Creative

Libretti

Protectress, a full opera with music by Jessica Rudman, based on my novella of the same name. A new and modern take on the legend of Medusa, about trauma, toxic cultures, allyship, and compassion. Workshopped by Opera Contempo and the American Opera Project initiative.

Livia Holds the Lantern, a one-act opera with music by Michael Oberhauser. Livia, a sorcerer, is enslaved in the household of Claudia Flava in Pompeii. Known for her connection to the household gods, or lares, Livia makes spells and charms for Claudia’s wealthy friends. Livia and her husband Cyrus long to be free, but Claudia sees no reason to give them their liberty. When a young woman possessed by the gods comes to Livia, though, all of their lives are thrown into turmoil.

Waters Rising, a one-act opera a with music by Tim Hinck, commissioned by Arts Capacity for Walker State Prison. In the aftermath of a major storm, a man is challenged to consider the lives of others when he tries to escape deadly floodwaters.

Sense of Self, a chamber opera with music by composer Lisa Neher.
Composed for two high voices, Sense of Self explores an athlete’s relationship with her body, her ambitions, and her plans after receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer. Premiered by Opera Elect.

Woman Waits with Sword, a micro-opera with music by Lisa Neher about Alberte-Barbe D’ernécourt, Madame de Saint-Baslemont, who posed as a man to duel with an intruder in her home during the Hundred Years’ War. Written for Margaret O’Connell. 

Par for the Course, a micro-opera for solo soprano with music by composer Lisa Neher, for Rhymes with Opera‘s summer 2020 season. Par for the Course gives voice to super-athlete Babe Didrikson as she seeks to play in the men-only U.S. Open golf tournament.

Wide Awake in the New City, a micro-opera with music by Lisa Neher about moving and starting a new job during the Covid-19 pandemic. Written for Hugo Vera.

Now Available, a micro-opera with music by Lisa Neher about a musician’s struggle with work and drive during the Covid-19 pandemic. Written for Zach Finkelstein.

The Harbingers, an a cappella opera with music by composer Rosśa Crean. The Harbingers was premiered in Chicago on 31 October 2019. After her death, a woman finds herself on the shores of the afterlife, where the gods of death from various cultures compete to win her soul for their underworlds. When the Fates are called to arbitrate their dispute, however, it becomes apparent that the soul in question is more complicated than any of the gods originally believed, and everyone involved must weigh in on the natures of life and death, mercy and murder. Watch the premiere.

Marie Curie Learns to Swim, a chamber opera with music by composer Jessica Rudman.
Hailed as “striking,” “expressive,” “emotive,” and “well-crafted,” Marie Curie Learns to Swim was performed as a one-act opera on 28 April 2018 by the Hartford Opera Theater, as part of Speaking Her Truth, an evening of music by Rudman. Focused on the most important moments of the scientist’s groundbreaking career, Marie Curie Learns to Swim is composed for chamber orchestra and four singers: a soprano (Irène Curie), two mezzo-sopranos (Old Marie Curie and Young Marie Curie), and a baritone (Pierre Curie).

Jessica and I would like to expand the opera into two acts, and are seeking interested companies or consortiums for future performances. If you would like to view perusal materials, please contact Jessica Rudman.

Tobermory, an opera based on the short story by Saki with music by Edward Caine.
In progress. If your house cat learned to speak, what secrets would he reveal?

Lyrics

“Where It’s Safe,” music by Jessica Rudman. Commissioned by Elizabeth Rudolph, 2024.

“Night Swim,” music by Stacey Philipps, 2024.

a tulip, iron, music by Angela Elizabeth Slater, 2023.

“Past the Moon;” music by Jena Root. Commissioned by the Good Company Vocal Ensemble, 2023.

The Refrain and Three Gibbous Songs; music by Samantha Hogan, 2023.

The Stretch; music by Katherine Pukinskis. Commissioned by ROCO for Alecia Lawyer and Kristin Wolf Jensen, and by Galit Kaunitz and Jacqui Wilson (Double Reed Dish), 2022.

