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First Draft

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 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. 

First Draft: Robert Kurson

Apr 16, 2018

Robert Kurson is an American author, best known for his 2004 bestselling book, Shadow Divers, the true story of two Americans who discovered a World War II German U-boat sunk 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey. His other books include Pirate Hunters, Crashing Through, and Rocket Men.  Rocket Men tells the story of Apollo 8, the first NASA manned space mission to the moon in 1968.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: http://apple.co/1HCVfjA

First Draft: Yang Huang

Apr 2, 2018

Yang Huang grew up in Jiangsu, China and came to the U.S. to study computer science. While working as an engineer, she studied literature and pursued writing, her passion since childhood. Her collection of linked family stories My Old Faithful won the Juniper Prize for Fiction. Her debut novel Living Treasures won the Nautilus Book Award silver medal in fiction.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: http://apple.co/1HCVfjA

First Draft: Hermione Hoby

Mar 26, 2018
Nina Subin

Hermione grew up in south London and graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2007 with a double first in English Literature. After working on the Observer’s New Review section for a few years she moved to New York and has lived in Brooklyn since 2010. She writes about culture, especially books, film, music and gender, for the Guardian, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the TLS and others. Her debut novel is called Neon in Daylight.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: http://apple.co/1HCVfjA
 

First Draft: Zachary Lazar

Mar 19, 2018

Zachary Lazar is the author of five books, including Sway, Evening’s Empire: The Story of My Father’s Murder,  I Pity the Poor Immigrant, and Vengeance. I Pity the Poor Immigrant was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014. Sway was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and an Editor’s Choice at the New York Times Book Review, as well as a best book of 2008 in the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Publishers Weekly, and several other publications.

First Draft: Tara Westover

Mar 12, 2018

Tara Westover is an American author living in the UK. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. She spent her days working in her father's junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist and midwife. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. After that first encounter with education, she pursued learning for a decade and now has a PhD in history from Cambridge.  Her memoir is called Educated.

First Draft: Elliot Ackerman

Jan 22, 2018

Elliot Ackerman served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and is the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. A former White House Fellow, his essays and fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and Ecotone, among others. His novels include Green on Blue and Dark at the Crossing.

Subscribe to the First Draft podcast on iTunes: http://apple.co/1HCVfjA

First Draft: Kate Manne

Jan 15, 2018

Kate Manne is an assistant professor of the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University.  She was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 2011 to 2013. She has a PhD in philosophy from MIT.

Manne focuses on moral philosophy (especially metaethics and moral psychology. feminist philosophy, and social philosophy. She also writes opinion pieces, essays, and reviews for a wider audience. Her academic/trade "crossover" book about misogyny is called Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.

First Draft: Joan Silber

Jan 10, 2018

Joan Silber is the author of eight books of fiction. Her first book, the novel Household Words won the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her other works of fiction are In the City, In My Other Life, Lucky Us, Ideas of Heaven, finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize, The Size of the World, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Prize in Fiction, and Fools, longlisted for the National Book Award and finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her new novel is called Improvement.

First Draft: Alice McDermott

Jan 1, 2018
Jamie Shoenerger

Alice McDermott is the author of Pulitzer Prize winning novel Charming Billy and After This, At Weddings and Wakes, and That Night, all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.  Her other novels include Someone, Child of My Heart, A Bigamist's Daughter and most recently The Ninth Hour

Subscribe to the First Draft podcast on iTunes: http://apple.co/1HCVfjA

First Draft: James Han Mattson

Dec 18, 2017

James Han Mattson was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in North Dakota. A Michener-Copernicus Fellowship Recipient and graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has taught at the University of Iowa, the University of Cape Town, the University of Maryland, the George Washington University, and the University of California – Berkeley. The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves is his first novel.

First Draft: Jennifer Egan

Dec 11, 2017
Pieter M. Van Hattem

Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her book, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize. Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times Magazine. Her newest novel is Manhattan Beach.

First Draft: James Longenbach

Dec 4, 2017

James Longenbach is a poet and critic whose most recent collection of poems, Earthling is a meditation on the ways in which human beings inhabit their knowledge of impending mortality, ranging bemusement to panic.  His most recent critical work, Lyric Knowledge: How Poems Get Made is an account of how English-language poems, ranging from the 8th to the 21st century, are constructed from the most basic elements of their medium (diction, syntax, rhythm, figuration, and so on).  He has also written widely about modern and postmodern poetry.

First Draft: Matthew Weiner

Nov 27, 2017

Matthew Weiner was the writer, creator, executive producer, and director of Mad Men. He also worked as a writer and executive producer on The Sopranos, along with several comedy series, and made his feature film debut in 2014. Weiner's novel is called Heather, The Totality.

First Draft: Carmen Maria Machado

Nov 20, 2017
Tom Storm

Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. She is a fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, NPR, Los Angeles Review of Books, VICE, and elsewhere.  Her memoir House in Indiana is forthcoming in 2019 from Graywolf Press.

Subscribe to First Draft Podcast on iTunes.  http://apple.co/1HCVfjA

First Draft: David Litt

Nov 6, 2017

David Litt is an American political speechwriter and author of the memoir Thanks, Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years. He is currently the head writer/producer for Funny or Die’s office in Washington, D.C.  

First Draft: Lu Spinney

Oct 30, 2017

Lu Spinney was born in Cape Town and spent her childhood on a farm in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, later moving with her family to the Indian Ocean coast north of Durban. After university, she left South Africa to live in Nice and Paris, before settling in London.  Beyond the High Blue Air is her first book.

First Draft: Eleanor Henderson

Oct 23, 2017

Eleanor Henderson was born in Greece, grew up in Florida, and attended Middlebury College and the University of Virginia, where she earned her MFA. Her debut novel Ten Thousand Saints was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2011 by The New York Times and a finalist for the Award for First Fiction from The Los Angeles Times.

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.

  

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