Martha Woodroof

Host

Martha is both a college dropout (Mount Holyoke) and a graduate school dropout (the University of Virginia).

Her first real job was as a teacher’s aide in a pilot Head Start program in Greensboro, North Carolina. She's been with WMRA since the (latest) turn of the century, and has actively freelanced for the NPR Culture Desk and for npr.org.

Before that – among a lot of other things - she co-owned restaurants, did a bit of acting, was fired as a magazine editor, hosted local TV talk shows and anchored the news, wrote a book called How to Stop Screwing Up: 12 Steps to a Real Life and a Pretty Good Time, cooked for an artist’s colony, was a country music disc jockey and a psychiatric occupational therapy aide, taught preschool, published a bunch of essays, was a morning drive-time personality on a tiny AM radio station, ran a college bookstore coffee shop, directed a college’s co-curricular programming, and failed to sell cars.

Her daughter is spinner, weaver, author, and content provider, Liz Gipson. Many of the photographs accompanying her work were taken by her husband, Charlie.

She loves words and their power to tell other people’s stories.

Her first novel, Small Blessings, was published by St. Martin’s Press in the summer of 2014.

Ways to Connect

Rachel Herr

On this episode of The Spark: Martha speaks with Books & Brews author, Rebecca Kauffman.

WMRA's Martha Woodroof and college football "spotter" Tony Britt (bonus: also CBS Sports/ESPN legend Brent Musburger) discuss Tony's special "cheat sheets" he developed for ESPN reporters and other sports media pros. 

On this episode of The Spark: Hillary 'Bill" Clemmer continues her conversation about a day’s work on a  New Zealand sheep station.

On this episode of The Spark: Hillary 'Bill" Clemmer spent several years working mostly alone on isolated New Zealand sheep stations. This is part one of her adventures.

On this episode of The SparkAlan TaylorPulitzer Prize winning historian, speaks with Martha about his new book, "American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804."

On this episode of The Spark: Harrisonburg’s Brad Burrow’s business adventures in the world of fair trade chocolate.

An Operatic Life

Aug 19, 2016
Jeff Busby

On this episode of The Spark: Australian-born Miriam Gordon-Stewart, who sang all over the world before moving to Charlottesville to co-found Victory Hall Opera.

Pruning Love

Jul 29, 2016
Mary Stickley-Godinez

On this episode of The Spark: Mary Stickley-Godinez, of Countryside Farm and Nursery in Crimora, tells how she and her husband Raul met over plant pruning. And a bit about the art and science of pruning, as well.

Up On the Roof

Jul 22, 2016

On this episode of The Spark: Twenty-one year old Richy Rohrer took his first roofing job for a paycheck. He’s still at it  because: a) he likes the challenge of the job; and b) he wants to be as good a roofer as he possibly can be.

Amanda McRaven was born and raised in Free Union. She’s a country girl, who fell in love with theater at an early age, and now she runs her own company Fugitive Kind in Los Angeles. She’s in Staunton this summer with two of her theater buddies to run Make Trouble Theater, an intensive theater experience for college students.

On this episode of The Spark: Connie Doebele retired to Staunton after 25 years on C-SPAN as a host and producer. She talks about how she went from her childhood on a Kansas farm, through radio news to politics, and from there on to C-SPAN.

On this episode of The Spark: Connie Doebele retired to Staunton after 25 years on C-SPAN as a host and producer. In the next two installments of The Spark, she talks about how she went from her childhood on a Kansas farm, through radio news to politics, and from there on to C-SPAN.

On this edition of The Spark, Martha Woodroof sits down for a chat with Lulu Miller.  Lulu lives half her life in Charlottesville, half in DC, and spends all her time making NPR’s wildly popular new show Invisibilia.

WMRA's Martha Woodroof meets Waynesboro blues singer Lorie Strother, who grew up living on the streets of Boston. Now, even though she’s got five children, a master’s degree and a good job, she still sings the blues with conviction. 

On this episode of The Spark: Cory Lay tells us how he stumbled upon an opportunity to become a Duck Pin Bowling technician at Harrisonburg's new Ruby's Arcade.

Peter Van Acker

On this episode of The Spark: Martha continues her conversation with Peter Van Acker about his merry Cuban adventures... and they talk a lot about the amazing cars he came across.

Cuba Bound

May 27, 2016

On this episode of The Spark: Peter Van Acker, and his wife Susan, have traveled all over the world. They recently went to Cuba because they wanted to experience the island before the expected flood of tourists changed things there too much.

On this episode of The Spark: Anastasia Suslaev came to America at the age of 10, knowing two words of English. Since then she'd gotten her undergraduate degree from Eastern Mennonite, her Masters from JMU, and she's just about to become a certified nurse midwife.

A Poet Emerges

May 13, 2016

On this episode of The Spark: Part two of our conversation with Scott Price. Scott had never wanted anything but a career in the Army. Then a back injury took his career, his marriage failed, and he lost his identity… but thanks to poetry, he’s now starting to rebuild his life.  

On this episode of The Spark: Scott Price discusses his time in the Army. Scott, as a VMI graduate and Army Captain, wanted nothing more than to be a good soldier.

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