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 show today focuses on a newly publsihed book that's widely seen as the definitive journalistic account of former President Trump's final year in office. The book is "I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year," and it's written by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post reporters who earlier gave us "A Very Stable Genius." Rucker is our guest on StudioTulsa.

"Goldenrod: Poems"

Jul 28, 2021

Our guest is the Ohio-based, award-winning writer and poet Maggie Smith, whose latest book of poems has recently been released. It's called "Goldenrod." It's the first book to appear from Smith since her bestselling memoir, "Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change." Like the best of Smith's earlier verse, the poems in "Goldenrod" look carefully and engagingly at the experiences of daily life -- both the mundane and the magical -- in order to affirm, celebrate, lament, and/or investigate the human experience.

What is the Delta Variant, and how is it related to the novel Coronavirus? What exactly do we know about the rapid spread of the Delta Variant now happening in Tulsa County -- and across our state? And what's the relationship between this rate of spreading and Oklahoma's relatively low vaccination rate? Are there other Coronavirus variants out there -- either here in the US or worldwide? And when will American kids under the age of 12 be allowed to get vaxxed? Our guests on ST Medical Monday are Dr. Bruce Dart, Executive Director of the Tulsa Health Department, and Dr.

Photo via www.somersetlive.co.uk

Our guest is the award-winning science journalist Melinda Wenner Moyer, whose work appears in Slate, Scientific American, and The New York Times. She's also a parent, and she joins us to discuss her first book, which is just out. "How to Raise Kids Who Aren't A**holes: Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting -- from Tots to Teens" is a guidebook focused on the many various concerns that moms and dads actually have in today's America.

(Note: This conversation first aired back in April.) Our guest on StudioTulsa is Dr. Fern L. Johnson, a Senior Research Scholar and Professor Emerita at Clark University who focuses on race and culture. She and her partner, Marlene G.

Our guest is Dr. Christine Montross, who's an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a practicing inpatient psychiatrist. She joins us to discuss her well-researched, quite unsettling new book, "Waiting for an Echo: The Madness of American Incarceration." As was noted of this volume in The New York Times Book Review: "A haunting and harrowing indictment of the deep psychological damage inflicted by the nation's punitive structures.... Montross is a gifted, often compelling storyteller....

On this edition of ST, we speak with our friend and former colleague, Steve Clem, who recently retired from Public Radio Tulsa, and Maggie Brown, a curator at the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. They're the co-authors of "Tulsa Movie Theaters," a book of photographs just now appearing in the Images of America series from Arcadia Publishing.

Our guest is Dr. Adam Stern, a psychiatrist at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and he joins us to discuss his new memoir, a candid, often moving reflection on his residency at Harvard. Per this starred summary of the book in Kirkus Reviews: "[A] dynamic debut memoir....

(Note: This interview first aired back in March.) In the first two decades of the 21st century, New York City has experienced a terrorist attack, a blackout, a hurricane, an historic recession, widespread social injustice, and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. How has all of this affected the lives of New Yorkers? Our guest is the bestselling author Craig Taylor, whose book draws on years of interviews with hundreds of NYC residents in order to render an indelible group portrait of the city.

On this edition of ST, we discuss the Play Tulsa Music program, an initiative of the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture (a/k/a Tulsa FMAC). Play Tulsa Music was first launched in September of last year as a pandemic-rooted economic recovery effort made possible by Tulsa County CARES Act funding. More than $190,000 was distributed in 2020 to 26 venues throughout Tulsa County, thereby helping to support 700+ local performances.

Our guest is Kate Biberdorf, a scientist and chemistry professor at The University of Texas who -- as "Kate the Chemist" -- has written a series of very popular books on science for young readers. Now comes her first book for adults, which she tells us about -- it's a fun, wide-ranging, easy-to-read work called "It's Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything." Ever wondered what makes dough rise? Or how exactly coffee gives us that all-important energy boost? Or why shampoo can sometimes make hair look greasy?

The Peace Corps is now 60 years old. The U.S. Government-run volunteer program -- which from the start has provided international aid in the form of person-to-person social, economic, and educational development -- was established per Executive Order by JFK in 1961; later that year, Congress passed the Peace Corps Act. On this edition of ST, we speak with Randy W. Hobler about his book, "101 Arabian Tales: How We All Persevered in Peace Corps Libya." This work documents Hobler's own experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Libya in the late 1960s.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Uma Naidoo. She's a board-certified psychiatrist (Harvard Medical School), a professional chef (Cambridge School of Culinary Arts), and a nutrition specialist (Cornell University). She's currently the Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, and she joins us to talk about her bestselling new book, "This Is Your Brain on Food." As noted by Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University: "Dr.

Yes, the climate is warming, and yes, we human beings are causing this warming. And yes, things look very bad. But what can be done...and what can **we** do...right now? Our guest has some answers; she is Dr. Kimberly Nicholas, Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at the well-regarded Lund University in Sweden.

Our old friend and colleague Nancy Pearl joins us on StudioTulsa to offer some can't-miss summer reading suggestions: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, and so forth. A bestselling author, retired librarian, and longtime resident of the Seattle area, Nancy (who's also a former Tulsan) has been making occasional recommendations to book-loving KWGS listeners for decades. It's good to hear from her again.

(Note: This discussion first aired back in March.) Our guest is Dorothy Wickenden, an author and editor at The New Yorker Magazine. She tells us about her new book, which explores various interlinked facets of American history, including abolition, the Underground Railroad, the early women's rights movement, and the Civil War. As the noted Yale historian David W. Blight has written of this book: "As a revolutionary, Harriet Tubman made many allies, none more important than her Auburn, New York, neighbors Martha Wright and Frances Seward.

