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New Voices on 2RPH

Storytelling Podcasts

Join Maria Issaris on New Voices! Featuring the work of new writers (most of whom are yet to be published); they provide listeners with writing tips, read a sample of their work, and are critiqued by a complete stranger. Tune in to New Voices to find your way back to why we all want to read and write stories to begin with - sharing experiences, making sense of the world, and creating worlds with words. New Voices is broadcast on 2RPH. Find us at




Join Maria Issaris on New Voices! Featuring the work of new writers (most of whom are yet to be published); they provide listeners with writing tips, read a sample of their work, and are critiqued by a complete stranger. Tune in to New Voices to find your way back to why we all want to read and write stories to begin with - sharing experiences, making sense of the world, and creating worlds with words. New Voices is broadcast on 2RPH. Find us at






Ep. 26 - Bill Cope reviews Swaga Mahapatra

Maria Issaris presents a feast for the senses. Swaga Mahapatra, an Indian born software developer delivers rolling chasms of poetry and crime, critiqued by eminent literacy academic, Dr Bill Cope, now Professor of Education at the University of Illinois. And balancing out the heady liquor of academic analysis is actress Caroline George, and our own Technical Manager at 2RPH, Peter Worthington.


Ep. 25 - The Governor and Shanti

To surprise our shy young writer Shanti, the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honorable Margaret Beazley, drops by to critique her wry short story, detailing her humble waitressing job in Perth. Maria discusses Australian identity and the importance of storytelling with both, on this powerful episode of New Voices.


Ep. 24 - Adam Norris reviews Kylie Attwell

Kylie Attwell has used her own experience with chronic depression to create a unique and challenging series of guide books, along with an immersive website and upcoming audiobooks. Critiquing her in this episode, Adam Norris is a seasoned writer and interviewer, and organiser of this year's Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival. What does he think of our reluctant memoirist and self-help curator?


Ep. 23 - Alan Ventress reviews Susan Mimram

Today we shine a spotlight on Susan Mimram, an extraordinary writer who didn’t seriously pick up a book until she was 25. She has crafted a marvelous story about a young New Zealand girl trying to solve the mystery of why her mother ran away when she was a small child. So how did Susan get to write so beautifully? Our guest critic intends to find out: Alan Ventress, who worked for 8 years as head of Sydney's prestigious Mitchell Library.


Ep. 22 - Joel Dickens reviews Robyn Edwards

This episode features Robyn Edwards, a social worker who took a year off to ‘explore her creative side’ and ended up writing a magic-realism novel set in Bondi. Blue Wave Bondi luxuriates in descriptions of bright sun, glinting sands, and surf. She's critiqued by Joel Dickens, an established artist born in Britain who explores the darker equation of the human condition in his startling abstract works. Is there common ground between these two creative strangers?


Ep. 21 - Stephen O’Doherty reviews Lara Harriman

Young Lara Harriman, at 23, is our youngest writer so far, and she writes like a dream - plunging us into her soft-science-fiction, young-adult novel. Think supernatural powers, mystery murders and a heroic police duo patrolling the night... She is critiqued by Stephen O’Doherty, a man who has a stellar career in journalism and parliament, and crosses so many creative and professional boundaries it is hard to put a fix on him.


Ep. 20 - Peter Fray and Tim O'Hare

Editor in Chief of, Peter Fray, reviews our first playwright, Tim O’Hare Welcome to New Voices, Season 2, and in this very first Episode we heard the work of young playwright Tim O’Hare who fearlessly explores violence, truth, power-play and politics, all in the context of one of those darker ironies of life, simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is Tim’s play Tarantino-esque or is it a hypnotically twisted version of Australian life? Critiquing him is a man who...


Ep. 19 - Of Madness and Method with Jesse Hawley & Joanne Fedler

In this episode, Jesse Hawley, young scientist-turned-writer, admits he fits into the ‘mad scientist’ category.... but it wasn’t his intensive research into the eating habits of spiders and flies that drove him crazy - but the long travail of writing a novel. Compelled, obsessed, and driven by a desire to express what ‘being a human being is all about’, he breaks every code of decency by asking strangers in cafes what they think of his writing (a good hypothesis he says, but ultimately not a...


Ep. 18 - Poetry and Policy with Vanessa Lee-AhMat & Aurora Liddle-Christie

Presenter Maria Issaris talks with Vanessa Lee-AhMat and Aurora Liddle-Christie about the past and the present, of poetry and policy. And then, with passionate generosity share their fierce pride and optimism for a healed future. So, get ready to be transformed and broken open in the best possible way, by poetry and passion. Vanessa Lee-AhMat is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman born on Thursday island, who grew up to become a highly respected epidemiologist. She has appeared...


Ep. 17 - Philosophy Blogging with Sashin & Sarah Runcie

This episode takes a young philosophy blogger, Sashin of - hell bent on making a living out of translating and reinterpreting the great thinkers of the world - and places his interview under the gaze of that highly esteemed publishing world luminary, Sarah Runcie, who recently was appointed as CEO of the Brisbane Writers Festival. He starts off with a treatise on Lying by Sam Harris, then wades into deeper waters by looking at Alan Watts’ the meaning of work, dumps us...


