Rich Fisher

General Manager & host of StudioTulsa

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government.  Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.  

In addition, Rich is an active musician. He’s currently the principal trombonist of the Signature Symphony at TCC, leads the Starlight Jazz Orchestra, and is a free-lance musician whose work ranges from the pit of touring Broadway musicals, to the salsa band, Grupo Salsabor.

Ways to Connect

Our guest is Daniel Wilson, the bestselling sci-fi writer and Tulsa native (and TU alum) whose latest novel, just out in paperback, is "The Clockwork Dynasty." (Note that we spoke with Wilson last summer, when this book was first being published.) As was noted of this novel in The Los Angeles Review of Books: "Wilson is one of the foremost prophets of the near future.... In 'The Clockwork Dynasty,' the irrepressibly readable Wilson has retreated to pseudo-vampiric sentient robots.

On this edition of ST, we learn about a striking new show on view at Philbrook, "Innovative Impressions," which will run through September 9th. Per the Philbrook website, this exhibit "explores an under-studied aspect of three Impressionists' careers: their groundbreaking prints and the techniques they developed through collaboration and experimentation. The artists of the Impressionist group are known for their innovative painting methods.

Looking for a great book or three to relax with this summer? Of course you are. We've got lots of surefire suggestions on that score from Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer here on StudioTulsa. A widely beloved literary critic, editor, author, and now-retired librarian -- and a former resident of Tulsa -- Nancy shares with us new and recent works of fiction, mystery, history, and more. Here, in order, are the books that she chats with us about:

1) "1947: Where Now Begins" by Elisabeth Asbrink

2) "Mozart's Starling" by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

The Blue Zones Project will present a series of events here in Tulsa this week, and so, on this edition of ST Medical Monday, we listen back to a Blue Zones-related interview from our archives. In 2016, we spoke with one Tony Buettner. Several years ago, Tony's brother Dan executed the original Blue Zones study, and then wrote a bestselling book about same.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in October.) What's it like to live on one-tenth of the fossil-fuel consumption of the average American? Alarmed by the drastic changes now occurring in the Earth's climate systems, our guest on today's ST -- who is a climate scientist and father of two -- decided to find out. And he's very glad he did. Peter Kalmus is our guest; he is an atmospheric scientist at Caltech / Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and he has a book out.

Our guest is Allen Gannett, the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a software analytics firm whose clients have included Microsoft, Marriott, Home Depot, Aetna, and Honda.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the Tulsa-based playwright Ilan Kozlowski, whose two-act dramatic comedy, "Shades of White" will be staged at the Tulsa PAC on June 22nd and 23rd. As noted of this work at the Tulsa PAC website: "Set in Tulsa in 1996 -- the 75th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre -- [this play] explores the relationships between an Israeli immigrant and a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and their wives. Narrow-minded Dr. Whitehill and his crone of a wife, Birdie, are set in their miserable ways until Dr.

Now that it's been a week since the unprecedented (and, by many accounts, quite surreal) summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore, what are the main "takeaways" from that event? What did we learn? And what -- if anything -- did each individual actually gain or achieve? And what happens next? Our guest is Scott Snyder, a senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we learn about Physicians for a National Health Program (or PNHP). This collective, per its website, is "a nonprofit research and education organization of 20,000 physicians, medical students, and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance." Our guest is Dr. Ed Weisbart, who heads the Missouri Chapter of PNHP.

(Note: This interview originally aired in January.) For a number of different -- and often unsettling -- reasons, issues of race and racism have by now come into focus in American life in a pervasive manner that we, as a society, have not seen in decades. Or maybe, actually, we as a nation have never been as racially aware, or as racially alert, as we are at this moment. Thus we're discussing an important textbook in this regard; "Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice" first appeared back in the 1990s, and it has just been published in a new (fourth) edition.

(Note: This interview originally aired in December.) Our guest is the author and journalist Ted Genoways, who is a contributing editor at Mother Jones, The New Republic, and Pacific Standard. A fourth-generation Nebraskan, Genoways has a book out that profiles a subject near and dear to his heart. "This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm" documents the lives and labors behind a small family farm located in York County, Nebraska.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview from October of last year. At that time, we spoke with Jennifer Egan about her novel, "Manhattan Beach," which is just now out in paperback. As was noted of this book in a starred review in Kirkus: "After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways...Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we revisit an interview that first aired in April with Dr. Daniela Lamas, author of "You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor’s Stories of Life, Death, and In Between." Per Publishers Weekly: "In this ruminative account of treating patients, Lamas, a pulmonary and critical care doctor at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, analyzes how the critically ill manage life during and after treatment. She meets people who are neither bitter nor sorrowful about their conditions, but are constantly aware of their precarious states....

Our guest on ST is Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, who grew up in Oklahoma and is now based in the Seattle area. He's a medical marijuana expert who's also a clinical instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine; his focus is on the use of cannabis in clinical practice, medical research, and education. Dr. Aggarwal holds degrees in medicine, medical geography, chemistry, philosophy, and religious studies. He'll be speaking in support of State Question 788 today (the 8th) here in Tulsa, and then he'll do so tomorrow (the 9th) in Norman, Oklahoma.

On this edition of our show, we learn all about Kendall Whittier, Incorporated, or KWI, which is a neighborhood-minded and long-running nonprofit now marking its 50th Anniversary. KWI is, per its website, "a home-grown organization incorporating self-sufficiency for our neighbors through food security, nutritional health, and well-being." KWI -- the only food pantry in the Tulsa area that actually delivers to its participants' doorsteps -- will host an event tonight (Thursday the 7th) in celebartion of its Golden Anniversary.

