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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 occasional poets, screenplay writers, playwrights and songwriters. 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: Page 3
Sep 12, 2016

Jennifer Haigh's new novel is called Heat and Light. She is the author of four previous novels: Faith, The Condition, Baker Towers and Mrs. Kimble, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Her short story collection News From Heaven won the Massachusetts Book Award and the PEN New England Award in Fiction.  Haigh's short stories have appeared in The AtlanticGrantaThe Best American Short Stories and many other places.  She lives in Boston.

Aug 15, 2016

Helen Schulman is author of This Beautiful Life, four other novels and one short story collection.

Aug 8, 2016

Kim Addonizio is the author of six poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry, The Poet’s Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius. She has received fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Award Finalist for her collection Tell Me. Her latest books are Mortal Trash: Poems (W.W. Norton) and a memoir-in-essays, Bukowski in a Sundress (Penguin).

Aug 1, 2016

Anna Noyes is the author of the debut story collection, Goodnight, Beautiful Women, which was named a New York Times Editors' Choice. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Vice, A Public Space, and Guernica, among others. She has received the Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellowship, the James Merrill House Fellowship, and the Lighthouse Works Fellowship, and has served as writer-in-residence at the Polli Talu Arts Center in Estonia. Goodnight, Beautiful Women was awarded the 2013 Henfield Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Lotos Foundation Prize, and is a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and an Indie Next Great Reads pick for June. Noyes was raised in Downeast Maine.

Jul 25, 2016

Anna Solomon is the author of The Little Bride, Leaving Lucy Pear and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, One Story, Ploughshares, Slate, The Boston Globe, and MORE, and she is co-editor with Eleanor Henderson of Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today's Best Women Writers. Previously, Anna worked as an award-winning journalist for National Public Radio’s Living On Earth.

Jul 18, 2016

Charles Bock is the author of the novels Alice & Oliver and Beautiful Children, which was a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book, and which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Slate, as well as in numerous anthologies. He has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Yaddo, UCross, and the Vermont Studio Center.  Charles is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars.  He lives with his wife, Leslie Jamison, and his daughter in New York City.

Jul 4, 2016

Highly regarded as both a novelist and a short story writer, Ethan Canin has ranged in his career from the "breathtaking" short stories of Emperor of the Air to the "stunning" novellas of The Palace Thief,  from the "wise and beautiful" short novel Carry Me Across the Water to the "epic" America America.  His short stories, which have been the basis for four Hollywood movies, have appeared in a wide range of magazines, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Paris Review, and Granta, and have been selected for many prize anthologies. His latest novel is The Doubter's Almanac.

Jun 20, 2016

Joshua Ferris is the bestselling author of three novels, Then We Came to the End,  The Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. He was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40”writers in 2010. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, and Best American Short Stories. He lives in New York.

Jun 13, 2016

Lauren Holmes grew up in upstate New York. She received a BA from Wellesley College and an MFA from Hunter College, where she was a Hertog Fellow and a teaching fellow. Her work has appeared in Granta, where she was a 2014 New Voice, and in Guernica. Holmes lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.  Her short story collection is called Barbara the Slut.

Jun 6, 2016

Idra Novey is the author of the debut novel Ways to Disappear, a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Born in western Pennsylvania, she has since lived in Chile, Brazil and New York. Her poetry collections include Exit, Civilian, selected by Patri­cia Smith for the 2011 National Poetry Series, The Next Coun­try, a final­ist for the 2008 Fore­word Book of the Year Award, and Clarice: The Visitor, a collaboration with the artist Erica Baum. Her fiction and poetry have been translated into eight languages and she’s written for The New York Times, NPR’s All Things Con­sid­ered, Slate, and The Paris Review. 

Jun 1, 2016

Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, TN and raised in Lewisville, Texas. He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Western Kentucky University where he won the Jim Wayne Miller Award for Poetry. His collection Prelude to Bruise was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014 and the winner of the 2015 Pen Literary Award for Poetry. Jones is also the literary editor for BuzzFeed.

May 23, 2016

Dana Spiotta is the author of four novels: Innocents and Others, published by Scribner in 2016; Stone Arabia (2011), which was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in fiction; Eat the Document(2006), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and a recipient of the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; and Lightning Field (2001). Spiotta was a Guggenheim Fellow, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, and won the 2008-9 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. She lives in Syracuse with her daughter Agnes and teaches in the Syracuse University MFA program.

May 16, 2016

Dominic grew up in Sydney, Australia and now lives in Austin, Texas. He is the author, most recently, of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, a New York Times Bestseller and a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice selection.

His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Atlantic MonthlyTexas Monthly, and the Chicago Tribune. His other novels are: The Mercury Visions of Louis DaguerreThe Beautiful Miscellaneous, and Bright and Distant Shores

May 12, 2016

First Draft interview with Antonya Nelson.  Nelson is the author of seven short story collections and four novels. She teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program. Her awards include the Rea Award for Short Fiction, Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, and an American Artists Award. She lives in Telluride, Colorado, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Houston, Texas.

May 2, 2016

Garth Greenwell is an American poet, author, literary critic, and educator. His debut novel is What Belongs to You. In 2013, Greenwell returned to the United States after living in Bulgaria to attend the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop as an Arts Fellow. He has published stories in The Paris Review and A Public Space and writes criticism for The New Yorker and The Atlantic.

Apr 25, 2016

A. Igoni Barrett was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 1979. He is the author of Blackass, as well as a winner of the 2005 BBC World Service short story competition, the recipient of a Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship, a Norman Mailer Center Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency. His short stories have twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Nigeria.

Apr 18, 2016

Rob Spillman is the author of the memoir All Tomorrow's Parties.

Apr 11, 2016

Interview with James Hannah, author of Delicious Foods.

Apr 4, 2016

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Hundred-Year House, winner of the Chicago Writers Association’s Novel of the Year award, and The Borrower, a Booklist Top Ten Debut which has been translated into eight languages. Her short story collection, Music for Wartime, will appear in June of 2015. Her short fiction was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008), and appears regularly in journals like Harper’s, Tin House, and New England Review. The recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, Makkai has taught at Northwestern University and at the Iowa Writer's Workshop.

Mar 29, 2016

Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York.


Her fourth novel, Station Eleven, was a 2014 National Book Award Finalist. All four of her novels—previous books were Last Night in Montreal, The Singer's Gun, and The Lola Quartet—were Indie Next Picks, and The Singer's Gun was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Mar 28, 2016

Paul Lisicky is the author of five books: The Narrow Door, Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Conjunctions, Ecotone, Fence, The Offing, Ploughshares, Tin House, Unstuck, and in many other magazines and anthologies. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Michener/Copernicus Society, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was twice a Fellow. He has taught in the creative writing programs at Cornell University, New York University, Rutgers-Newark, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and elsewhere. He currently teaches in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden, the low residency program at Sierra Nevada College, and at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. He is the editor of StoryQuarterly and serves on the Writing Committee of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

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 Wreck, This 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. She also works as a freelance writer splitting her time between Lexington, Kentucky and Sonoma, California.

Mar 7, 2016

Mary Doria Russell has written several novels including Thread of Grace, The Sparrow and Doc.

Feb 29, 2016

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 (Algonquin Books, 2003)—winner of the Massachusetts Book Award in 2004— The Saint of Lost Things (Algonquin Books, 2005), a BookSense (IndieBound) Notable Book; and All This Talk of Love (Algonquin, 2013), a New York Times Editors' Choice and finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Literary Award. He is currently working on a new novel. The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story a collection of essays on writing, is now available from Graywolf.

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. Her novels include A Highly Unlikely Scenario and Good on Paper.

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