Arrernte Women’s Poetry
Across February and March, the Akeyulerre Healing Centre and NT Writers’ Centre paired up with poet Penny Drysdale to work with a group of Arrernte women who are writing poetry.
Of the process, Penny Drysdale writes:
“During the workshop participants wrote about the theme of this year’s NT Writers’ Festival, Lyapirtneme. This is an Arrernte word translated as Returning. It means something growing back or appearing again after an absence. New shoots returning after fire. Seeds that lie dormant during a drought and sprout when the rain comes; regeneration and how we each recover after hard times.
“The women at Akeyulerre are the rocks of their families and communities, as are the other Arrernte women who attended the workshop. They have devoted their lives to supporting Arrernte families, and passing on culture to the children. The poetry workshop provided a much needed opportunity for quiet reflection and for the women to focus on their own wellbeing and healing. The poems that emerged are tender and beautiful. They made us cry and laugh.”
The process was so remarkable that the women wanted to publish their poetry in a book. Due to the hard work of facilitator Penny Drysdale and the generosity of hoards of donors, this idea is going to become a reality.
Preorders of this new, all Arrernte poetry collection will be available at the upcoming NT Writers’ Festival where some of the women will be appearing to share their work.
Stay tuned on our website and Facebook for further updates!