I’m really excited to be teaching this fiction workshop at GrubStreet this fall!
A few years ago, I read a fake news report that a giraffe had been stolen from Cuba’s National Zoo. I was, of course, somewhat disappointed that the story turned out to be false, but then I thought, “What if?” So I wrote a short story about it, which ended up dealing with friendship, race, American influence on Cuba, and animal cruelty. Today, that story, titled “The Man From the Zoo,” was accepted for publication by The Massachusetts Review. Huge thanks go out to Alina Collazo, Artem Derkatch, Shubha Sunder, and Ralph Rodriguez for their feedback and enthusiasm, which undoubtedly made this story better and encouraged me to send it out!
I wrote a personal blog piece for GrubStreet’s “Immigrant Stories” series about my journey from Cuba to the person and writer I am today, titled:
I’m excited to be participating on the following panel:
The Emerson College WLP Department presents: Cuba and the Embattled Book: Examining censorship, the US embargo, and the future for writers and publishers.
DR. SARA E. COOPER, editor, Cubanabooks Press; professor, Spanish and Multicultural & Gender Studies, California State University, Chico.
KEN FUND, president and CEO, Quarto Publishing Group USA; member, February 2016 U.S. publishing mission to Cuba.
DARIEL SUAREZ, author; head of faculty and curriculum, GrubStreet.
Moderated by ALDEN JONES, author; WLP senior affiliate faculty member; co-founder, Cuba Writers Program.
Refreshments will be offered at 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Bright Family Screening Room
559 Washington Street, Boston
The wonderful editors at WBUR’s Cognoscenti recently published an opinion piece I wrote, from an immigrant’s perspective, about the importance of political fiction in America.
January 23, 2017
Really excited to be part of this panel at this year’s AWP Conference in Washington D.C.:
Beyond Diversity: How to Run the Truly Inclusive Creative Writing Workshop Day: Friday, 2/10/2017 Time: 04:30:PM– 05:45:PM Room: Capital & Congress, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Fidel Castro was a dictator. He got rid of the opposition, sometimes by murdering them; he imprisoned and tortured artists, political activists, gays, journalists; he persecuted and often forced into exile anyone who spoke against or criticized his regime; he kept his nation in poverty while proudly declaring how strong and free our system in Cuba was; he sold universal healthcare (people went blind in Cuba because of a lack of Vitamin A) and free education (communist indoctrination included) to the globe while providing some of lowest salaries in the world to Cuban workers (with market prices comparable to the U.S.), indirectly taxing them ridiculous rates; he refused to hold open democratic elections and did not allow for freedom of the press. He was, in short, an asshole of the highest order, and his death comes many years too late.
Sadly, this won’t bring immediate change to Cuba, though plenty of Miami Cubans will loudly celebrate it (and understandably so). What I have a hard time wrapping my head around is that so many of the people celebrating Castro’s death today actually voted for Trump (hence my very complicated relationship with Miami). Personally, I’m glad that those who suffered directly because of Castro have this moment of catharsis, if one can call it that. But looking ahead, I choose to do so with nuance, and as always, listening to the Cubans inside the island, most of whom I’m sure are also content today but unable to openly celebrate it, and aware that Fidel’s brother is the one in charge, and that asshole was still alive the last time I checked.
First, I’m happy to share the news that I’m GrubStreet‘s new Head of Faculty and Curriculum. I’ve been teaching fiction writing at this wonderful center for over a year, during which I’ve also participated in many of their events, led free workshops, and presented at their excellent conference, The Muse & the Marketplace. I’m very excited to be a part of the staff and help GrubStreet continue their exceptional work serving our diverse community of writers in Boston and beyond!
One of the amazing initiatives at GrubStreet is the Writers of Color Group. I attended my first meeting a little while back, and wrote a blog post sharing my experiences and explaining why it’s such an important project. This meeting focused on the topic of cultural appropriation, sparked in part by Lionel Shriver’s speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival.