Dariel Suarez is the Director of Core Programs and Faculty at GrubStreet, the country’s largest and leading independent creative writing center. His work has received honors and awards from the Boston Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Glimmer Train, and Nimrod International‘s Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. His prose has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including The Kenyon Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, Third Coast, Southern Humanities Review, WBUR’s Cognoscenti, and The Caribbean Writer, where his work was awarded the First Lady Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize. Suarez’ story collection, A Kind of Solitude Willow Springs Books), was selected as the winner of the 2017 Spokane Short Fiction Prize. Set in Cuba mostly after the fall of the Soviet Union, the stories in A Kind of Solitude explore the themes of isolation and perseverance in the face of widespread poverty and socio-political oppression. From a chronically ill santero refusing medical care, to friends stealing a giraffe from Havana’s National Zoo, to a female-fronted metal band risking it all to emerge from Havana’s rock underground, this collection captures the heartbreak, beauty, and moral complexity of an island stuck in time, molded by failing communist ideals, and shaped by a rich tropical culture.