The venue is intimate and the format is simple: the writers read, have a conversation with a faculty member, and then engage in an open dialogue with the audience. Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. A graduate of Rutgers College, he is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize, the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize XXII and in The O’Henry Prize Stories 2009. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” award in 2012, and his most recent work This Is How You Lose Her, a collection of connected short stories, was nominated for the National Book Award.