Tara Murtha



Tara Murtha

Author of critically acclaimed "Ode to Billie Joe" for the 33 1/3 series

Bylines New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Shondaland, Philadelphia Inquirer, PennLive,, etc.

Email: Follow: @taramurtha

Working cat mom.



How Pa. Lawmakers Rely on Big Tobacco’s Playbook to Suppress Rights

PA lawmakers are using Big Tobacco's playbook to block worker protections. Link to Story

Should SCOTUS overturn Roe? | Opinion

The anti-choice movement doesn't want regulation after all. The goal isn’t protection, it’s arrest.
Philadelphia Inquirer Link to Story

Finding Balance in a Tiny, Wobbly Boat

Every stroke is an invitation to correct mistakes. Rowing is about perpetually starting over.
The New York Times Link to Story

On the Real ‘Abortion Divide’

Pennsylvania has long been a bellwether state and a testing ground for anti-choice policies.
Rewire News Link to Story

The Highwomen are revolutionizing country music

Country music is often described as three chords and the truth. But whose truth gets to be told?

With Title IX under fire, an alternative remedy | Opinion

The complaint in Wible v. School District of Philadelphia frankly reads like a horror movie.
Penn Capital Star Link to Story

The Performance Art of Dolly Parton

"I always think of her, the Dolly image, like a ventriloquist does his dummy," explained Parton.
Shondaland Link to Story

What She Hasn't Got: An Apology For Sinéad O'Connor

Sinéad O’Connor has become our lady of perpetual redemption.
Refinery29 Link to Story

The Secret Life of Bobbie Gentry

50 years after Ode to Billie Joe, Bobbie Gentry's pioneering career continues to inspire young artists.
Rolling Stone Link to Story

Why is the Legislature papering over its #MeToo crisis?

How to respond to the outrage without taking meaningful action. Link to Story

'9 to 5' Turns 35, and It's Still Radical Today

The plot of 9 to 5 feels nothing short of radical, even (and perhaps especially) today.
Rolling Stone Link to Story

In a new book, domestic workers get their #MeToo moment. We need to listen.

Here to find the American dream, domestic workers often discover a nightmare.
The Washington Post Link to Story


Tara Murtha

Critically acclaimed "Ode to Billie Joe" for the 33 1/3 Series/Bloomsbury

"She Does Not Want What She Has Not Got: An Apology For Sinead O'Connor" in The B-Sides, Bloomsbury, September 2019

"The Ripple Effect," CB Books anthology, 2012

Freelance & Essays
Covering health policy, science, gender, violence, trauma, music, books, art, media & culture published at New York Times, Rolling Stone, Poynter, Shondaland, Washington Post, etc.

Ochberg Fellow at Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, Columbia University

Adjunct Professor
Temple University, 2013-2014
Rosemont College, 2013-2014

On-Stage Event Moderation, Speaking & Interviews
Ken Burns' Country Music Premiere, World Cafe, 2019
In Conversation with Glennon Doyle, Keswick Theatre, 2019
In Conversation with Andy Borowitz, Keswick Theatre, 2018
An Evening with Dean Strang & Jerry Buting of "Making a Murderer," two sold-out nights at Keswick Theatre, 2016
The Spiral Bookcase, Barrelhouse Reading, 2015
Speaker, March to End Rape Culture Philadelphia, 2014
In Conversation with Damien Echols, 215 Literary Festival, 2013
Barrelhouse Conference panel on memoir writing, 2013

Readings from Cherry Bomb Books War on Women, The Performance Salon Philadelphia, 2013
The Lower 40: An Ode to Bobbie Gentry, World Cafe, 2014
The Lower 40: An Ode to Bobbie Gentry, Underground Arts, 2014
Ode to Bobbie Gentry: Celebrating a Living Legend, Bell House, NYC, 2018

Interview, Podcasts, Radio
"Deep Dive: An All Music Podcast," 2019
CKUA "Hidden Track" podcast, 2019
High in the '70s, WXPN, 2018
PRI Studio 360, "Ode to an Enigma," 2017
WHYY Radio Times, "Delving into the Mysteries of 'Ode to Billie Joe' & Bobbie Gentry," 2014
"Something Cool" podcast, 2015
Fun2Know Podcast, 2015
WHYY, Prostitution & Trauma, supported by Scattergood Foundation, 2013
WHYY Radio Times, Statute of Limitation in Child Sex Abuse Cases, 2012

Health Policy, Bucks Co. Women's Advocacy
Shared Safety, City of Philadelphia

Follow @taramurtha