KAJX

Mitzi Rapkin

Host - First Draft

Mitzi Rapkin got her start in radio as a reporter for KBUT in Crested Butte, Colorado.  She was a Washington correspondent for a commercial radio station in Boston, worked as a producer, editor and writer for National Geographic Television and is a former reporter and news director for Aspen Public Radio.  She has written for various national magazines and newspapers and also writes fiction.  She is short for her age, loves dark chocolate and the smell of new books.

Ways to Connect

Jane Smiley writes novels, non-fiction and essays. Her novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992.   In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature in 2006.  Her most recent novel for adults is Private Life and her most recent young adult fiction is a series called The Horses of Oak Valley Ranch.  She lives in Northern California.

Chilean author Isabel Allende won worldwide acclaim when her bestselling first novel, The House of the Spirits, was published in 1982. In addition to launching Allende’s career as a renowned author, the book, which grew out of a farewell letter to her dying grandfather, also established her as a feminist force in Latin America’s male-dominated literary world.

She has since written nearly 20 more works, including Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, Stories of Eva Luna, The Infinite Plan, Daughter of Fortune, Portrait in Sepia, a trilogy for young readers (City of Beasts, Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, and Forest of Pygmies), Zorro, Ines of My Soul, Island Beneath the Sea, and Maya’s Notebook. Books of nonfiction include Aphrodite, a humorous collection of recipes and essays, and three memoirs: My Invented Country, Paula (a bestseller that documents Allende’s daughter’s illness and death, as well as her own life), and The Sum of Our Days. Her latest book is Ripper, a crime novel.

www.isabelallende.com

Kristen Brock Hires

Jamie Quatro’s debut collection, I Want To Show You More is a New York Times Notable Book, NPR Best Book of 2013, Indie Next pick, and New York Times Editors’ Choice. It was named a Top 10 Book of 2013 by Dwight Garner in the New York Times and a Favorite Book of 2013 by James Wood in The New Yorker.  Quatro’s work has appeared in Tin House, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, McSweeney’s, AGNI, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony, as well as 2013 fellowships from both the Bread Loaf and the Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. Her stories are anthologized in the O.Henry Prize Stories 2013 and in the 9th edition of The Story and Its Writer (ed. Ann Charters, forthcoming). Quatro holds graduate degrees from the College of William & Mary and the Bennington College Writing Seminars, and is a Contributing Editor at Oxford American magazine. She lives with her family in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. www.jamiequatro.com

Nancie Battaglia

Russell Banks is the author of more than a dozen works, which include poetry, short stories, novels and essays.  His novels Cloudsplitter and Continental Drift were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.  The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction were made into feature films.  His latest work is a short story collection called A Permanent Member of the Family.  Banks is the recipient of numerous literary awards, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He lives in Keene, New York and Miami, Florida.

Leta Warner

Maria Semple is the author of This One Is Mine and Where’d You Go Bernadette. Before turning to fiction, she wrote for Mad About You, Ellen, and Arrested Development. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker. She lives in Seattle. http://www.mariasemple.com/

Heather Kraft

Ethan Rutherford was born in Seattle, and now lives in the Midwest. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, One Story, American Short Fiction, New York Tyrant, Esopus, Five Chapters, and The Best American Short Stories. His work has received special mention in the 2009, 2010 and 2013 editions of the Pushcart Prize, and received awards from the McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. He received his MFA from the University of Minnesota, and has taught creative writing at Macalester College, the University of Minnesota, and the Loft Literary Center. He is the guitarist for the band Pennyroyal, which has been assaulting the ears of its listeners with songs of the ocean and long lost love since 2010. He is currently at work on a novel set in the Alaskan wilderness.

Christine Sneed is a graduate of the MFA creative writing program at Indiana University and has published stories in Best American Short Stories, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, New England Review, The Southern Review, Ploughshares, Pleiades, Glimmer Train, Massachusetts Review, Meridian, Other Voices, Greensboro Review, River Styx, Phoebe, South Dakota Review, and many other journals. Her first novel is Little Known Facts.  Her short story collection Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry won a Grace Paley Prize in 2009.

Bastian Schweitzer

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Devotion 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 Los Angeles Times, and has been widely anthologized. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University, and she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her new book is called Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life.

