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

Wiley Kestner

Sep 30, 2011

Wiley Kestner graduated from Yale with a B.A. in studio art (he worked mainly in oils). Now he works as the iPad team lead at Rosetta Stone.

Blue Lab Brewing

Sep 23, 2011

Bill Hamilton and Tom Lovell, of Lexington's Blue Lab Brewing, talk about turning their fascination for beer into a micro-brewery business.

Betty Kline

Sep 23, 2011

Seventy-six year old Bridgewater resident, Betty Kline, talks about her romance with roaming the world.

R.B. Horsley

Sep 23, 2011

North Garden resident, R.B. Horsley, began writing poetry after the death of her sixteen-year-old son.

Waynesboro Musician Jimmy O has been entertaining us for over 30 years. Recently, however, he's been reinventing himself as filmmaker, James Overton.

Howard Hahn

Sep 16, 2011

Howard Hahn is a member of the Shenandoah Railroad Club and the C&O Historical Society.

Mercy Harris is a 31-year old wife and mother of 3 until she ties on her skates, puts on her makeup, and slides onto the rink as Cheetah Chrome, queen-in-training of Roller Derby.

Laura Light

Sep 9, 2011

Albemarle County's Laura Light has fiddled her way through life.

Laura Bon Cash

Sep 9, 2011

Laura Bon Cash is a Waynesboro native who left to go to culinary school in Rhode Island and then returned home to create la cuisine du jour for Stone Soup Books (and Café.)

Grace Ivory Zisk

Sep 9, 2011

Essayist Grace Ivory Zisk reflects on 9-11.

Theresa Curry

Sep 2, 2011

Theresa Curry has been writing about food for a long time and recalls her early years as a writer.

Audrey Wood, a middle school student at North Branch School in Afton, was one of 6 national winners of the Library of Congress annual competition, "Letters About Literature."

Mark Cline

Sep 2, 2011

Mark Cline is best known for making huge fanciful creations out of fiber glass, which show up everywhere from Dinosaur Land to Broadway.

18 year old singer/songwriter, George Washburne shares his hopes and dreams for a career in music.

The Country Store

Aug 2, 2011

Batesville, VA – A good definition of the space between a rock and a hard place might be the economic viability of a traditional Virginia country store. Once the heartbeat of farming communities' commerce and conversation, these old-fashioned emporiums have become endangered by rural Virginians increasing mobility. So, the question facing rural communities is how to keep "the country store" conversation going if "the country store" commerce is going elsewhere.

Culpeper, VA – History is riddled with mistakes.

One of these mistakes, concerning the birthplace of Pete Hill, a Baseball Hall of Fame baseball player you've probably never heard of, was corrected recently with the unveiling of a new historical marker by the side of the road in Culpeper.

For Virginia Public Radio, Martha Woodroof reports.

Staunton – The Tucson shootings highlighted the need to improve mental health services nationwide.

Western State Hospital has long been Virginia's "last resort" for the severely mentally ill, but thanks to new drug therapies and recovery-focused treatment plans, today's hospital bears little resemblance to the place once known as Western Lunatic Asylum.

Martha Woodroof offers this update.

Harrisonburg, VA – Martha Woodroof moderated the 26th District Candidate Forum at VMRC Friday, May 28th.

Democrat Kai Degner and Independent Carolyn Frank were in attendance, Republican Tony Wilt did not attend.

Charlottesville – Democrats all over the country felt the heat in in the recent local and state elections.

In Central Virginia, Democratic incumbent David Toscano faced a challenge from Independent Party candidate Robert Brandon Smith the Third. One of the most remarkable things about Smith's candidacy was the fact that he is homeless.

Smith ultimately lost his bid for the 57th district seat but he did garner 21% of the vote.

Jessica Penner

Oct 1, 2009

Harrisonburg, VA – In this installment of WMRA's One Person's Voice, you'll meet Jessica Penner, a young woman who was born with a disease that causes bony growths on one side of her body.

In 2003, Jessica's doctors discovered that complications had developed with a previously-treated brain tumor.

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