Josh Raulerson

Morning Edition Host

Josh Raulerson is the local host for Morning Edition weekdays from 5-9 a.m. on 90.5 WESA.

Josh comes to Pittsburgh by way of Aspen, Colorado, where he was News Director and morning news anchor at Aspen Public Radio (KAJX-FM). An Iowa native, he previously hosted All Things Considered and Weekend Edition on Iowa Public Radio (WSUI-AM), and worked as a weekend host and fill-in host for Morning Edition on WOI-AM in Ames, Iowa. 

He holds a B.A. in Journalism and English from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. Josh lives in Greenfield with his wife, Amy, and daughters Greta and Annalyse. His book, Singularities: Technoculture, Transhumanism, and Science Fiction in the 21st Century, was published in 2013 by Liverpool University Press.

Ways to Connect

courtesy LiveLight

Say you have a large volume of digital video — hours of nanny-cam footage, perhaps, or a wedding reception.

And it’s boring, deadly boring. 

But suppose that, somewhere on that tape, something interesting does happen. Maybe it's just five seconds’ worth of attention-worthy images, buried under a mountain of redundant and predictable ones.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

  Like any English professor, Clint Benjamin spends a lot of his time grading papers.

“There’s a mountain – a teetering Matterhorn of papers at the end of the weekend, or during the week,” Benjamin said. “You’ve just gotta get through them.”

By his own estimate, Benjamin spends 30 to 40 hours a week on grading alone. He also has to attend meetings, answer emails, keep office hours, and commute between the Community College of Allegheny County and Duquesne University campuses, where in a typical week he prepares and teaches five sections’ of English and writing classes.

Edward Everett Hale, 1904 (via Wikimedia Commons)

An online debate broke out earlier this week over two otherwise unremarkable lines in a 1648 poem by the English poet Robert Herrick:

Tumble me down, and I will sit / Upon my ruins, (smiling yet :)

Brendan Bourke

National Book Award winner Colum McCann will speak to Pittsburgh-area high school students Monday as featured author for the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA)'s 2014 "One Book, One Community" program.

McCann will appear at Woodland Hills High School to discuss his 2013 novel TransAtlantic, which combines historical research with fictional elements in a story that spans centuries, continents, and multiple generations of characters.

The Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, Pa. has hired a part time curator to oversee its collection of rare artifacts from the U.S. Civil War.

Diane Klinefelter is a historian who served as the library’s director until 2012. She will return in January to take up the new position, which is being funded through a grant from the Massey Charitable Trust.

For more than a year and a half, the Speaking Volumes project has brought 90.5 WESA listeners weekly conversations about books and reading with Pittsburghers from all walks of life.

As Speaking Volumes moves from a weekly series to a more occasional segment, host and producer Josh Raulerson shares his recent reads with 90.5 WESA's Larkin Page Jacobs.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Business and technology teacher John Inserra of City Charter High School gives a reading list that advocates for broader thinking and sustainable living. 

David Orr, “The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention

Flickr user albertogp123

The stereotypes about adults seeking GED certification can be ugly and simplistic. But the reality is that many lack a high school diploma for reasons largely outside their control: health problems, family issues and immigration status, just to name a few.

Some, like Rebekah Petrakovits, were home-schooled without proper oversight from school officials who were supposed to monitor their progress.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Kevin Acklin is the chief of staff for Pittsburgh’s Mayor-elect Bill Peduto. To get ready for his new position, Acklin has been brushing up on some political non-fiction.

Michael Weber, “Don’t Call Me Boss: David L. Lawrence, Pittsburgh’s Renaissance Mayor

Courtesy photo

President of the Pittsburgh Technology Council Audrey Russo talks about the books she keeps piled on her nightstand and drawing inspiration from strong female role models.

Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"

Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

Dave Newman worked as a house painter, a truck driver, a bookstore manager and a college teacher before taking on his latest job as an award-winning novelist. As in his own fiction, Newman's reading interests reflect both his working-class background and an interest in life at the margins of the Rust Belt.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

In celebration of what would have been jazz legend Billy Strayhorn's 98th birthday, janera solomon, executive director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, talks about her insights from his biography and legacy.

