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 the gardening expert Benjamin Vogt, who grew up in Oklahoma and Minnesota and is now based in Nebraska, and who is also the author of "A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future." Vogt will deliver the keynote address at a day-long gathering happening in OKC on Wednesday the 28th called "Rewilding Oklahoma: A Symposium for People, Places, and Pollinators." This event will highlight statewide successes in pollinator conservation, and you can learn more about it here.

(Note: This show first aired back in March.) Our guest is the Colorado-based writer Peter Heller, who tells us about his new novel, "The River." Per The Denver Post: "A fiery tour de force [of] poetic, staccato sentences and masterfully crafted prose.... The story itself resembles a trip down a river -- some parts are peaceful and allow for quiet introspection and big, deep breaths. But then you hit the rapids and the danger and risk jump off the page, forcing a sense of urgency. In those thrilling parts, reading required self-discipline.

"Lovely War: A Novel"

Aug 20, 2019

Our guest is Julie Berry, the bestselling young-adult novelist. Her writing has earned starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, the Horn Book, and elsewhere. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Lovely War: A Novel." As was noted of this work by School Library Journal: "The Greek gods relate the tale of how four young people's fates collide in a love story for the ages. Caught by Hephaestus in an compromising position with Ares, the god of War, Aphrodite is put on trial by her husband in a Manhattan hotel.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we present our third and final health-related installment of the popular Life Kit podcast from NPR, which is an ongoing feature presenting useful "how to" tips to listeners on various aspects of daily living. Our own John Schumann co-hosted a trio of medical-based Life Kit podcasts which originally appeared earlier this summer, and those are the three episodes we're sharing on our program (last week, the week before last, and today).

Our guest is Gaylon White, who was a sportswriter for the Denver Post, the Arizona Republic, and the Oklahoma Journal before working in the corporate world for nearly forty years. He tells us about his new book, which is his third volume to focus on minor-league baseball. The book is "Left on Base in the Bush Leagues: Legends, Near Greats, and Unknowns in the Minors." As was noted of this work by a reviewer for Baseball Almanac: "Immerse yourself in the magic of being a bush league fan....

Our guest is Philip Mudd, former deputy director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center, who tells us about his new book, "Black Site." It depicts one of the most controversial and unsettling initiatives in American history -- i.e., the post-9/11 counterterrorism effort created and led by the CIA. Just after September 11, 2001, as we learn, the CIA evolved into a war-fighting intelligence service, constructing what was known internally as "the Program" -- a web of top-secret detention facilities intended to help prevent future attacks on American soil and worldwide.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Keele Burgin, an entrepreneur, activist, author, filmmaker -- and survivor. She tells us about her new memoir, which candidly documents her incredible personal story of self-preservation, self-discovery, and self-betterment. As was noted of this book by Jennifer Read Hawthorne, a bestselling author: "Keele Burgin is a living, breathing example of the triumph of the human spirit. The story of how she overcame the extreme abuse of her childhood is nothing short of breathtaking.

Our guest is William Doyle, a bestselling author and TV producer for networks including HBO, The History Channel, and PBS. Doyle is the co-author of an important new education-focused study, which he tells us about. The book is called "Let the Children Play: How More Play Will Save Our Schools and Help Children Thrive." As was noted of this work by Michael Rich, an associate professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School: "Sahlberg and Doyle whack us in the head with the reality that 21st-century skills require old-fashioned learning as children.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we offer the second of three consecutive installments of the popular Life Kit podcast from NPR, which is an ongoing feature presenting useful "how to" tips to listeners on various aspects of daily living. Our own John Schumann co-hosted a trio of health-related Life Kit podcasts which originally appeared earlier this summer, and those are the three episodes we'll be sharing on our program (last week, today, and next week).

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is Mallory O'Meara, an author, screenwriter, and film producer who lives and works in Los Angeles. She tells us about her new book, which is a biography of Milicent Patrick -- one of Disney's first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood's classic movie monsters: The Creature from the Black Lagoon. As was noted of this volume in a starred review in BookPage: "Fascinating....

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the bestselling young-adult writer Laurie Halse Anderson, who's widely known and appreciated for the brave manner in which she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Her novel "Speak," which first appeared two decades ago, was groundbreaking in this regard.

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) The acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Daniel Okrent is our guest; he tells us about his book, "The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America." This book looks back to the 1920s is reveal a dark, forgotten chapter of American history -- a troubling era with serious implications for the present day.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we offer the first of three successive installments of the popular Life Kit podcast from NPR, which is an ongoing feature presenting useful "how to" tips to listeners on many various aspects of daily living. Our own John Schumann co-hosted a trio of health-related Life Kit podcasts which originally appeared earlier this summer, and those are the three episodes we'll be sharing on our program (today, next week, and the week after).

(Please note: This interview first aired last year.) Our guest is Vanessa Hua, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, who joins us to discuss her debut novel, "A River of Stars." It's a powerful and moving saga of modern-day motherhood, immigration, and identity in which a pregnant Chinese woman makes her way to California (i.e., Los Angeles, and then San Francisco's Chinatown) in pursuit of the American dream.

Our guest is Carla Rachel Sameth, a writer who teaches at the LA Writing Project (at California State University Los Angeles) and at Southern New Hampshire University. She joins us to discuss her new book, "One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays." As Sue William Silverman, author of "The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew," has noted of Sameth's book: "Race, class, drugs, sexuality, otherness.... Twenty-first century American hot-button issues are on full display in this brave, gritty, unflinching memoir.