Our guest is Danielle Allen, the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, who joins us to discuss her new book. That well-regarded book, "Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.," is an unflinching memoir of Allen's late cousin as well as a detailed and accessible critique of America's criminal justice system. Per Jennifer Senior in The New York Times: "A compassionate retelling of an abjectly tragic story.... Among the most valuable contributions Allen makes is forcing us to ask: To what end are we locking up our children?

On this edition of ST, a conversation with Jaime Casap, the so-called "Education Evangelist" at Google. Casap will be the keynote speaker at the Tulsa Regional Chamber's annual State of Education gathering, happening tomorrow (Wednesday the 6th) at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center on South 107th East Avenue.

Our guest is Dr. Elisha Waldman, a pediatric palliative care physician now based in Chicago, who tells us about his new book. It's a memoir called "This Narrow Space: A Pediatric Oncologist, His Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Patients, and a Hospital in Jerusalem," and it chronicles -- in ways lyrical, bittersweet, and inspiring -- the seven years he spent as a pediatric oncologist in Jerusalem. While there, as we learn, Dr.

Our guest is the the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Lawrence Wright, who joins us to discuss his new book. "God Save Texas" is a collection of stereotype-busting essays exploring the history, culture, and politics of Lone Star State. As was noted of this book by Jennifer Szalai of The New York Times: "Vivid.... Omnivorous.... Affectionate and genial.... [Wright] captures the full range of Texas in all its shame and glory.... An illuminating primer for outsiders who may not live there but have a surfeit of opinions about those who do....

Our guest is the noted gardening expert, Lee Reich, whose books include "Weedless Gardening" and "Landscaping with Fruit" -- and who writes a syndicated garden column for the Associated Press. He joins us to discuss his new book, "The Ever Curious Gardener: Using a Little Natural Science for a Much Better Garden." The book shows how one can employ scientific know-how to help plants thrive during a drought, outwit weeds by understanding their nature and composition, make the best year-round use of compost, and so forth.

Our guest is Roger Thompson, a Tulsa native and nonfiction writer who also directs the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Formerly, Thompson was a wilderness canoe guide in Minnesota; later on, he founded an environmental program in Banff, Alberta, Canada. His newest book, which he told us about recently while visiting Tulsa, grew directly out his longtime appreciation of outdoor exploration.

Since the end of World War II, the Atlantic Alliance between the countries of Western Europe and the United States has been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. Despite various strains over the years, my guest today has said: "We've always argued about the 'means,' not the 'ends,' of policy. Now we seem to want very different end results." He was referring in this comment to the Trump Administration's decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal, despite near-unanimous European opposition.

(Note: This interview originally aired in March.) It's often noted that health care in America is changing quickly and dramatically -- and that it is, moreover, in a state of crisis -- but can the same be said for therapy? Our guest is Dr. Enrico Gnaulati, a clinical psychologist based in California.

LOUIS LAMONE, PHOTOGRAPHER; BILL SCOVILL AND NORMAN ROCKWELL, CA 1962; INKJET PRINT, NORMAN ROCKWELL COLLECTION, ©1962 NORMAN ROCKWELL FAMILY AGENCY.

On this encore edition of StudioTulsa, we revisit an interview from back in February regarding "Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera." This show -- now on view at Gilcrease, but closing on June 10th -- is the first-ever exhibition to explore in depth the famous illustrator's richly detailed study photographs, images that he used, quite carefully, as reference points for his iconic paintings. Our guest is Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, the deputy director and chief curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

Neurobiologist and primatologist Robert Sapolsky has spent his professional life attempting to understand the underpinnings and science behind human behavior, studying wild baboon populations as well as the complex workings of the human brain. The professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" recipient is the author of several books on various aspects of behavior -- and his latest, "Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worse," seems like a summation of his knowledge on the subject.

Photo by George Hirose

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with mezzo-soprano and vocal performance artist Alicia Hall-Moran, a versatile singer at home with opera, art, theatre, and jazz. Hall-Moran made her Broadway debut understudying as "Bess" in the revival of "The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess," but the main thrust of her work is in varied collaborations with a "who's who" of creative types -- from her husband, the celebrated jazz musician Jason Moran, to visual artists like Carrie Mae Weems and choreographers like Bill T. Jones. 

On this broadcast of ST, we learn about a new book called "Art Deco Tulsa" -- and our guests are the two people who created it: Suzanne Fitzgerald Wallis wrote the text, and Sam Joyner made the photographs. As is noted of this book at its publisher's website: "Transformed from a cattle depot into the Oil Capital of the World, Tulsa emerged as an iconic Jazz Age metropolis. The Magic City attracted some of the nation's most talented architects, including Bruce Goff, Francis Barry Byrne, Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph R.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Katie Watson, an award-winning professor who has taught bioethics, medical humanities, and constitutional law for several years at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She joins us to discuss her smart, well-balanced, and accessible new book, "Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Ordinary Abortion." Per The Chicago Tribune, it "is a thoughtful and engaging consideration of one of this country's most controversial words: abortion." And further, from Louise P.

Our guest is the California-based seismologist, Dr. Lucy Jones, whose new book is "The Big Ones." It offers a bracing look at some of the history's greatest natural disasters, world-altering events whose reverberations we continue to feel today. At Pompeii, for example, Dr. Jones explores how a volcanic eruption in the first century AD challenged prevailing views of religion. Later in the book, she examines the California floods of 1862 and how they show that memory itself can change or fade over successive generations.

Photo by Valery Lyman

Our guest is the photographer and filmmaker Valery Lyman, who now has a striking show on view at Living Arts in downtown Tulsa called "Breaking Ground." This show, per the Living Arts website, aims to travel "through the American psyche and landscape. Documentary artist Valery Lyman has been photographing and recording audio in the Bakken region of North Dakota over the course of five years, documenting the rise of the oil industry there and the substantial migration that went along with it.

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