Sheryl Sandberg, “Lean In”

Courtesy Braddock Avenue Books

Author and Pittsburgh native Mason Radkoff  talks down and out characters, fatherhood, day-to-day reality in writing, and the comeback of the short story.

Richard Russo, “The Risk Pool

Fall property tax collections for the city of Pittsburgh are $3.7 million below projections, according to the second-quarter report published this week by the mayor's finance office.

The millage rate may now need to be raised in order to correct the shortfall, though budget officials say it's too soon to say whether that will be necessary.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

City of Bridges: The following report is the last is a three-part series examining the status of Pittsburgh bridges as the Pennsylvania Legislature considers funding for transportation infrastructure.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

City of Bridges: The following report is the second is a three-part series examining the status of Pittsburgh bridges as the Pennsylvania Legislature considers funding for transportation infrastructure.

Hundreds of bridges in Allegheny County alone are overdue for repairs or upgrades, and whatever happens in the final weeks of the legislative session, it’s unlikely lawmakers will approve funding for all of them.

joseph a / Flickr


City of Bridges: The following report is the first is a three-part series examining the status of Pittsburgh bridges as the Pennsylvania Legislature considers funding for transportation infrastructure.

The Pittsburgh area is home to hundreds of bridges — by some counts, more than any city in the world.

It also has a higher percentage of structurally deficient bridges than any other U.S. city. If your goal is to highlight the problem, one in particular makes a pretty good backdrop.

When he's not busy representing Pittsburgh's East End in the state House of Representatives, Rep. Dan Frankel enjoys pleasure-reads about the political process. To him, it never feels like work.

Robert A. Caro, “The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. 4

Tim Cook, founding director of the nonprofit The Saxifrage School, speaks about grounded ideas, finding the fantastic wherever we are, reserving winter for fiction and "gift-like" value.

William Carlos Williams, “A Sort of Song

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hills) likes page-turning crime dramas and thrillers with a political bent. He has a unique vantage point on novels set in Washington, which — as it turns out — are more true to life than you might think.

David Baldacci, The Forgotten

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Karen Dietrich is the author of a memoir, "The Girl Factory" (Globe Pequot Press, 2013).  She earned an MFA in poetry from New England College.  Her writing has appeared in Bellingham Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Specter, PANK, Joyland, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and elsewhere. 

She recently joined the faculty of the online creative writing MFA program at University of Arkansas at Monticello.  She lives in Greensburg, Pa.  Visit her online at

Courtesy Brian O’Neill

Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer and author of "The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-First Century," muses on the value of location-based writing, fiction set in Pittsburgh, writing about sex and appreciating poetry as a bad poet.

Kaui Heart Hemmings, “The Descendants

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA


Braddock Mayor John Fetterman speaks on the lessons he has learned from literary accounts of history. 

Joshua Wolf Shenk, “Lincoln’s Melancholy

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Entertainer David Newell — better known to audiences as "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" resident deliveryman Mr. McFeely — talks with Speaking Volumes about biographies, his own literary future and the reading habits of his lifelong friend Fred Rogers.

Lee Child, “Killing Floor

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Choreographer Staycee Pearl uses her love of science fiction and post-modern literature as a source of inspiration for her work.

Octavia Butler, “Bloodchild and Other Stories

Andy Warhol Museum

Warhol Museum director Eric Shiner’s reading interests are eclectic in a way that Andy would surely appreciate. 

Grace Coddington, “Grace: A Memoir

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Not all Ayn Rand fans are small-government conservatives. Take Allegheny County Controller and self-professed liberal Democrat Chelsa Wagner, for example …

Wally Lamb, “She’s Come Undone

In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Paper editor Chris Potter takes his social commentary with a little ironic distance and a healthy dose of the absurd.

Chuck Palahniuk, "Lullaby"

Courtesy PublicSource

Freelance reporter Leah Samuel writes about social and environmental issues for PublicSource and others. As a journalist, and as a reader, she finds the lessons of history are best learned from the margins.

Philip Beard, "Dear Zoe"

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Essayist and improv comedian Andrea Laurion reads an eclectic mix of non-fiction, but all of her picks remain grounded by a strong narrative voice.

Rona Jaffe, The Best of Everything