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

Tommie Branch

May 12, 2009

Harrsonburg, VA – Tommie Branch grew up in Franklin County, one of seven children who slept in one bed.

An African American, he lived through grinding poverty and blatant racism that he now writes songs about.

 

Inman Majors

Apr 28, 2009

Harrisonburg, VA – Novelist Inman Majors teaches creative writing at JMU.

Major's is a Tennessean by birth. His uncle was legendary University of Tennessee football coach Johnny Mayors, and his father had a forty year career as a lobbyist in Nashville.

Inman Major's grew up in Knoxville, and his third novel, The Millionaires, is steeped in the changing South of his childhood. The book is a sprawling story of family and greed.

Bob Jones

Apr 17, 2009

Broadway, VA – Two years ago, 78-year old Bob Jones and his wife moved to Broadway, Virginia, to be closer to family.

Mr. Jones joined the Air Force at 17 and was in federal service for the next 36 years.

He then spent twelve years as a regional manager of his church's extensive welfare system before Parkinson's disease forced his retirement.

Page, VA – Captain Jennifer Martin was raised on a farm in Page County, Virginia.

She's a 16-year army veteran, three years active duty, the rest in the national guard.

Not too long ago, her Staunton-based national guard company, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Virginia, was activated and sent to Iraq. Her Combat Team was in charge of the Joint Area Support Group in Baghdad.

Dr. Margy Hobson

Jan 28, 2009

Charlottesville, VA – Dr. Margy Hobson is on staff at Southern Albemarle Family Practice, one of 13 public health clinics operated by Central Virginia Health.

Martha Woodroof recently sat down with Dr. Hobson and produced the following for WMRA's occasional series, "One Person's Voice."

Harrisonburg, VA – Anthony Eksterowicz is a Professor of Political Science at James Madison University and author of 40 articles and 7 books on the presidency and the first lady.

WMRA's Martha Woodroof recently sat down with Dr. Eksterowicz to discuss how changing times are pushing First Ladies toward a more activist role.

Harrisonburg – Anthony Eksterowicz is a Professor of Political Science at James Madison University and author of 40 articles and 7 books on the presidency and the first lady.

WMRA's Martha Woodroof recently sat down with Tony Eksterowicz to talk about what's ahead for our brand new First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Harrisonburg, VA – Harrisonburg's Gemeinschaft Home, a transitional community for ex-offenders, has helped some 2100 newly released or paroled prisoners get a job and a fresh start.

If the announced state budget cuts hold, Gemeinschaft will be defunded.

Jennie Amison, herself a recovering addict and alcoholic, was a transition specialist at Indian Creek Correctional Center when she was recruited to become Gemeinschaft's Executive Director.

Harrisonburg, VA – 8,000 people crowded into the JMU Convocation Center to hear Senator Barack Obama. Another 12,000 watched in overflow areas.

Martha Woodroof has this audio postcard of the experience, including comments from students, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, Senatorial Candidate Mark Warner, and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama.

Harrisonburg, VA – Senator Barrack Obama spoke in Harrisonburg yesterday at the James Madison University Convocation Center. The last presidential candidate to visit this part of the valley was running against Abraham Lincoln... so what does Obama's visit to JMU really mean?

Lethal Injection

Jan 22, 2008

Charlottesville, VA – U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments on whether death by lethal injection violates the U.S. Constitution. Martha Woodroof takes a look at the potential impact of this on Virginia's death row inmates.

Harrisonburg, VA – Remember the children's story about the Little Red Hen who got so tired of waiting for her friends to help make bread that she went ahead and did it herself? Well, about six years ago similar feelings of frustration with America's gas guzzling tendencies galvanized a group of concerned Harrisonburg residents into voluntarily taxing their own gas consumption.

Orange County – Last Monday, WMRA's Martha Woodroof trailed the governor and his cabinet around from sunrise to sunset, through 6 events in and around Charlottesville. At the end of the day, Martha sat down with Governor Kaine in the new Montpelier Visitor's Center to talk with him about what the day meant to him.

Charlottesville, VA – On Monday, Governor Tim Kaine took Virginia's executive branch on the road in and around Charlottesville. Reporter Martha Woodroof spent an exhausting day keeping up with them.

Pages