Episode 58: Kiese Laymon

On studentship, using your art to heal, and becoming heavy enough to hold it all.

Kiese Laymon is the author of three books, most recently the NY Times bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir. He is a Professor of English born and raised in Jackson Mississippi.

  • The places we stay [3:26]
  • What inspired Kiese to write Heavy to his mother [5:05]
  • The consequences of masking pain [7:18]
  • How learning requires failure [11:31]
  • Parenting and secrets [14:25]
  • The importance of tender touch [18:25]
  • What does it mean to repair damage done? [21:43]
  • The overlapping problems with police [25:19]
  • Gambling addiction and recovery [29:50]
  • Kiese’s Grandmother. Embodying love. Heavy enough [36:03]


Heavy by Kiese Laymon
Kiese Laymon on Dani Shapiro’s podcast Family Secrets

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