One thing we can say for sure about Kiese Laymon is that he is the very definition of prolific. His latest novel, Long Division, garnered him a 2022 NAACP Image Award, and the brother is currently in the process of writing two more tomes. As if that weren’t enough, he also has several film and television projects on the back burner. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Laymon currently teaches English and Creative Writing at Rice University, and between all of that book writing, he has still managed to find time to give back. In 2020 he founded The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative, a program based out of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University aimed at aiding young people in Jackson to get more comfortable reading, writing, revising and sharing their writing on their own terms, and in their own communities. As conservative zealots continue to turn up the heat on the topic of banning books, our young ones will need the kinds of knowledge such programs can offer to help them protect their freedom of expression.