Commissioned by Tenebrae

First performed by Tenebrae with Juliet Stevenson conducted by Nigel Short at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington on 17 September 2021, as part of the Lammermuir Festival.

  • SATB
  • SATB
  • 20 min
  • Adrienne Rich, Sappho, Anne Bradstreet, Hedvig Charlotta Nordenflycht, Charlotte Smith, Sagawa Chika, Alfonsina Storni, Margaret Fuller, Edit Södergran, Else Lasker-Schüler, Christina Rossetti, Anne Wharton, Mary Coleridge, Emily Dickinson and Sarojini Naidu
  • English, German, Greek, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish

Programme Note

It is almost fifty years since Adrienne Rich refused to take for herself the National Book Award for Poetry she had just won for her collection "Diving into the Wreck" (1974), instead sharing it with Audre Lorde and Alice Walker on behalf of all women “whose voices have gone and still go unheard in a patriarchal world”. With "Into the Wreck" I wanted to revisit Rich’s beautiful title piece and expand on this idea, making space for the voices of female writers from different places and times whose feelings align remarkably with those of Rich’s diver. Nearly half a century later, Rich's poem retains its freshness and urgency, and the need to listen to these unheard voices remains as strong as ever.


Preview an excerpt of the score