New Stories

Podcast Review: The Moth

by Kara Goughnour

It was three in the morning and my roommate and I were on another writing binge. I was laid out on the floor, and he was huddled up in my bed insisting that he really had something with the metaphor that he was writing.

I asked him to put something inspiring on that would help me crank out the last three pages of my short story. He excitedly obliged, and a garbage can of tissues later, I had listened to my first episode of The Moth.

The Moth is a podcast reminiscent of TED Talks, with live personal stories being told. However, while TED Talks have an educational tone, The Moth focuses on deep personal stories and interpersonal relations. The episodes center around a certain topic, with the episode that I originally listened to focusing on death, hence the tissues. It featured both a story told by a Holocaust survivor and a story from a woman who, instead of the coroner, bathed her dead husband to say goodbye.

The Moth was started in 1997 and has been a podcast since 2008. Its episodes are about thirty minutes long, and it also features an hour-long Moth Radio Hour.

However, the podcast’s most interesting feature, to me at least, is its live monthly shows in downtown Pittsburgh. At the shows, they have a keynote speaker of the night, but also host “slams,” where the audience can sign up for a chance to tell their story and potentially be featured on the podcast itself.

For more information on both the podcast and the live shows, visit

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