Blemish’d Muse

[On poetry by Anne Bradstreet, Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman, and Carl Sandburg]

In a word, this piece is about passion. The poets represented here, spanning three hundred years of American poetry, write about the frustration of unrecognition; the joy of sudden inspiration; the magic of connection; and a celebration of our voices.

I take “Blemish’d Muse” from the text of the first poem. I feel it is a great depiction to our own frailties as creators and humans, and an apt depiction of our country – an imperfect, beautiful yet ugly place of inspiration.

I am very proud that this piece was commissioned by my dear friends the Wicker Park Choral Singers and the Chicago Composers Orchestra.


Instrumentation – 2 fl (2nd picc), 2 ob (2nd EH), 2 cl (2nd b. cl), 2 bsn (2nd c. bsn), 4 hn, 2 tpt, 2 tbn, tuba, 2 perc, SATB choir, strings

(or SATB choir, piano)

Duration – 20 minutes

Buy the score on





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