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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: Ben Marcus

Oct 8, 2018

Ben Marcus is the author of five books of fiction: The Age of Wire and String, Notable American Women, The Flame Alphabet, Leaving the Sea, and Notes from the Fog. He is the editor of The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and New American Stories. Since 2000 he has taught on the faculty at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

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

First Draft: Bernice McFadden

Oct 1, 2018

Bernice McFadden is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels including Sugar, Loving Donovan, Nowhere Is a Place, The Warmest December, Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012), Glorious, and The Book of Harlan (winner of a 2017 American Book Award and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction). She is a four-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of three awards from the BCALA. Praise Song for the Butterflies is her latest novel.

First Draft: Amitava Kumar

Sep 24, 2018

Amitava Kumar is a writer and journalist. He was born in Ara, and grew up in the nearby town of Patna, famous for its corruption, crushing poverty and delicious mangoes. Kumar is the author of several books of non-fiction and two novels. He lives in Poughkeepsie, in upstate New York, where he is the Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College. His latest novel is called Immigrant, Montana.

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

First Draft: Gary Shteyngart

Sep 4, 2018
Rolf Potts

Gary Shteyngart is the author of the memoir Little Failure and the novels Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, and Lake Success. His work has been translated into twenty-six languages. Shteyngart lives in New York City and upstate New York.

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

First Draft: Francine Prose

Aug 27, 2018

Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction, including Mister Monkey; the New York Times bestseller Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; A Changed Man, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award. Her works of nonfiction include Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer.  Her newest book is the non-fiction book What to Read and Why.

First Draft: Joe Mungo Reed

Aug 13, 2018

Joe Mungo Reed was born in London and raised in Gloucestershire, England. He has a master’s in philosophy and politics at the University of Edinburgh and an MFA in creative writing at Syracuse University, where he won the Joyce Carol Oates Award in Fiction. He is the author of the novel, We Begin Our Ascent, and his short stories have appeared in VQR and Gigantic and anthologized in Best of Gigantic.

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

First Draft: Stephanie Feldman and Nathaniel Popkin

Aug 6, 2018

Stephanie Feldman and Nathaniel Popkin are co-editors of the anthology Who Will Speak for America?  In this lively collection, 40 novelists, essayists, poets, and artists confront the political division heightened by the Trump presidency and imagine a just future for the USA.

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

First Draft: Hannah Pittard

Jul 30, 2018

Hannah Pittard is the author of four novels.  Her most recent,Visible Empire,was an Amazon Editors' Pick for Summer Fiction, an IndieNext List Pick, and a New York Times "New and Noteworthy" Selection among others.  Her previous novels include Listen to me, The Fates will Find Their Way and Reunion. She directs the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Kentucky.

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

First Draft: Chuck Palahniuk

Jul 23, 2018
Allan Amato

Chuck Palahniuk is the author of novels, novellas, graphic novels, journalism, essays, and even a coloring book.  He is best known for his 1996 novel Fight Club.  His new novel is called Adjustment Day.

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

First Draft: Lydia Millet

Jul 16, 2018
J Beale

Lydia Millet is an American novelist and conservationist. She has written twelve works of fiction and four books for young adults.  Her third novel, My Happy Life, won the 2003 PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, and she has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize as well as a Guggenheim fellow, among other honors. Her latest work is a short story collection called Fight No More.  

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

First Draft: James Wood

Jul 9, 2018
Hans Glave

James Wood has been a staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker since 2007.  His critical essays are collected in three books.  He is also the author of the novels, The Book Against God and Upstate, and a study of technique in the novel,  How Fiction Works.

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

First Draft: James Wood

Jul 9, 2018
Hans Glave

James Wood has been a staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker since 2007.  His critical essays are collected in three books.  He is also the author of the novels, The Book Against God and Upstate, and a study of technique in the novel,  How Fiction Works.

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

First Draft: AM Homes

Jul 2, 2018

A.M.

First Draft: J. Courtney Sullivan

Jun 18, 2018

J. Courtney Sullivan is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Commencement, Maine, The Engagements, and Saints For All Occasions. She is a co-editor, with Courtney Martin, of the essay anthology Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists.

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

First Draft: Tom Rachman

Jun 13, 2018

Tom Rachman is the author of four works of fiction: his bestselling debut, The Imperfectionists , which was translated into 25 languages; the critically acclaimed follow-up, The Rise & Fall of Great Powers ; a satirical audiobook-in-stories Basket of Deplorables ; and his most recent novel set in the art world, The Italian Teacher. 

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

First Draft: David Grann

Jun 11, 2018

David Grann is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. His book, Killers of the Flower Moon documented one of the most sinister crimes and racial injustices in American history.  Killers of the Flower Moon was a finalist for the National Book Award and a winner of the Edgar Allen Poe Award for best true crime book.

His previous books include, The Lost City of Z, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. 

First Draft: Donna Masini

May 29, 2018
Claire Holt

Donna Masini's latest collection of poems, 4:30 Movie, an elegy for her sister, explores personal loss, global violence, the ways in which movies shape our imaginations.

Her first  collection of poems, That Kind of Danger, was selected by Mona Van Duyn for the Barnard Women Poets Prize.  She next published a novel,  About Yvonne, which the New York Times called “a stunning novel of sexual obsession.”   In 2004  she published her second collection of poems, Turning to Fiction.

First Draft: Chris Offutt

May 21, 2018

Chris Offutt is the author of the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, the novel The Good Brother, and three memoirs: The Same River Twice, No Heroes, and My Father, the Pornographer. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays, among many other places. He has written screenplays for Weeds, True Blood, and Treme, and has received fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations.  His new novel is called Country Dark.  

First Draft: Tim Kreider

May 15, 2018

Tim Kreider is an essayist and cartoonist. His most recent book is I Wrote This Book Because I Love You. He has contributed to The New York Times, The New Yorker‘s “Page-Turner” blog, al Jazeera, the Men’s Journal, nerve.com, The Comics Journal, and Film Quarterly. His cartoons have been collected in three books by Fantagraphics.

First Draft: Curtis Sittenfeld

Apr 30, 2018

Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of five novels: Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, Sisterland, and Eligible. Her first story collection is called You Think It, I’ll Say It. Her books have been selected by The New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and People for their “Ten Best Books of the Year” lists, optioned for television and film, and translated into thirty languages.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here.

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