[Review] The Moth Radio Hour podcast

The Moth Radio Hour podcast tells stories that aren’t prominent enough to make it to the headlines, yet, are enough to make heads turn.

Last year we experienced deepening international tensions, escalating fear and a general disconnect from the essence of what makes us human. In this sombre climate arrived The Moth Radio Hour. Quietly but steadily, it is proving to be the antidote for the alienating news stories of today. Alternatively known as The Moth Podcast, it’s a powerhouse production that manages to stay out of the mainstream while remaining relevant and necessary.

These are stories that can be told nowhere else

The Moth is a non-profit group based in New York City dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The organisation hosts live shows (which are later published as podcast episodes) for which they invite submissions of true stories from anyone and everyone.

These are stories that can be told nowhere else. Stories that aren’t prominent enough to make it to the headlines, yet stories that make heads turn. Most importantly, they are extremely personal, emotional narratives with minimal preamble, 
digested and delivered in less than half an hour or even within just 15 minutes.

The storytellers come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Whether it is a single Latino mother trying to pay her rent or NASA’s astronaut who went into space to fix the Hubble Telescope, The Moth’s stories offer an insight into the rich, complex and fulfilling adventures of the average human life.

Despite having no prior experience in entertaining a large audience and much less in regularly converting their personal lives into a well-defined narrative, the speakers do a tremendous job of bringing out stories that changed them, made them, or broke them.

A few coincidences, some reckonings of death, several identity crises, a lot of parenting trip-ups all tied together by much laughter, these stories resonate with the vibrant textures of life that we call luck and love. A man who almost dated a serial killer, a gay couple’s battle to be accepted as parents in a Christian society, or two best friends’ lucky football rituals – these are but snippets of some of the best episodes I’ve listened to.

Perhaps the most important takeaway of the podcast is its ability to turn the light onto your own life and help you appreciate the wonderful story arcs you’ve lived through – most often unknowingly. It begets the questions – how did you get here and what were the choices that led you to this point today? Whether it’s that time you got lost or fell in love or miraculously surpassed an obstacle, these little things make up the big things. The podcast reminds you that, ultimately, deeply insignificant things become significant and vice versa. If we keep that in mind, we can manage to stay sane and thrive. Happy 2019!


Pooja Ramakrishnan is studying MSc Environmental Engineering and has joined the Delta team as our book and podcast pundit. A science student during the day and a poet by night, she balances the two with her curiosity and fascination for the world we live in.

Pooja Ramakrishnan / Freelance journalist

Editor Redactie

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