River Parks Authority

The executive director of Riverparks, Matt Meyer discusses the recovery effort from this spring's Arkansas River flood, and the $8.3 million in damage to trails, infrastructure and bank erosion along the river.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the park authority's application for relief, but Meyer says it will be a reimbursement for repairs made, and Riverparks has access to less than half of the required amount. Meyer discusses the repairs that have been made, and what still needs to be done to restore Riverparks to a pre-flood state.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Adam S. Cifu; he's the co-author of a new book about "medical reversal" -- i.e., what happens when doctors start using a medication, procedure, or diagnostic tool without a robust evidence base...and then stop using it when it's found not to help, or even to harm, patients.

Photo by Uncovering Oklahoma

Our guest on this edition of ST is the OKC-based travel and humor writer, Shelby Simpson. She's the author of a book on travel called "Good Globe," but it's her more recent book, "We're All Bad in Bed," a raunchy retelling of epic bedroom and intimacy failures, that has led to a live show which will appear in Tulsa soon. "Bad in Bed Live" is an unusual book-reading event featuring 1990s hip-hop, dancers, multi-media effects, and audience participation.

(Note: This interview first aired back in March.) Our guest is the well-known hacker, inventor, entrepreneur, and technology futurist, Pablos Holman. An internationally recognized expert in 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, automated manufacturing, and cryptocurrency, Holman has contributed to our vision of tomorrow in a way that few others have. At The Intellectual Ventures Lab, he's worked on a brain-surgery tool, a machine to suppress hurricanes, 3D food printers, and a laser that can shoot down mosquitos (in order to help eradicate malaria).

Richard Pfister

The Tulsa Performing Arts Center will be a hub of contemporary dance this weekend, with two different dance festivals. Choregus Productions presents their annual SummerHeat International Dance Festival, but in conjunction with these internationally renown companies, the local contemporary dance cooperative The Bell House will present its 6th Exchange Choreography Dance Festival featuring 15 local, regional and national contemporary dance choreographers and companies presenting solos, duets, and small dance ensembles.

Through the seven week Oklahoma opioid trial against pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson, there was only one reporter on hand for every single day of the trial, and that was State Impact Oklahoma's Jackie Fortier. She joins us on this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, to talk about the trial, and the most effective arguments made by the Attorney General's office and the company's defense team.

As readers anxiously await the final volume of Hilary Mantel's trilogy on novels on the life of 16th Century royal advisor Thomas Cromwell, we bring you a conversation from December 2018, when Mantel received the Peggy V Helmerich Distinguished Author Award.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is a Wharton professor and tech entrepreneur whose new book examines how algorithms and artificial intelligence are starting to run just about every single aspect of our lives.  Kartik Hosanagar is our guest, he's the author of "A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control." Hosanagar says algorithms are doing more than shaping our Netflix and Amazon recommendations. They're assisting HR executives in who gets a job interview, or criminal justice officials on who gets probation or parole.

A hundred years ago in a dusty courtyard in Amritsar, India, a horrific massacre took place when British Raj troops opened fire on thousands of unarmed men, women, and children attending a peaceful demonstration. 1650 rounds of ammunition were expended, most hit their targets. As many as a thousand died. Today, outside of Jallianwala Bagh, as its called, there's a statue of a man, with a defiant expression, holding a clod of earth in his outstretched hand.

US Public Health Service working in Haiti after 2010 earthquake
US Public Health Service

Over the years, the U.S. Uniformed Public Health Service has contributed to containing pandemics in Africa, preventing disease outbreaks after natural disasters,  and helping move forward public health initiatives like the Clean Air Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act, but it also has been criticized for its role in the notorious Tuskegee syphillis study which followed African-Americans with the disease for decades, even after penicillin was known to cure the illness. Today, there are proposals to slash the funding for this organization, or eliminate it altogether. Our guest is Dr.

Today we welcome Sterlin Harjo back to StudioTulsa. The celebrated locally-based filmmaker has a new movie, which he tells us about. It's a documentary short called "Terlton," and it'll have its world premiere this coming Saturday, the 13th, as part of the 2019 Circle Cinema Film Festival. "Terlton" takes us back to the summer of 1985, when a small town in Oklahoma -- incredibly, and so sadly -- lost a full one-fourth of its population when an explosion happened at a local fireworks factory.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn all about the vitally important book/author/reading series known as Book Smart Tulsa, which was started ten years ago (pretty much single-handedly) by our guest, Jeff Martin. He worked for years as a local bookseller and is now the Communications Manager at Philbrook Museum of Art; he's also the co-creator of our popular Museum Confidential podcast here at Public Radio Tulsa.

After debuting last year as part of the Circle Cinema's 90th birthday bash, the Circle Cinema Film Festival is back in 2019 with a rich assortment of films as well as various art, music, and cultural experiences. Our guests are Clark Wiens, a founder of the Circle Cinema Foundation, and Chuck Foxen, the film programmer at the Circle. They tell us about many of the films and special guests who come to Tulsa as a part of this gala festival, which happens from the 11th through the 15th.

On this edition of ST, we hear about an Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (or OVAC) program that supports young professionals interested in a career as a curator, an art critic, an arts-based journalist, or the like. Through its Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowsship, OVAC has helped several individuals hone their writing and/or curatorial skills, which has culminated in a special "Curatorial Lab" series of exhibits happening at the Henry Zarrow Center for Art & Education in downtown Tulsa.

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