Penny Drysdale

Penny Drysdale grew up in central Victoria and lived in Alice Springs for seven years working at the Arrernte-run Akeyulerre Healing Centre. She is currently a lawyer and policy adviser in Darwin conducting projects to reduce domestic violence.  Penny won the NT Literary Awards Poetry Prize in 2015 and her first book of poetry Dew and Broken Glass was published by Recent Work Press in 2017.  Penny is editor of a book of poetry written by Arrernte women in Central Australia called Arelhekenhe Angkentye: Women’s Talk on the theme of Lyapirtneme | Return (Ptilotus Press, 2020).  I am the glass is her second book of poetry.

Author's books

I am the Glass


I am the glass

with all this inside

my transparent walls

the sun

the moon

the bubbles

all this intoxication

Penny Drysdale invites readers into her home and her transience as her relationship begins to end.  It is never easy to get on with your life.  I am the glass is window into these tender invisible journeys.

 ‘A piercing portrait of the many ways we rebuild after loss. I am the glass is the bark stripped away.’

Johanna Bell


Dew and Broken Glass


Set in the heart of Australia, Penny Drysdale’s debut collection  breaks open the prison of self to lay bare the many contradictions in contemporary Australian relationships.  Love, injustice and ‘unbelonging’ weave their way through this torrid landscape like ancient creatures on a grand scale.  A credit card, a mouse trap, a discarded car battery, a pile of children’s clothing all become an opportunity to examine in harsh Australian light aspects of ourselves we usually confine to the dark.