Richard Dubois

Kenneth Bonert was born in South Africa and is the grandson of Lithuanian immigrants.  His fiction has appeared in McSweeney's, Grain and the Fiddlehead.  His journalism has appeared in the Globe and Mail and other publications. He lives in Toronto.

Larry D. Moore

Ben Fountain is author of a short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, which won the Pen/Hemmingway Award and most recently Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award, The LA Times Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award.  He is also the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and a Barnes and Noble Discover Award.  He has a law degree from Duke University.  He is from North Carolina and lives in Dallas, Texas.

Rebecca Zeller

Elliott Holt was born and raised in Washington, D.C. A former copywriter who worked at advertising agencies in Moscow, London, and New York, Holt attended the MFA program at Brooklyn College (where she won the Himan Brown award) at night while working full time in Manhattan during the day. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Salon, Guernica, Kenyon Review online, The Millions, Bellevue Literary Review, The Pushcart Prize XXXV (2011 anthology) and elsewhere. In addition to winning a Pushcart Prize, she was the runner-up of the 2011 PEN Emerging Writers Award. Her first novel You Are One of Them was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

Jamie and Andrew Shoenberger

Alice McDermott is the author of seven novels including National Book Award Winner Charming Billy and three Pulitzer Prize finalists: After This, That Night and At Weddings and Wakes. She is Johns Hopkins University's Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities. She has a BA from SUNY Oswego and an MA from University of New Hampshire. Her new novel is Someone.

Heidi Ross

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels including Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder and The Patron Saint of Liars.  She was the editor of the Best American Short Stories 2006 and has written three books of non-fiction, Truth & Beauty, What now? And This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.  She is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and has been the recipient of numerous awards including England’s Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award.  Her books have been New York Times bestsellers and New York Times Notable Books.  She is also owns Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee.  She lives in Nashville.

Peter Yoon

Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her M.F.A. at Emerson College. Her first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us(Dzanc Books, 2009), was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, longlisted for The Story Prize, and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Award. van den Berg's latest story collection is called The Isle of Youth. Her stories have appeared in Conjunctions, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best New American Voices, and the Pushcart Prize XXIV. www.lauravandenberg.com

Mark Helprin was published in The New Yorker for almost a quarter of a century.  His stories and essays on politics and aesthetics appear in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Criterion, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The New York Times, The National Review, American Heritage, Forbes ASAP, and more. Helprin has published three short story collections: A Dove of the East and Other Stories, Ellis Island and Other Stories, and The Pacific and Other Stories. He is also the author of six novels: Refiner's Fire, Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Memoir From Antproof Case, Freddy and Fredericka and, In Sunlight and In Shadows. Helprin has also penned three children's books: Swan Lake, A City in Winter, and The Veil of Snows, all illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. Helprin has been awarded the National Jewish Book Award, the Prix de Rome, the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, 2006, and the 2010 Salvatori Prize in the American Founding, among other prizes. www.markhelprin.com

Emma Norman

Howard Norman is a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction. His 1987 novel, The Northern Lights, was nominated for a National Book Award, as was his 1994 novel The Bird Artist. He is also author of the novels The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, and Devotion. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Norman teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Vermont with his wife and daughter.

Tom Elder is the author of It’s All About Timing. He lived in Aspen for decades but now lives in New Castle, Colorado. In addition to fiction, Elder also writes poetry and he works as a substitute teacher when he is not writing.

Jessica Soffer earned her MFA in Fiction at Hunter College. Her work has appeared in Granta, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vogue among other publications. She teaches fiction at Connecticut College and lives on Long Island. Her first novel is Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.

Dina Rossi

Mary Doria Russell is author of five novels including The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day and Doc.  A Thread of Grace and Doc were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  She began her career as an academic and turned to writing when she lost her job.  She has a BA in Cultural Anthropology, an MA in Social Anthropology and a PhD in Biological Anthropology.  Her novel Doc was a One Book, One Community selection for Glenwood Springs.  www.marydoriarussell.net

Adam Haslett is the author of the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here and the novel Union Atlantic. His story collection was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. His journalism and fiction have appeared in The Financial Times, Esquire, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, Zoetrope All-Story, Best American Short Stories, and The O'Henry Prize Stories. A graduate of Swarthmore College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Yale Law School, he has been a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Columbia University. www.adamhaslett.net

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