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

On this episode of The Spark: Patrick Mayerchak is taking retirement in stride and getting the band back together. He and four college buddies started a band back in the sixties, and now that they’ve all had careers and families… it’s time to jam again.

Daniel Stein

On this episode of The Spark: Martha Woodroof learns more about astrophotography from rising college senior Daniel Stein.  Daniel loves nothing better than spending entire nights photographing the night sky.

Daniel Stein's website

Chirp To Win

May 21, 2015

On this episode of The Spark: Did you know that some world class performers have beaks?

Meet canary expert Andre Dight. Andre is a canary club leader and travels to bird competitions. Bird enthusiasts have even created an online canary jukebox.

Pressing On

May 15, 2015

On This Edition of The Spark: Emily Hancock loves language and words, and also loves old-fashioned methods of printing them.  She revels in using vintage foot-powered or hand-cranked presses, and hand-carved illustration blocks.

On this edition of The SparkSkilled piano technician John Schaldach shows there’s more ways than just performance to be involved in making beautiful music. 

Jennifer Lockard Connerley

On this episode of The Spark: Martha Woodroof speaks with Jennifer Lockard Connerley, who paints portraits that, she admits, contain something of herself. 

Advising Alger

Apr 24, 2015

On this edition of The Spark: Martha Woodroof steps aside and lends the interview chair to JMU President Jon Alger.

In this special broadcast, President Alger interviews three James Madison University students about their academic life and their campus experience.

The Students:

Joe Balsamo

Finding the Form

Apr 17, 2015
Susan Bacik

On this edition of The Spark: Martha woodroof speaks with Charlottesville’s Susan Bacik. Susan has been creating sculpture out of found objects for over a quarter of a century.

On this edition of The Spark: Martha speaks with Perry Shank. Mr. Shank teaches music to the lucky students of Smithland Elementary School in Harrisonburg. And yes, that involves singing and playing the recorder. But it also means finger tutting and creating their own electronic music. 

Sounds created by Smithland Elementary Students:
DJ Maestro
Smithland Compositons

Boutique Catering

Apr 3, 2015

On this edition of The Spark, Martha speaks with Mike Lund. Mike spent seven years in the kitchen of the famed Inn at Little Washington, working his way up to second-in-command under chef/owner Patrick O’Connell. These days, Mike does his creative, culinary thing at Mike Lund Food in Staunton.

Mike Lund on Facebook

Pages