Comforter of the Soul; music by Lisa Neher. Commissioned by Shannon Gravelle and Bethany United Methodist Church, Madison, Wisconsin, 2022.

Gilgamesh Weeps; music by Lisa Neher. Commissioned by Shannon Gravelle for the Tenor/Bass Chorus at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 2022.

Girls Love Horses; music by Jessica Rudman, commissioned by Nanette McGuiness and Ensemble for These Times, The Cassandra Project, 2021.

“A Bee,” “Winter Transformation,” and “On the Lawn,” in Gathering Rounds; music by Stacey Philipps, 2022.

Spooky Songs for Young Singers 2: “Spider Dog,” “What Will you Be This Halloween?;” music by Lisa Neher, 2022.

The Radiolaria Salute You; music by George Harvey, 2020.

She Calls It a Fairy Tree; music by Elaine Fine, 2020.

“Letters in the Green;” music by Lisa Neher, 2020.

Spooky Songs for Young Singers; music by Lisa Neher, 2020.

Fire and Dust; music by Stephen Vincent Casellas. Premiered at the N.E.O Voice Festival, July 2020.

“Strawberry Man;” music by Lisa Neher, commissioned and premiered by Arwen Myers, April 2020.

A Forest that is a Desert; music by Jessica Rudman for the Choral Arts Initiative. Premiered by the Choral Arts Initiative, June 2019.

Water Songs; music by Allyssa Jones, 2019

Four Songs for Lady Macbeth; music by Jessica Rudman, commissioned by Charity Clark. Premiered at “Speaking Her Truth” by the Hartford Opera Theater, 28 April 2018 by Charity Clark.

Plays

Tell Us What You’re Doing We Want to Know How You’re Coping with the Pandemic: a play in one act, 2020.
Tell Us is a play for three performers that can be performed in a wide variety of settings and using numerous approaches to staging. The play is licensed under an Attribution 4.0 International license. 

Moon-Crossed: a play in play with All’s Well That Ends Well, 2019.
Moon-Crossed reimagines the central plot of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well as a means to examining the female monstrous in early modern drama, literature, and though. Why doesn’t Bertram like Helena? Because she’s a werewolf. But as he learns, she’s of a very noble line of werewolves. She saves the King of France, he learns a bit more about werewolves, and they both come to a new understanding of each other. Read more about the play here. Moon-Crossed is available under a Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International license. Anyone can perform the work for free without my permission; if you want to stage a commercial performance, please contact me for a standard contract at kendraleonard at pm dot me. If you or your class decide to put it on, in whole or in part, please let me know.

Poetry

Book
Protectress (novella in verse), Unsolicited Press, 2022.
Protectress is a modern sequel to the Medusa myth that explores compassion and solidarity in relation to rape culture, victim-blaming, and the processing of trauma. Recipient of the Kirkus Star.
Reviewed in Kirkus. Author interview in Kirkus. Additional coverage in Kirkus (p. 184). Review in Interstellar Flight Magazine.

Chapbooks
Grab, Red Ogre Review. 2023. Sponsored by a grant from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association. Twenty-nine poems, including “Macalla,” “A Ukrainian Love Story,” and “Witchcraft for Cellists,” which has been nominated for a Best of the Net award.

Making Mythology, Louisiana Literature Press, 2020.

Poems

“Climb into my trunk,” Pure Haiku, 2024.

“an atheist sings the Shema,” fws: prayers, praise, & blessings special issue, 2023.

“Winter of Disconnect,” Wingless Dreamer, 2023.

“Macalla,” Parmentu Pentaquark/Gothic Funk, 2023.

“Cow Parsley, Sunlight,” The Rumen and Sequoia Speaks, 2023

“At the NonStandard UnBreed Dog Show,” The Rumen, 2023.

“Where the Rails Float,” Sequoia Speaks, 2023.

“Jessica Lights the Candles” and “Revolution Sounds,” Empyrean Magazine 5, Vol. 2, no 1.

“Driving Away from the Mountains,” Women Scream 2023, 2023.

