This publication is a partnership between the Akeyulerre Healing Centre, NT Writers Centre and Ptilotus Press. It was made possible through community fundraising and in-kind support. Ptilotus Press wishes to thank all of those who contributed.

If you buy this book through the Akeyulerre Healing Centre, 100% of proceeds go back into Akeyulerre. If you buy this book through NewSouth Books, proceeds are split evenly between Akeyulerre Healing Centre and Ptilotus Press. 


Arelhekenhe Angkentye – Women’s Talk

Poems of Lyapirtneme from Arrernte Women in Central Australia

Lyapirtneme is an Arrernte word that means growing back, returning. It’s like if a bushfire went through the land, and all the trees burnt down, and the roots underground are still alive. When the rain comes you see little shoots growing out of the bottom of the tree, growing back again.’ – Therese Perrurle Ryder, Arrernte Elder. 


ISBN: 9780648062936

Paperback. 210x145mm. 192pp.

To order online, please visit NewSouth Books website here.


Agnes Perrurle Abbott (1 Jan 1937 – 6 May 2019)
Amelia Kngwarraye Turner
Bessie Angale Liddle
Carmelina Perrurle Marshall
Carol Kngwarraye Turner
Eva Pengarte Hayes
Helena Pengarte Buzzacott
Janisa Ryder
Julie Angale Hayes
Magdelena Perrurle Marshall
Margaret Pengarte Scobie
Pat Perrurle Ansell Dodds
Patricia Kemarre Webb
Sharon Ampetyane Alice
Shirleen Kemarre Hayes
Shirley Kngwarraye Turner
Sylvia Purrurle Neale
Thelma Nungarryi Ross
Theresa Penangke Alice
Tisha Perrurle Carter
Ursula Pengarte Nichaloff

Penny Drysdale (Editor)  

“A one of a kind collection of all-Arrernte, all-women poetry threaded with love for family, culture and each other. Sharing in some small way in these distinct lives, brimming with heart and struggle and spirit, is a delight and absolute privilege.” – Fiona Dorrell, Artistic Director NT Writers Festival 2020.

This collection grew out of a series of workshops offered as part of the NT Writers’ Festival program in Alice Springs over the past few years, and inspired by the NT Writers’ Festival 2019 theme lyapirtneme / returning. The result is a unique collection, distinct in voice and descriptive of a country and its people seldom heard. At once a composition of singular stories – plain and poignant portraits of family and country, daily life, love and loss; as well as a chorus, a collective work, written in the spirit of community where each poem plays its part in the greater whole of the book.’  Dani Powell, Artistic Director NT Writers Festival 2015-2019 and author of Return to Dust (UWA Publishing, 2020).

The women have chosen to include their skin names rather than provide individual biographies as they find this a culturally more meaningful way of describing their place in the world and how they belong. For further information about skin names, please see Anpernirrentye, Kin and Skin: Talking about Family in Arrernte by Veronica Perrurle Dobson AM and John Henderson (IAD Press, 2013).

The women are Central or Eastern Arrernte, or have strong connections to the Arrernte community.

The women are mothers, grandmothers, greatgrandmothers and daughters. Some of the women would describe themselves as writers but most would not. Some had not written a poem before. Most of the women are beautiful visual artists, and most are engaged in the daily work of maintaining the cultural life of Arrernte people and passing it on to the next generations, through the Akeyulerre Healing Centre, Children’s Ground, the Institute of Aboriginal Development (IAD), and other organisations in Alice Springs.