R. Kayeen Thomas is an author, poet, playwright, hip-hop artist, journalist, and social justice advocate. He self-published his first book, Light: Stories of Urban Resurrection, during his junior year at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. His novel, Antebellum, has garnered praise from such notables as Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and received acclaim from numerous publications, including Publishers Weekly. It won the 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award for First Fiction and was a 2013 Literary Work-Debut Author nominee for the NAACP Image Award. He resides in Washington, DC, with his wife and daughter.