“Replenish,” “She Calls It a Fairy Tree,” and “Ghost Jam,” FWS: woodlands, 2022.

“Pro-Union,” ThereAfter, 2023.

“Canine Eclogue,” Texas Poetry Assignment, 2022.

“a fragment harbor of time” and “Winter Term,” five fleas (itchy poetry), 2022.

“Estate,” and “Witchcraft for Cellists,” Sage Cigarettes, 2022.

“How Many Lives Hath Pangur Bán?” Disabled Tales, 2022.

“The Refrain,” Primeval Monster, 2022.

“Like Whalefall, Nourishing,” and “a river birch,” The Muse, 2022.

“The Radiolaria Salute You,” Red Ogre Review, 2022.

Four Songs for Lady MacbethThe Shakespeare Multiverse, ed. Louise Geddes and Valerie Fazel, 2021.

“Lammas,” easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles. Nominated for a 2021 Pushcart Prize; volume won first prize from the Press Women of Texas awards, 2022.

“Dissolving,” Barzakh magazine, 2021.

“Hecate of the Wild,” and “Letters in the Green,” The Dillydoun Review, 2020.

“Carapace,” The Ofi Press Magazine, 2020.

“Tell Us What You’re Doing We Want to Know How You’re Coping with the Pandemic,” In Isolation, Alternative Field and Studio 50; and What Rough Beast/Indolent Books, 2020.

“Oceans,” The Pointed Circle, 2020.

“Spirochete,” Yersinia Pestis, Paragon Press Journal, 2020.

“Frost Ascending,” Climbing Lightly Through Forests: in memory and honor of Ursula K. LeGuin, ed. Rose Lemberg, Aqueduct Press, 2020.

“The Witches’ House,” Pussy Magic, October 2020.

Rewriting King Lear in a Time of Pandemic,” TEJASCOVIDO, 2020.

“A Spell to Rest the Dead,” Pussy Magic, October 2019.

“Making Mythology,” “Change of Season,” “Skinfast,” “Six prickly pears,” and “My Golem,” FWS: Skin, 2019.

Before Pyewacket,” Gingerbread House, 2019.

Flint,About Place: Infinite Country-North, 2019.

“Selenic Lore,” and “My Antlers,” Lily Poetry Review, 2019.

“Hurricane Season,” Houston Poetry Fest 2019 Anthology.

A Forest that is Desert,” Snapdragon Journal 5.3, 2019.

“East Wind to Paradise,” Bacopa Literary Review, 2019.

Brumadinho,” Havik 2019: Magic Tricks; Oyster River Pages.

“Apparitions,” Wizards in Space 4 (Spring 2019)

My Mother is a Poem by Yeats,Wordgathering 12, no. 4 (December 2018).

“Invasive Species,” Infinite Rust (Fall 2018)

Moscow’s Rejected Margaritas;” “Lady, Maid, Invocation;” “Highway Drone,” Penumbra 5 (Summer 2018).

“Outside In,” Translating Chronic Pain (2018). 

“A Haiku Year,” Panoplyzine 7 (Summer 2017). 

“Pumpjack Andante” and “Coyote Sits,” The Waggle, Summer 2017.  

The Swimmer,” vox poetica,  2016. 

“Six Epilogues for Caliban,” lunch, Summer 2015. 

Varnished,” These Fragile Lilacs, Summer 2015. 

Carrot Haiku,” Tule Review, November 2014. 

“Lovers Misread Envy Horses Homonyms,” Upstart: Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed (Parlor Press, 2014). 

A Cellist’s Lament,” Hartskill Review, April 2014. 

“Professor Medusa,” Haggard and Halloo, April 2013. 

Shorts

“The Call Stop,” Potter’s Field 8, Hiraeth Publishing, 2023.

As Kochava Greene, “The Retreat,” Steamfunk!, ed. Milton J. Davis, MVmedia, 2013. Reprinted 2015 as “Incident at St. Laurita’s,” Bewildering Stories 13; winner of the Mariner Award.

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