Kiese Laymon Gives His Andrew Carnegie Medal to His Mother

Kiese Laymon's memoir, "Heavy," won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, and he began his acceptance speech by giving the award to his mother who accompanied him on the stage.

"My mother made me write, she made me read, but that's not why I'm here. I'm really here because she made me re-read, she made me revise, and she taught me that revision is great on the page, but the revision we do in our relationships is the revision that matters the most. I try to embody that revision in my book. And truth is that my mom could have told me, "Kiese, you can't publish that shit." Honestly. And had she said that, I would have fought, but I would have not published the book. But in giving me her sanction and giving me a blessing,she showed me that she loved me, and she showed me that she loved the possibilities of our words."

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