Ep. 16 - Dating and Writing - Snap! with Joanna Trilivas & Wil Roach

In this episode Maria Issaris interviews Joanna Trilivas - a smart, savvy writer who packs a whole story into a single page of wit and wisdom. Her delivery is deliciously deadpan and in this series of stories she targets dating and relationships. Now, Joanna to use her own words, looks like a very straight, conventional and stitched up person. Her stories? None of those words fit. She is a woman untethered. Critiquing her is Wil Roach: poet, performative artist, author, and Lifeline...


Ep.15 - The Sacred and the Profane with Lorretta Jessop & Joseph Tawadros

Presented by Maria Issaris. In this episode, we cover the steep sides and deep ravines of the sacred and the profane, as that stunning virtuoso of the oud, Joseph Tawadros, critiques newcomer literary talent, Lorretta Jessop. Yes, there are some swear words in this episode, so cover your ears now if you are faint of heart, or frail of spirit. Both Jospeh and Lorretta are rule-breakers, but not in that traditional Bad Boy or Bad Girl type of way - nope - it’s just that they ignore the...


Ep. 14 - The Poet and the Performer with Roger Patulny & Paul Capsis

Presented by Maria Issaris. In episode #14, poet and writer Roger Patulny (a lecturer at Wollongong University by day) takes us through three poems, each telling a story: isolation in Covid, being a single parent, and, of course, the sheer romping boy-like enthusiasm of a spaceman orbiting the earth, reciting a poem of love and longing. Highly respected Australian performer Paul also muses on the time of COVID, and the artful, textured and visceral way that Roger Patulny captures the small...


Ep. 13 - The Outsider goes Rampant with Kellie Edwards & Lex Marinos

Presented by Maria Issaris. In this week's episode of New Voices, Kellie Edwards showcases her beautiful unfinished novel. No Farewell is set in the 15th century about a female poet and musician who often lives as a man to pursue her passions and avoid the penury and boredom of female life. The writing - its cadences and tones is very much like the music she is inspired by - the contemporaneous troubadour music and lyrics with their heavy reliance on strings and harps and the single voice...


Ep. 12 - Food Meets Crimance with Julie-Ann Wrightson & K.C Cox

Presented by Maria Issaris. This episode is entirely about misbehaviour and rebellion and people who won’t be told what to do or how to classify their work. Our writer, Julie-Ann Wrightson, is a bit of a rebel herself - she was expelled from high school in Newcastle (mind boggles). However she had her own rebellion at hand when her body started to become intolerant of a wide range of chemicals, natural and unnatural in her everyday food. Her book is a wonderful mixture of journaling,...


Ep. 11 - Ironing out the Social Wrinkles with Laila Nawsheen & Fiona Kay

Presented by Maria Issaris. New Voices episode #11 poet Laila Nawsheen critiqued by greeting card founder Fiona Kay. How many words does it take to hit home truths? Not many at all. Poetry like Laila’s - it ambushes you. Laila takes little everyday events - like leaving the iron on by mistake - and with a few harmless twists of words, spills out a story of motherhood and death and love and lust and alarming abuse. Yet where are the words - where is the plot - whoosh it melts - as if each...


Ep. 10 - The Heralds of Change: Catcher in the Rye meets Bladerunner with Mark Braidwood & Lorretta Jessop

Presented by Maria Issaris. Catcher in the Rye meets Blade Runner with full Monty angst. Strap yourself in for episode #10 of New Voices featuring Dr Mark Braidwood and Lorretta Jessop. Our next writer, Mark, is a speculative fiction writer who also happens to be an Australian GP, and has dedicated years to fighting climate change in his spare time. He moved to Canada earlier this year with his young family just before COVID hit (what timing...) and while home-schooling his kids, he...


Ep. 9 - The Zephyr to Wisdom - a gender quest with Craig Gilmour & Barbara Sullivan

Presented by Maria Issaris. This episode of New Voices takes you on a gender quest, sign-posted by Scottish immigrant disturbia, and travelling in a ‘60s Ford Zephyr. Destination? Wisdom! Our writer for episode 9 drawls his way into your heart as only a down-to-earth Ocker bloke can; spinning yarn after yarn in a Henry Lawson meets Banjo Patterson way, fondly recalling his Scottish immigrant parents. And that’s the end of normality as we know it. We are placed in the backseat of an old...


Ep. 8 - Engineering Wit and Wisdom with Cat Davey & Arek Sinanian

Presented by Maria Issaris. Do you consider yourself a literary heavyweight - someone who believes that the key components of great literature are about baring the human soul, weaving it with beautiful words, threading it with the great philosophies of all time? Well, get ready to have your world turned upside down. Welcome to episode 8 of New Voices where Maria interviews Cat Davey - a writer who uses a blend of wit, wisdom and hard-earned journalistic rigour to deliver stories. She...


Ep. 7 - Diary of a Mail Order Bride with Olga Ivanova & Lisa Creffield

Presented by Maria Issaris. Diary of a mail order bride, or electro-shock therapy for cultural stereotyping? In episode #7 of New Voices, Olga Ivanova is critiqued by Lisa Creffield. Olga Ivanova (pseudonym for Olena Chambers) is the mail order bride from Ukraine who has lived in New Zealand and Australia. Olga’s marital hopes were thwarted by the clean-up of the Chernobyl disaster, and the Afghanistan war, which, combined, had decimated the young men of her generation. More than 20 years...