Kiese Laymon, an associate professor of English at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, has won the Saroyan Prize for International Writing. The award is given every two years by the Stanford University Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation. Saroyan (1908-1981) was an American writer born to Armenian parents. He was the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning play, “The Time of Your Life.” His papers are housed at Stanford University.
Laymon was honored for his debut novel Long Division (Agate Bolden, 2013). The novel includes two stories of two Black teenagers in Mississippi, in two different times. Through a “hole in the woods” the teens travel in time.
Laymon is a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio and holds a master of fine arts degree from Indiana University in Bloomington.