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 - Ada Limón

Mar 14, 2016

Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry, including Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry and one of the Top Ten Poetry Books of the Year by The New York Times. Her other books include Lucky WreckThis Big Fake World, and Sharks in the Rivers. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program, and the 24Pearl Street online program for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.

First Draft - Christopher Castellani

Feb 29, 2016
Michael Joseph

  Christopher Castellani is the son of Italian immigrants and a native of Wilmington, Delaware. He resides in Boston, where he is the artistic director of Grub Street, one of the country's leading non-profit creative writing centers. He is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels, A Kiss from Maddalena—winner of the Massachusetts Book Award in 2004— The Saint of Lost Things, a BookSense (IndieBound) Notable Book; and All This Talk of Love , a New York Times Editors' Choice and finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Literary Award.

First Draft - Rachel Cantor

Feb 22, 2016

  Rachel Cantor's stories have appeared in magazines such as the Paris Review, One Story, Ninth Letter, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Fence, and Volume 1 Brooklyn. They have been anthologized, nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, short-listed by both the O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories, and awarded runner-up Bridport and Graywolf/SLS Prizes.  She lives in New York, city of her heart, in the writerly borough of Brooklyn, but have at various points made her home in most U.S. states between Virginia and Vermont.

First Draft - Sarah Gerard

Feb 15, 2016

  Sarah Gerard is the author of the novel Binary Star (Two Dollar Radio), the forthcoming essay collection Sunshine State (Harper Perennial), and two chapbooks, most recently BFF (Guillotine). Her short stories, essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in The New York TimesNew York Magazine‘s “The Cut”, The Paris Review DailyThe Los Angeles Review of Books, Bookforum, JoylandViceBOMB Magazine, and other journals, as well as anthologies for Joyland and The Saturday Evening Post.

First Draft - Adam Johnson

Feb 8, 2016

Adam Johnson was born in South Dakota and raised in Arizona. He earned a BA in Journalism from Arizona State University in 1992; a MFA from the writing program at McNeese State University, and a PhD in English from Florida State University in 2000.

First Draft - Sunil Yapa

Jan 18, 2016

Sunil Yapa holds a BA in economic geography from Penn State University, and received his MFA in Fiction from Hunter College in New York City in 2010, where he worked with two-time Booker Prize winning author Peter Carey, and the 2009 National Book Award winner (Let the Great World Spin) Colum McCann.

First Draft - Lauren Groff

Dec 28, 2015

  Lauren Groff is the author of the novel The Monsters of Templeton, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, Delicate Edible Birds, a collection of stories, and Arcadia, a New York Times Notable Book, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award.  Her latest novel is Fates and Furies, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.


First Draft - Geraldine Brooks

Dec 21, 2015

Australian-born Geraldine Brooks grew up in Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the Mideast, Africa and the Balkans. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her second novel, March. Her  novels Caleb’s Crossing and People of the Book were  New York Times best sellers.

First Draft - Liam Callanan

Dec 7, 2015

  Liam is the author of The Cloud Atlas , All Saints and Listen. He serves in the English department of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and was previously its chair, as well as coordinator of its Ph.D. program in creative writing.

First Draft - Julia Fierro

Nov 30, 2015

  Julia Fierro is the author of the novels Cutting Teeth and the forthcoming The Gypsy Moth Summer.

First Draft - Michelle Brafman

Nov 23, 2015

Michelle Brafman is the author of Washing the Dead.  She earned an MA in fiction from Johns Hopkins University where she now teaches.  Her writing has appeared in Slate, The Washington Post, Tablet, Lilith Magazine and The Los Angeles Review of Books

First Draft - Vanessa Garcia

Nov 16, 2015
Tedeora Dakova

Vanessa was born in the Cuban satellite city of Miami, to Cuban parents.  

First Draft - Bonnie Jo Campbell

Nov 9, 2015

  Bonnie Jo Campbell grew up on a small Michigan farm with her mother and four siblings in a house her grandfather Herlihy built in the shape of an H. She learned to castrate small pigs, milk Jersey cows, and, when she was snowed in with chocolate, butter, and vanilla, to make remarkable chocolate candy. When she left home for the University of Chicago to study philosophy, her mother rented out her room. She has since hitchhiked across the U.S.

First Draft - Steven Schwartz

Nov 2, 2015

Steven Schwartz is the author of three story collections, To Leningrad in Winter, Lives of the Fathers, and Little Raw Souls, and two novels, Therapy and A Good Doctor’s Son.  His fiction has received the Nelson Algren Award, the Sherwood Anderson Prize, the Cohen Award from Ploughshares, the Colorado Book Award for the Novel, two O.

First Draft - Bill Clegg

Oct 26, 2015

Bill Clegg  is the author of two memoirs, Portrait of an Addict as A Young Man: A Memoir and Ninety Days. His novel, Did You Ever Have a Family, was long listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award.  Clegg is also a literary agent and owner of The Clegg Agency.

First Draft - Jesse Goolsby

Oct 12, 2015

  Jesse Goolsby is an Air Force officer and the author of the novel I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them . His fiction and essays have appeared widely, to include Narrative, The Kenyon Review, Epoch, The Literary Review, Salon, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Greensboro Review, and Redivider.

First Draft - George Hodgman

Oct 5, 2015

George Hodgman is the author of the memoir, Bettyville.  He has also worked as an editor at Simon and Schuster, Henry Holt, Houghton Mifflin and Vanity Fair.  He graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in English and Magazine Journalism.  He lives in Missouri and New York.

First Draft - Elissa Schappell

Sep 28, 2015

Elissa Schappell is an American novelist, short story writer, editor and essayist. Her first book of fiction, Use Me a collection of ten linked short stories, was published in 2000 by William Morrow, and was runner up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. A second book of fiction, Blueprints for Building Better Girls, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2011. It was chosen as a "Best Book of the Year" by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal.

First Draft - Jim Shepard

Sep 21, 2015

  Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels, including most recently The Book of Aron, and four story collections, including most recently the forthcoming You Think That’s Bad.   His third collection, Like You’d Understand, Anyway, was a finalist for the National Book Award and won The Story Prize.  Project X won the 2005 Library of Congress/Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction, as well as the ALEX Award from the American Library Association.  His short fiction has appeared in, among other magazines, Harper’sMcSweeney’sThe Paris

First Draft - Shulem Deen

Aug 24, 2015

  Shulem Deen is the author of All Who Go Do Not Return, a memoir about growing up in and then leaving the Hasidic Jewish world. He is also the founding editor of Unpious, an online journal for voices on the Hasidic fringe. His work has appeared in The New Republic, Salon, Tablet Magazine, The Jewish Daily Forward, and elsewhere. He serves as a board member at Footsteps, a New York City-based organization that offers assistance and support to those who have left the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.