Mitzi “is one of the most talented and passionate interviewers in the world. What makes her great is her precision and her genuine curiosity, which transforms the interview into an urgent conversation. The time flies by, and I always learn something new about my own work.”
- Man Booker Prize winning author George Saunders
Mitzi Rapkin is the founder, host, and producer of the podcast, First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing, which features in-depth conversations with today’s most distinguished literary writers of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and essays. Her archive contains more than 400 interviews accumulated over more than nine years. She reads a book a week to produce up to 52 episodes a year and each episode meticulously covers issues of literary craft, creativity, and the themes of a writer’s work. Inevitably and consciously, she cultivates conversations that evolve from talking about the mechanics of producing a work of art to questions on what it means to be human, the mystery and awe of being in relationship with one another, and empathy.
Denver magazine 5280 featured Mitzi’s podcast in an article calling it “the best podcast you’ve never heard of”.
Mitzi also conducts live interviews with authors at bookstores and events. She interviewed Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Powers for Aspen Words, an Aspen-based literary nonprofit, at the Aspen Institute in 2022 and Patrick Radden Keefe in 2023.
With each conversation, Mitzi leans into honesty, vulnerability, curiosity, and connection. In addition to George Saunders, past guests include Isabel Allende, Alice McDermott, Elizabeth Gilbert, Ben Okri, Anthony Doerr, Rebecca Solnit, James Salter, and Terry Tempest Williams.
There’s a new episode every Monday and you can find more information about the show, support First Draft, and follow the latest news at www.firstdraftwriters.com.