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Heart of Origin: six poems of Rita Dove

music by Luke Mayernik

World Premiere performance on Tuesday, May 9th @ 8pm (PT)

at The San Francisco Conservatory of music!


LIVE online streaming available!


Rita Dove
photo credit: Fred Viebahn

'And now through the windshield

the sky begins to blush

as you did when your mother told you

what it took to be a woman in this life.' - Rita Dove 

 Excerpt from the poem Exit by Rita Dove

Copyright © 1995 Rita Dove.  Mississippi Review. All rights reserved.

Luke teams up with Pulitzer Prize winning and US Poet Laureate Rita Dove to create a strikingly new and audacious song cycle entitled Heart of Origin:  six poems of Rita dove.


Heart of Origin contains six (6) remarkable poems of Rita Dove, electrified with the resilience, strength, and complexity of the feminine heart.  In his own words, Luke writes:  

As a young boy, I was raised believing that all women are the ‘Heart of Origin, the source of every beginning, every human being.’

Strong, resilient, peerlessly complex, and a divine vessel for bringing life into our world, The Feminine is the universal symbol of

existence—the Heart of every origin. Regrettably, the contemporary political climate and the rhetoric surrounding women’s issues

at times is filled with prejudice, unjust discrimination, and dismissive condescension towards the feminine spirit. Equipped with

purpose by uniting words and music towards the creation and the successful performance of a new song cycle entitled

Heart of Origin,” it is our intention to celebrate the heart of all women.

Here is just a taste of one of the songs from Heart of Origin, entitled Chocolate, sung by   

Jasmine Johnson, an absolutely spectacular mezzo-soprano.

'Chocolate'  from Heart of Origin: six poems of Rita Dove

Heart of Origin will be premiered by Jasmine Johnson and Kevin Korth (collaborative pianist) on


Tuesday, May 9th @ 8pm (PT) 

in the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall, located at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music   


Live, on-line streaming of the premiere (including other works by Luke and Matt Boehler) found at

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