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

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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

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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

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

Joshua Wolf Shenk, “Lincoln’s Melancholy

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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

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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

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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.

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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"

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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

courtesy Kathy Newman

Carnegie Mellon University professor Kathy Newman offers a look at six novels that changed America with their ability to cross genres and transcend their original forms.

Harriett Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin

jamelah / Flickr

Pennsylvania's controversial voter ID law is back in Commonwealth Court this week, but it's unlikely to be decided conclusively any time soon.

Voting rights advocates are seeking a permanent injunction against the 2012 law, which requires Pennsylvania voters to present state-issued photo identification in order to cast a ballot. Implementation was postponed ahead of last year's general election and again in 2013 in advance of the May primary.

What does a good novel have in common with an orchestral score? More than you might think, says Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Fawzi Haimor.

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Young people these days. Too busy to read books. Too worldly to seek meaning in fiction. Too addled by social media to read anything critically. Right?


J.R.R. Tolkein, The Hobbit

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Steve Tuell studies Hebrew and the Old Testament at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. As a theologian and a scholar of ancient languages, he has a special appreciation for the fantasy fiction of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

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President of the World Affairs Council in Pittsburgh Steve Sokol describes his picks in both nonfiction and fiction.

Peter Bergen, Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad

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If you consume any amount of media at all, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the idea that kids tend to lose ground academically during the summer months.

But what is the so-called “summer brain drain?” Is it real, or a media invention? And just how concerned should you be?

Pittsburgh writer and librarian Tom Sweterlitsch has wide-ranging reading interests in fiction. 

Stewart O'Nan, Songs for the Missing

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Gary Terner of Mt. Lebanon was blown away by the new short story collection from George Saunders.

George Saunders, Tenth of December

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Lori Jakiela is a poet, a memoirist and a devotee of sparse, unsentimental prose.  

A few of the books you might encounter in her writing class at Chatham or Pitt-Greensburg:

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Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd started out as a historian, and while he's no longer in academia, his reading still reflects that background. These days Dowd reads historical nonfiction mixed with fiction "with a serious historical bent." 

Edwin Coddington, The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command

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Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures executive director Jayne Adair's reading list is as rich and varied as her schedule of speakers.

Nathaniel Philbrick, Bunker Hill

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Writer and Mt. Lebanon resident Mary Frailey Calland does intensive research for her Civil War era novels. In between deep dives in the archives, she reads contemporary fiction.

James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom

Carnegie Mellon University

Thousands of high school students from across the country will compete in a first-of-its-kind computer security competition starting today. It’s being run out of Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson speaks with CMU professor David Brumley, who helped to organize the event.

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Dr. Mario Fischetti is a clinical psychologist with the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, and the moderator of its ongoing "Reading Fiction with Freud" discussion series.