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First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing

In writing, a first draft is where creativity flows, a story takes root and the voice of a writer emerges. First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing highlights the voices of writers as they discuss their work, their craft, and the literary arts. This show hosted by Mitzi Rapkin will primarily feature fiction and non-fiction authors along with poets and essayists. First Draft is a celebration of the craft 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.
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First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing
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Now displaying: 2019
Aug 12, 2019


Rachel Kushner is the author of The Flamethrowers, Telex from Cuba, and The Mars Room. A collection of her early work, The Strange Case of Rachel K, was published by New Directions in 2015. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, and the Paris Review.

Aug 5, 2019

Karen Russell won the 2012 and the 2018 National Magazine Award for fiction, and her first novel, Swamplandia! was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and one of The New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2011. Her short story collections include Vampires in the Lemon Grove, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, and Orange World.

Jul 29, 2019

Jennifer DuBois is the author of A Partial History of Lost Causes, Cartwheel, and The Spectators. The National Book Foundation named her one of its 5 Under 35 authors. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Lapham’s Quarterly, American Short Fiction, The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, Salon, Cosmopolitan, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. A native of western Massachusetts, duBois teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University.

Jul 22, 2019

Emily Bernard was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a B. A. and Ph. D. in American Studies from Yale University. Her work has appeared in The American Scholar, The Boston Globe Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, Green Mountains Review, Oxtford American, Ploughshares, The New Republic, and theatlantic.com. Her essay collection is called Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine.

Jul 15, 2019

Christopher Castellani is the son of Italian immigrants and a native of Wilmington, Delaware. He currently lives in Boston, where he is the artistic director of Grub Street, the country’s largest and leading independent creative writing center. He is the author of the novels: A Kiss from Maddalena, The Saint of Lost Things, All This Talk of Love, and Leading Men. He is also the author of The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story, a collection of essays on point of view in fiction.

Jul 8, 2019

Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Secret Son, The Moor’s Account, and The Other Americans.

Jul 1, 2019

George Hodgman is the author of Bettyville.

Jun 24, 2019

Tina Chang was raised in New York City. She is the first female to be named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn and is the author of the collections of poetry Hybrida, Of Gods & Strangers, and Half-Lit Houses. She is also the co-editor of the W.W. Norton anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond.

Jun 17, 2019

Devi Laskar is the author of two poetry collections: Gas & Food, No Lodging and Anastasia Maps and the novel: The Atlas of Reds and Blues.  She lives in Northern California.

Jun 10, 2019

Rachel Howard is a writer of fiction, personal essays, memoir, and dance criticism. Her debut novel is called The Risk of Us.

Jun 3, 2019

Miriam Toews is the author of Women Talking, Summer of My Amazing Luck, A Boy of Good Breeding, A Complicated Kindness, All My Puny Sorrows, The Flying Troutmans, and Irma Voth, and one work of non-fiction, Swing Low: A Life. She is a winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Writers Trust Marian Engel/Timothy Findley Award. She lives in Toronto.

May 27, 2019

Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar. Wolitzer lives in New York City.

May 20, 2019

Joanne Ramos was born in the Philippines and moved to Wisconsin when she was six. She graduated with a BA from Princeton University. After working in investment banking and private-equity investing for several years, she became a staff writer at The Economist.  The Farm is her first novel.

May 13, 2019

Nell Freudenberger is the author of the novels Lost and Wanted, The Newlyweds, and The Dissident, and the story collection Lucky Girls, which won the PEN/Malamud Award and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

May 6, 2019

Molly Dektar is the author of The Ash Family.

Apr 29, 2019

CJ Hauser teaches creative writing and literature at Colgate University. She is the author of the novel The From-Aways and her fiction has appeared in Tin House, Narrative Magazine, TriQuarterly, Esquire, Third Coast, and The Kenyon Review.

Apr 22, 2019

Erika Meitner was born and raised in Queens and Long Island, New York. She is the author of five books of poems: Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, Ideal Cities, Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls, Copia, and Holy Moly Carry Me. In addition to teaching creative writing at UVA, UW-Madison, and UC-Santa Cruz, she has worked as a dating columnist, an office temp, a Hebrew school instructor, a computer programmer, a systems consultant, a lifeguard, a documentary film production assistant, and a middle school teacher in the New York City public school system.

Apr 15, 2019

Cara Robertson is the author of The Trial of Lizzie Borden.  She is an attorney whose writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, the Raleigh News and Observer, and the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. She was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford Law School. A former Supreme Court law clerk, she served as a legal adviser to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Law School

Apr 8, 2019

David Means is the author of several short story collections including Instructions for a Funeral, The Secret Goldfish, and The Spot and the novel, Hystopia. 

Apr 1, 2019

Susan Orlean is a staff writer at The New Yorker and her books include Rin Tin Tin, The Orchid Thief, and The Library Book, among others.

Mar 25, 2019

Jessica Soffer's work has appeared in Granta, The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Redbook, Saveur, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and on NPR’s Selected Shorts.  Her bestselling novel, Tomorrow There Will be Apricots, was published in twelve countries. 

Mar 18, 2019

Sophie Mackintosh is the author of The Water Cure, which is on teh long list for the 2018 Man Booker Prize.

Mar 11, 2019

Eva Hagberg Fisher is the author of How to be Loved: A Memoir of Lifesaving Friendship.

Mar 4, 2019

Pam Houston is the author of Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country.

Feb 25, 2019

Katrin Schumann is the author of the novel The Forgotten Hours. She is also the author of the non-fiction titles: The Secret Power of Middle Children and Mothers Need Time Outs, Too.

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