Richard Wolinsky co-hosted and produced "Probabilities," a program devoted to science fiction, mystery and mainstream fiction, from 1977 to 1995 on KPFA-FM. From 1995 through 2001, he co-hosted and produced the Thursday edition of "Cover to Cover," taking the program solo in early 2002, and renaming the show "Bookwaves". Along the way, he has spoken with most of the English speaking world's leading authors, including Peter Carey, Joseph Heller, William Kennedy, Margaret Atwood, Anne Rice, Gore Vidal, James Ellroy, Joyce Carol Oates, Norman Mailer, Salman Rushdie, E.L. Doctorow, and many others.
Lillian Ross of The New Yorker called her interview "the best I've ever experienced that sounded interesting to me and that sounded true to me." Richard Powers called Wolinsky "a great interviewer" and Jeffrey Eugenides said his discussion was "a great interview."
Richard Wolinsky's interviews have been published in numerous venues, including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Heavy Metal magazine, Mystery Scene Magazine, and such books as Feast of Fear: Conversations with Stephen King, The Louis L'Amour Companion, and Macabre II: Stephen King & Clive Barker. "Bookwaves" is now syndicated through Pacifica's Audioport
website and can be heard on several stations across the country.
In 2016, he began a second weekly program on KPFA-FM, "Arts-Waves" which features interviews with theatre directors, playwrights, actors and others involved in the arts, along with book interviews.
In 2014, he became theatre critic for KPFA, and produces short theatre reviews which air on "Arts-Waves" and on KPFA's morning program, "Up Front."
Extended versions of Richard's book interviews can be found on the
Radio Wolinsky and Bay Area Theater podcasts, the latter of which airs Richard's theatre reviews. Both are available via subscription at iTunes podcasts. During the 1980s, Wolinsky's programs on the American musical theatre have won accolades in the local Bay Area press. His documentary on the life of Leonard Bernstein was honored with an award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Some recent interviews have been published in Guernica Magazine.
Born and raised in New York City with a BA (Philosophy) from SUNY Binghamton and an MA (Philosophy) from the New School for Social Research, NYC, Richard moved to the Bay Area in 1975 and began volunteering at KPFA in May, 1976.
From November 1978 through September 1992, Richard Wolinsky was editor/chief writer of the KPFA-FM (Berkeley) publication Folio, the flagship program guide of the Pacifica radio network. Since that time, he has served as free-lance commercial copywriter, marketing consultant, website coordinator and copywriter, and editorial advisor to several companies and municipalities around the Bay Area. In 1998, he served as Associate Producer for a segment on the Broadway musical which appeared on CNN's Entertainment Weekly and Fortune
Richard Wolinsky is co-author (with Richard A. Lupoff and Lawrence Davidson) and editor of "The Girl in the Brass Brassiere: An Oral History of Science Fiction 1920-1950" to be published in the near future, and has written an unpublished mystery novel set in Hawaii, "Aloha, Ladyboy".
In 2007 he hosted an interview with Salman Rushdie in front of an audience at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga and has hosted several interviews as KPFA events, and in front of audiences at Bay Area bookstores.