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: Jon McGregor

Oct 16, 2017

Jon McGregor is a British novelist and short story writer. In 2002, his first novel, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, was long listed for the Booker Prize as its youngest contender. His second book, So Many Ways to Begin, and fourth novel, Reservoir 13, were long listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2006  and 2017 respectively.

First Draft: Kevin McIlvoy

Oct 9, 2017

Kevin McIlvoy has taught creative writing for over twenty-five years. He  was Editor in Chief of the national literary magazine, Puerto del Sol at New Mexico State University, and has served on the Board of Directors of two national writing organizations, Council for Literary Magazines & Presses and the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. His published works include 57 Octaves Below Middle C, A Waltz, The Fifth Station, Little Peg, Hyssop, and The Complete History of New Mexico.

First Draft: Brendan Mathews

Oct 2, 2017
Tricia McCormack

Brendan Mathews is the author of The World of Tomorrow. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Ireland, where he taught in the graduate creative writing program at University College Cork.
 

His fiction has twice appeared in The Best American Short Stories and in Glimmer Train, Virginia Quarterly Review, Salon, Cincinnati Review, and other publications in the US and UK. He lives with his wife and their four children in Lenox, Massachusetts, and teaches at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

  

First Draft: Josh Weil

Sep 25, 2017

Josh Weil is the author of the novel The Great Glass Sea and the novella collection The New Valley, both New York Times Editor’s Choices. A Fulbright Fellow and National Book Foundation 5-under-35 honoree, he has been awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Sue Kaufman Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the GrubStreet National Book Prize, the Library of Virginia’s Award in Fiction, the New Writers Award from the GLCA, and a Pushcart Prize. His new short story collection is called The Age of Perpetual Light.

 

First Draft - Nathan Englander

Sep 12, 2017

Nathan Englander is the author of the novels Dinner at the Center of the Earth and The Ministry of Special Cases, and the story collections For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank—finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His short fiction has been widely anthologized, most recently in 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. Englander's play, The Twenty-Seventh Man, premiered at The Public Theater in 2012.

First Draft - Lily Tuck

Sep 4, 2017
Julie Thayer

Lily Tuck is an American novelist and short story writer whose novel The News from Paraguay won the 2004 National Book Award for Fiction. Her novel Siam was nominated for the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. She has published five other novels including her most recent Sisters as well as a collection of short stories, and a biography of Italian novelist Elsa Morante.

First Draft - Claire Messud

Aug 21, 2017
Lisa Cohen

Claire Messud is the author of six novels and one book of novellas including The Woman Upstairs, When the World Was Steady, THe Last Life, and The Emperor’s Children, which was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Messud has been awarded Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and children. Her latest novel is called The Burning Girl.

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.

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