Maria Papas presents: Meet the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award shortlisted writer Marie O’Rourke

The Fremantle Press Podcast
The Fremantle Press Podcast
Maria Papas presents: Meet the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award shortlisted writer Marie O’Rourke

Maria Papas, winner of the 2020 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, chats with Marie O’Rourke about her shortlisted manuscript, Kintsugi, a wise and gentle piece of narrative non-fiction.

Kintsugi is inspired by the Japanese artform by the same name, celebrating beauty in breakage. Marie discusses how her manuscript uses a delicate touch to work with themes such as celebration in mourning, as well as using voice and imagery to explore the nature of memories and how memory works on us.

Marie says, ‘My research and writing has all been focused on finding a better understanding of not just what I think and feel or remember, but why. And I’m always trying to find new ways and better ways to capture the contradictions and complexities that I find within the people, the places and the emotions of my life.’

Topics covered

  • Trauma and sadness in writing
  • Memoir and life writing
  • Vulnerability in writing
  • Personal essays

Books and other topics mentioned

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot

Show notes

About the host

Maria Papas is a West Australian writer whose fiction, creative non-fiction and academic essays have appeared in various journals including TEXTGriffith ReviewAxon and The Letters Page. She holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia where she researched the ways people share narratives of illness and trauma. In 2020, the creative component of her research won the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, and has since been published as her debut novel, Skimming Stones. Maria works as an English teacher and sessional academic, and when she is not writing or working, you can find her near the coast or with family.

Connect with Maria at, on Twitter or Instagram

About the guest

Marie spent many years reading, analysing, and teaching the stories of others before working up the nerve to start shaping her own. Fascinated by the multiplicity and mutability of self, Marie’s writing focuses on the contradictions and quirks of memory and identity. Her essays have been published in respected national and international journals such as a/b, Axon, Essay Daily, Meanjin, Meniscus, New Writing, TEXT and Westerly Magazine. Marie holds a PhD from Curtin University, where she now teaches across the Creative Writing, English and Cultural Studies, and Professional Writing and Publishing departments.

Original music
‘Letter to a Daughter of St George’, from the Meat Lunch EP: Songs from Floaters. Written by Alan Fyfe. Performed by Trevor Bentley (guitar and vocals – @trevormb) and Chris Parkinson (harmonica). Produced by Blake Carnaby of Nuglife studios with impresario work by Benjamin P. Newton.

Sound engineering
Aidan D’Adhemar, Fremantle PA Hire

Produced by
Claire Miller and the Fremantle Press Marketing and Communications team

This podcast was produced in Walyalup in Whadjuk Boodja, on the lands of the Noongar people.

Books discussed

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