Martha Woodroof


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

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

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

An Eye For Eating

Mar 27, 2015

On this edition of The Spark, Martha Woodroof speaks with freelance, commercial photographer Ron Rammelkamp.

Ron is not shy. His response to being laid-off by Rosetta Stone, was to knock on the doors of Charlottesville businesses and ask if anyone needed a photographer. A knock on C-ville Weekly’s door lead to Ron’s deep professional relationship with the city’s food.

The Magic of Radio

Mar 20, 2015

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.

Lulu Miller's Website

On this edition of The Spark, Martha Woodroof speaks with writer Erika Raskin.  Erika grew up the child of Marcus Raskin (a human rights activist whom Dennis Kucinich called, "the dean of the American Left") and novelist Barbara Raskin. Her own first novel, Close, came out in October.

Moving Forward

Mar 6, 2015

On The Spark, Martha Woodroof speaks with John Arnold, who went from grass, to pills, to shooting heroin. And then he went to Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge; where, at age 24, he's found a path to recovery.

Shenandoah valley Teen Challenge on Facebook

Kenan Rubenstein

Martha speaks with Sophia Weideman, who has been drawing cartoons her whole life, but it took a while for her to find her own superheroes.

Sophia Draws

ETSY - Sophia Makes Things

Sophia Weidemen's Tumblr feed

Jubilant Skier

Feb 20, 2015

On this episode of The Spark, Martha Woodroof spends some time with Seth Whitten, who lost his leg in an accident when he was 14, and later went on to become a jubilant skier.

Berkeley House B&B

Feb 13, 2015
Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast - Facebook Page

Okay, what do you do if you’ve spent your professional life in Australia, and have zero DIY experience? Well, if you're Jeff Ribman, you buy a rambling old house in Staunton, Virginia, that needs a lot of work and start renovating it as a B&B.

Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast - Facebook Page