Women Writing War
Lara Rossi and Carolyn Pickles with poetry and prose by the mothers of WW1 soldiers and of young men serving in Afghanistan with music by PJ Harvey, Samuel Barber and June Tabor.
From the poets and journalists of WW1 to the mothers of soldiers in Afghanistan Carolyn Pickles and Lara Rossi tell of the experiences of women in warfare.
We begin with Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman before our collaboration with the Big Ideas Project, Motherhood Loss and the First World War, brings letters from the mothers of soldiers in the First World War. Their words are heard with commissioned music by Clare Connors.
Then Helen Thomas, the young wife of the poet Edward Thomas remembers their last night together before he returned to the Front, heard with George Butterworth’s The Bank of Green Willow: both Thomas and Butterworth did not return from the war.
The great American journalist Martha Gellhorn’s report on the devastation in Madrid is set alongside Samuel Barber’s A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map, inspired by the death of a soldier in the Spanish Civil War.
Much closer in time is the war in Afghanistan. The music of Miles Davis is heard as the American Iraq veteran and poet Chantelle Bateman remembers her post traumatic stress on returning from the conflict. And the poets Bryony Doran and Isabel Palmer tell of their experiences of being the mothers of young soldiers in Afghanistan.
Women Writing War ends with May Wedderburn Cannan’s July 1919 and her final lines, ‘Never for us is folded War away, Dawn or sun setting, Now in our hearts abides always our war’ are heard with Elgar’s Carissima.
Producer: Fiona McLean
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
Sacrifice, read by Lara Rossi
Letter to Rabindranath Tagore read by Carolyn Pickles
S. A. Walker
Letter to her son, read by Lara Rossi (from the 'Motherhood, Loss and the First World War' project run by Big Ideas)
How the Stone Found its Voice, read by Lara Rossi
The Forbidden Zone, read by Carolyn Pickles
from World without End, read by Lara Rossi
from Vogues Victory Edition, read by Carolyn Pickles
Spanish Civil War, read by Lara Rossi
from Spanish Civil War, read by Carolyn Pickles
En Route, read by Lara Rossi
Worse Case Scenario, read by Carolyn Pickles
Handbag, read by Lara Rossi""Added, go to My Music