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 - 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.

First Draft - Anuk Arudpragasam

Feb 13, 2017

Anuk Arudpragasam is from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and graduated with a BA from Stanford University in 2010. His first novel is called The Story of a Brief Marriage.  He is also working on his PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University about the theorization and idealization of the individual in the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and John Dewey.

First Draft - David Szalay

Feb 6, 2017

David Szalay's first novel, London and the South-East, won the Betty Trask Award along with the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Since then he has written three other novels: Innocent, Spring and All That Man Is, which was was short listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2016 and won the 2016 Gordon Burn Prize.

First Draft - Marcy Dermansky

Jan 30, 2017

Marcy Dermansky is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Red Car, Bad Marie and Twins. 

Marcy has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Edward Albee Foundation.  She is the winner of the Smallmouth Press Andre Dubus Novella Award and Story Magazine Carson McCuller short story prize.  Marcy received her Bachelor of Arts at Haverford College and her Master of Arts at the Center for Writers at the University of Southern, Mississippi. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her daughter Nina.

First Draft - Melanie Finn

Jan 24, 2017

Melanie Finn was born in Kenya in 1964. When she was 11, she moved to Connecticut with her mother and stepfather, and later attended New York University, graduating with a BA in journalism. 

For a decade, she worked as a freelance journalist in Asia, Australia, the US and Africa, writing about a wide variety of subjects including the Grateful Dead, child soldiers and scuba diving.  Her novels include Away From You and The Gloaming

First Draft - Joshua Mohr

Jan 16, 2017

Joshua Mohr is the author of the memoir "Sirens" (2017), as well as five novels including "Damascus", which The New York Times called "Beat-poet cool." He’s also written "Fight Song" and "Some Things that Meant the World to Me," one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as "Termite Parade," an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times.  His novel "All This Life" won the Northern California Book Award. He is the founder of Decant Editorial. 

First Draft - Peter Orner

Jan 9, 2017

Chicago-born Peter Orner has lived in the San Francisco Bay area for the past sixteen years. He is the author of two novels The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo and Love and Shame and Love and two story collections, Esther Stories and Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge as well as the editor of two oral histories Voice of Witness/ McSweeney's/ Verso. Orner's fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, Granta, The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, The Southern Review, and many other publications.  Orner's latest book, Am I Alone Here?

First Draft - Garrard Conley

Jan 2, 2017

Garrard (pronounced without the final 'r;' a family oddity) Conley is the author of the memoir, Boy Erased. His work can be found in TIME, VICE, CNN, Buzzfeed Books, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. He has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Writers' Conferences and has facilitated craft classes for Catapult, Grub Street, Sackett Street Writers Workshop, and the Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown. 

First Draft - Benjamin Percy

Dec 19, 2016

Benjamin Percy is the author of three novels, The Dead Lands, a post apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga, Red Moon and The Wilding as well as two books of short stories, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk. His craft book is called Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction.

First Draft - Anuradha Roy

Dec 12, 2016

Anuradha Roy's latest book, Sleeping on Jupiter,  won the DSC Prize for Fiction 2016 and was nominated for the Man Booker prize 2015. She won the Economist Crossword Prize for her second novel, The Folded Earth. Her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, has been widely translated and was picked as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post and the Seattle Times. It has been named by World Literature Today as one of the 60 most essential books on modern India and was shortlisted for the Crossword Prize.

First Draft - Randa Jarrar

Dec 6, 2016

Randa Jarrar’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Utne Reader, Salon.com, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Oxford American, Ploughshares, Five Chapters, and others. Her first novel, A Map of Home was published in half a dozen languages & won a Hopwood Award, an Arab-American Book Award, and was named one of the best novels of 2008 by the Barnes and Noble Review. Her new book is called Him, Me, Muhammad Ali. In 2010 she was named one of the most gifted writers of Arab origin under the age of 40.

First Draft - Emily Witt

Nov 28, 2016
Noah Kalina

Emily Witt is a writer in New York City. She has written for n+1, The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, the London Review of Books, and many other places. She has degrees from Brown, Columbia, and Cambridge, and was a Fulbright scholar in Mozambique. Her first book, Future Sex, was published in 2016 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

First Draft - Teddy Wayne

Nov 21, 2016
Kate Greathead

Teddy Wayne is the author of the novels Loner, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, and Kapitoil. He is the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship as well as a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, PEN/Bingham Prize, and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. A columnist for the New York Times, he is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and McSweeney’s and has taught at Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in New York.

First Draft - Robert Bausch

Nov 14, 2016

Robert Bausch was born in Georgia, at the end of World War II, and was raised in the Washington, D.C., area. He has worked as a salesman--of automobiles, appliances, and hardware--a taxi driver, waiter, production planner, and library assistant. He was educated at George Mason University, earning a BA, an MA and an MFA, and he says he has been a writer all his life. He has written eight novels, the most recent is called The Legend of Jesse Smoke.  www.robertbausch.org

First Draft - Patrick Ryan

Nov 11, 2016
Denver Butson

Patrick Ryan is the author of The Dream Life of Astronauts and Send Me, as well as three novels for young adults: Saints of Augustine, In Mike We Trust, and Gemini Bites. His fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Tin House, One Story, Catapult, Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, The Yale Review and elsewhere. His nonfiction has been published by Granta and has appeared in Tales of Two Cities and other anthologies.

First Draft - Nicole Dennis-Benn

Oct 24, 2016

Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel, Here Comes the Sun, a New York Times Editors' Choice, which has received a starred Kirkus Review and is deemed one of the best books to read this summer and beyond by New York Times, NPR, BBC, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, Bookish, Miami Herald, Elle, O Magazine, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, Flavorwire, After Ellen, BookPage, Cosmopolitan, Brooklyn Magazine, among others. Dennis-Benn has also been shortlisted for the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

First Draft - Leigh Stein

Oct 11, 2016

Leigh Stein is the author of three books, and the co-founder and Executive Director of Out of the Binders, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to advancing the careers of women and gender non-conforming writers.

First Draft - Lev Grossman

Oct 3, 2016

Lev Grossman is the author of the novels Warp and Codex and the trilogy that includes The Magicians, The Magician King, and The Magician’s Land.  He is also the book critic for Time magazine.

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