(Note: This interview first aired back in February.) Our guest is Kayleen Schaefer, a journalist and author who's written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and other publications. Her latest book, which she tells us about, is "But You're Still So Young: How Thirtysomethings Are Redefining Adulthood." The book looks carefully at how thirtysomethings in America today are -- and aren't -- meeting the milestones which sociologists commonly cite as the five markers of adulthood: finishing school, leaving home, marriage, gaining financial independence, and having kids.

(Note: This discussion first aired back in March.) Our guest is Dr. Monica Aggarwal, the director of Integrative Cardiology and Prevention at the University of Florida, where she teaches plant-based nutrition while also performing various mind-body techniques with her students and patients, including yoga and meditation. (You can visit her website here.) Dr. Aggarwal joins us to discuss her latest book, "Body on Fire: How Inflammation Triggers Chronic Illness and the Tools We Have to Fight It," which came out last year, and which she co-wrote with Jyothi Rao.

(Note: This interview first aired in February of 202.) Very early in her career, the well-regarded American colonial historian Mary Beth Norton came to believe that the critical year in American independence was not 1776, but rather, 1774. Yet her academic focus on women's colonial history sidelined her interest in fleshing out this theory.

On this edition of our program, we learn about the 2021 Art 365 program from the nonprofit Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC). The artists whose work appears in this very competitive year-long program were chosen by guest curator, Grace Deveney, the associate curator of Prospect.5 in New Orleans. She's our guest today, along with Alexa Goetzinger, the associate director of OVAC. The artists selected for this year's OVAC 365 exhibit are Ginnie Baer (Edmond), Crystal Z.

On this edition of ST, our guest is the journalist and author Lisa Napoli, who joins to discuss her latest book, "Susan, Linda, Nina, & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR." It's a group biography of Susan Stamberg, Linda Wertheimer, Nina Totenberg, and Cokie Roberts: four women who fought sexism, challenged journalistic norms, covered decades of American and worldwide news, and did much more throughout their pioneering careers to build and establish National Public Radio.

Photo via 108 Contemporary

On this edition of ST, we learn about a soon-to-open exhibition at 108 Contemporary Gallery in downtown Tulsa; "A Luthier's Tale: The Craft of Stringed Instruments" will be on view from July 2nd through September 19th. Our guest is Benjamin Liggett, a luthier (i.e., a maker of stringed instruments) based here in Tulsa who's also the guest curator for this show. Per the 108 Contemporary website, this exhibit is "dedicated to the art, craft, and design of stringed instruments.

Death is something very few of like to talk about, or even think about, but it's a fact of life, after all -- the final fact of life, you might say. What if we could live our lives while looking at death in a more complete, more honest, less fearful way? Would our lives be richer? And would we actually be healthier individuals? Our guest, Barbara Becker, clearly and intelligently answers these questions in the affirmative.

(Note: This interview first aired back in February.) Our guest, Amelia Pang, is an award-winning investigative journalist who's written for "Mother Jones," "The New Republic," and other publications. In her new book, "Made in China," she profiles an political prisoner named Sun Yi, who was forced into harsh labor by the Chinese government for campaigning for the right to join a forbidden meditation movement.

When the documentary film "Period. End of Sentence." won an Oscar in 2019, the film's co-producer, Melissa Berton, said in her acceptance speech: "A period should end a sentence, not a girl's education." Now comes a new book that follows-up on that goundbreaking movie, a far-reaching book that outlines the challenges confronting those who menstruate worldwide and the solutions being offered by a new generation of body-positive activists and innovators. Our guest is the author of this work, Anita Diamant.

(Note: This interview first aired back in February.) Our guest is the writer Andrea Pitzer, who tells us about her latest book. It's a page-turning work of history about the Dutch polar explorer William Barents, one of the 16th century's greatest navigators. In particular, "Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World" details the three harrowing Arctic expeditions that Barents led, the last of which resulted in an extremely challenging year-long fight for survival. As per The Wall Street Journal: "A fascinating modern telling of Barents's expeditions.... Ms.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about food, glorious food -- and in particular, American food. What does the phrase "American cuisine" actually refer to? And what do we mean when we say that a certain dish has been "Americanized"? Is there a national menu that we all share in this vast nation? And what will food in the USA be like in the future?

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we're talking about the science and strategies of composting -- and why it's good for our planet, and why it's good for us (mentally as well as physically). It's estimated that 1/3 of all the world'd prepared food materials go to waste -- and/or simply get thrown away -- so it's not surprising that composting is now becoming more and more popular among individuals and businesses alike.

How is the widespread usage of new media affecting international relations? Or worldwide standards of diplomacy? How are social media and digital tech, for example, related to the recent rise in autocratic goverments...or the weakening of democratic ones? Our guest is Dr. Randy Kluver, the Associate Provost and Dean of the School of Global Studies and Partnerships, and a Professor in the School of Media and Strategic Communication, at Oklahoma State University.

Photo Credit: Jae Man Joo

From tonight (the 17th) through Saturday night (the 19th), Choregus Productions will present its 2021 Summer Heat International Dance Festival. Three world-class companies will perform at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center; more details on the festival, including how to get tickets, are here. Our guest on ST is the choreographer Dwight Rhoden, whose NYC-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet is a company known for its groundbreaking combination of methods, styles, and cultures.

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