First Draft

Mondays at 3:30pm & Saturdays at 3pm

In writing, a first draft is where creativity flows, a story takes root and the voice of a writer emerges.  On Aspen Public Radio First Draft highlights the voices of writers as they discuss their work, their craft and the literary arts.  This weekly show hosted by Mitzi Rapkin will primarily feature fiction and non-fiction authors along with occasional poets, screenplay writers, playwrights and songwriters.  First Draft is a celebration of the writing and the individuals who are dedicated to bringing their carefully chosen words to print as well as the impact writers have on the world we live in.  In addition to interviews with authors, First Draft will feature readings, literary news and other special features.

First Draft - Paul Yoon

Aug 14, 2017
Laura van den Berg

Paul Yoon was born in New York City. His first book, Once the Shore, was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and a Best Debut of the Year by National Public Radio. His novel, Snow Hunters, won the 2014 Young Lions Fiction Award.  His new novel is The Mountain.

A recipient of a 5 under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation and a fellowship from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, he is currently a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard University along with his wife, the fiction writer Laura van den Berg.

First Draft - Andrew Sean Greer

Aug 7, 2017

Andrew Sean Greer is the author of six works of fiction, including the bestseller The Confessions of Max Tivoli, The Story of a Marriage and Less.  Greer has taught at a number of universities, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, been a TODAY show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award.  He splits his time between his home in San Francisco and the Santa Maddalena Foundation writer's residency in Tuscany, where he is the Executive Director.

First Draft - Dorit Rabinyan

Jul 31, 2017

Dorit Rabinyan was born in Israel to an Iranian-Jewish family. Her first two novels Persian Brides and Strand of A Thousand Pearls were both international best sellers and translated into fifteen languages. In 2014 Rabinyan published her third novel, All The Rivers, an immediate best seller in Israel. The novel was named one of the ten best books of the year by Ha’aretz newspaper.

First Draft - Claire Dederer

Jul 24, 2017

Claire Dederer is the author of two critically acclaimed memoirs: Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning and Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, which was a New York Times bestseller.

Dederer is a long-time contributor to The New York Times. Her essays, criticism, and reviews have also appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Nation, Vogue, Chicago Tribune, Real Simple, Entertainment Weekly, New York magazine, Yoga Journal, Newsday, Slate, Salon, and many other publications.

First Draft - Maile Meloy

Jul 17, 2017

Maile Meloy is the author of the novels Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter and the story collections Half in Love and Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, which was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review and one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times and Amazon.com. She has also written a trilogy for young readers, beginning with The Apothecary, which was a New York Times bestseller.

First Draft - Leila Aboulela

Jul 10, 2017

Leila Aboulela is a Sudanese-born writer whose work, written in English, has received critical acclaim and a high profile for its distinctive exploration of identity, migration and Islamic spirituality. Highlighting the challenges facing Muslims in Europe and “telling the stories of flawed complex characters who struggle to make choices using Muslim logic”, Aboulela’s work explores significant political issues.  Her novels include Minaret, Lyrics Alley, The Translator, and The Kindness of Enemies.

First Draft - Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Jun 26, 2017

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, named an Indie Next Pick; one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by Buzzfeed, BookRiot, and the Huffington Post; a must-read for May by Goodreads, Audible.com, Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple and People; and one of the 10 best books of the year so far by Entertainment Weekly.

First Draft - Dani Shapiro

Jun 19, 2017

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Still WritingDevotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on “This American Life”.  Her newest memoir is called Hourglass

First Draft - Megan Abbott

Jun 12, 2017

Megan Abbott is the Edgar-winning author of the novels Die a Little, Bury Me Deep, The End of Everything, Dare Me and The Fever. Her most recent book is You Will Know Me, which was chosen one of Best Books of 2016 by NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, Time Out NY, the Washington Post, Google, Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

First Draft - Chavisa Woods

Jun 5, 2017

Chavisa Woods is the author of Love Does Not Make me Gentle or Kind, The Albino Album, and Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country.  Love Does Not Make Me Gentle or Kind was a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Debut Fiction. Woods was the recipient of the 2009 Jerome Foundation Award for emerging writers.

First Draft - Max Winter

May 22, 2017
Olivia Sauerwein

Max Winter is the author of the novel Exes.  He is a graduate of UC Irvine’s MFA program, and a recipient of two Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowships in Fiction. He has been published in Day One and Diner Journal. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife and son.

First Draft - Peter Heller

May 15, 2017

Peter Heller is the author of the novels The Dog Stars, The Painter, and Celine.  He is a longtime contributor to NPR, and a contributing editor at Outside MagazineMen’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure.

First Draft - Viet Thanh Nguyen

May 8, 2017

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His other books are Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction) and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

First Draft - Sarah Gerard

May 1, 2017

Sarah Gerard is the author of the essay collection Sunshine State, the novel Binary Star, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times first fiction prize, and two chapbooks, most recently BFF. Her short stories, essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, Granta, Vice, BOMB Magazine, and other journals, as well as anthologies. She’s been supported by fellowships and residencies from Yaddo, Tin House, PlatteForum, and Ucross. She writes a monthly column for Hazlitt and teaches writing in New York City.

First Draft - Douglas Preston

Apr 3, 2017

Douglas Preston writes fiction, non-fiction and works as a journalist. He writes about archaeology, history and paleontology for the New Yorker magazine, as well as for Smithsonian, National Geographic, Harper's and the Atlantic. In the course of his journalistic profession Preston has explored lost temples in the jungles of Cambodia, been the first to enter a tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, and ridden on horseback across thousands of miles of the American Southwest-which earned him membership in the elite "Long Riders Guild.

First Draft - Melissa Febos

Mar 27, 2017

Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart and Abandon Me. Her work has been widely anthologized and appears in publications including Tin House, Granta, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Guernica, Post Road, Salon, and The New York Times.  She serves on the Board of Directors of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, the PEN America Membership Committee, and co-curated the Manhattan reading and music series, Mixer, for nine years. She curates literary events, teaches workshops, and speaks widely.

First Draft - Dan Chaon

Mar 20, 2017

Dan Chaon’s most recent book is Ill Will,  a novel.   Other works include the short story collection Stay Awake, a finalist for the Story Prize; the national bestseller Await Your Reply and Among the Missing, a finalist for the National Book Award. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthologies, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction and he was the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

First Draft - Deborah Willis

Mar 13, 2017

Deborah Willis was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Her first book, Vanishing and Other Stories, was named one of the the Globe and Mail's Best Books of 2009, and was nominated for the Governor General's Award. Her latest book is The Dark and Other Love Stories. She was a bookseller at Munro's Books in Victoria, BC, a writer-in-residence at Joy Kogawa House in Vancouver, BC, and the 2012-2013 Calgary Distinguished Writers Program writer-in-residence at the University of Calgary.

First Draft - Katie Kitamura

Mar 6, 2017

Katie Kitamura is a critic and novelist living in New York City. She is the author of Gone to the Forest and The Longshot, both of which were finalists for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. A recipient of a Lannan Residency Fellowship, Kitamura has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, Granta, BOMB, Triple Canopy, and is a regular contributor to Frieze.

First Draft - Sarah Manguso

Feb 20, 2017

Sarah Manguso is the author of seven books including 300 Arguments, a genre-defying work of nonfiction; Ongoingness, a meditation on motherhood and time; The Guardians, an investigation of friendship and suicide; The Two Kinds of Decay, a memoir of her experience with a chronic autoimmune disease, and Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, a collection of very short stories.

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