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

Joy and Sunshine

Oct 10, 2014

Joy Loving talks with WMRA's Martha Woodroof about why Virginia should go solar. College towns like Harrisonburg should solarize, she says. (Oh, and this also involves a spoonbread recipe.)

Squaaaaawwwk!

Oct 3, 2014

Dr. Dave McRuer works at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. As a wildlife veterinarian, his mission is to treat wild animals and educate humans how to interact with them.

Jazz Singer

Sep 26, 2014

After years of absorbing musical influences from Brooklyn and Boston, jazz singer Nadine Chase in 2007 settled in the Shenandoah Valley.

Barclay Rives describes his family as being on a riches to rags trajectory —he’s directly descended from politicians and landowners who were part and parcel of the Commonwealth’s Colonial History.

Editing The Breeze

Sep 12, 2014

Sean Cassidy is starting his second year as editor of The Breeze, JMU's seriously award-winning campus newspaper. Preparing himself to boldly go into the changing world of journalism, ready to change everything but his ethical standards.

Now he's an agnostic professor of music industry. On WMRA's The Spark, we meet Joey Taylor AKA Ojo Taylor of the 80's-90's Christian punk band, Undercover.

A web extra --more of Martha's talk with Joe/Ojo Taylor below.
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And some of his music.
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Navy vet Karl Beckett amazed WMRA's Martha Woodroof by sporting the biggest hair she'd seen "since the 1970’s." Martha just had to introduce herself and ask his story.

Like A Rolling Ssam

Aug 14, 2014

Harrisonburg's foodie scene got more variety with the arrival of Mashita, a food truck serving Korean cuisine. WMRA's Martha Woodroof chats with enterprising epicurean, Mikey Reisenberg.

Tomato Guru

Aug 8, 2014

How does one pick a bushel of tomatoes without kneeling? It depends on how they're strung up. Though he'd humbly disagree, many Harrisonburg folks think that Singers Glen farmer, Marlin Burkholder, knows all there is to know about growing tomatoes.

Bob Driver!

Aug 1, 2014

Homegrown bluesman, regional acoustic guru, musician-booster and long-ago owner of the legendary Little Grill: Bob Driver. Bob chats with WMRA's Martha Woodroof about some 'a this and some 'a that.

This is a web-only bonus: extra audio of Bob Driver who appeared on The Spark .




A chat with self-described "Author, Poet, Spoken Word Artist, Motivational Speaker, & Artist" Angela Carter.

Angela Carter appeared on The Spark . Here is a bonus: a recording of her reading her poem Morning Glory .

We meet Luke Frazier, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra's New Principal Pops Conductor, who premiers 2 new programs July 25th and 26th at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs. One explores the Civil War through period music, journal entries, speeches, and historical accounts.

Charles Marsh, the acclaimed author of Reclaiming Bonhoeffer discusses his new book, Strange Glory: A life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer , which the Wall Street Journal calls “truly beautiful and heartbreaking.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian and anti-Nazi dissident who was executed by the Nazis just weeks before the end of the war in Europe.

This time on the Spark, Martha speaks with audio book producer Paul Heitsch.

Bill Fawcett, WMRA's intrepid engineer, has happily gone to the dogs...

In 1978, she was in the vanguard of female pastors (being only the second-ever ordained Presbyterian woman in her state). Ann Held remembers the long and winding road she took to first become a pastor, back in the 1970's when there weren’t many women in the field.

Just where did the name St Brigid Press come from?



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