for sensitive subjects like race, gender, U.S. politics and class issues, reflective of his interests as an associate professor of English and creative writing at Vassar College and co-director of the college's Africana studies program. Laymon released a collection of essays titled How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America and a novel, Long Division, both of which deserve space in the black literary canon.   

    Visit his website

  • Fun Fact: Laymon teaches a seminar on 20th- and 21st-century African-American satire called "Because Dave Chappelle Said So."