October Mourning
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard
October Mourning
A masterful poetic exploration of the impact of Matthew Shepard’s murder on the world.On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a Wyoming bar by two young men, savagely beaten, tied to a remote fence, and left to die. Gay Awareness Week was beginning at the University of Wyoming, and the keynote speaker was Lesléa Newman, discussing her book Heather Has Two Mommies. Shaken, the author addressed the large audience that gathered, but she remained haunted by Matthew’s murder. October Mourning, a novel in verse, is her deeply felt response to the events of that tragic day. Using her poetic imagination, the author creates fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence Matthew was tied to, the stars that watched over him, the deer that kept him company, and Matthew himself. More than a decade later, this stunning cycle of sixty-eight poems serves as an illumination for readers too young to remember, and as a powerful, enduring tribute to Matthew Shepard’s life.Back matter includes an epilogue, an afterword, explanations of poetic forms, and resources.

Book Details


  • Poetry

Age Level: 

  • Mature Young Adult
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Lesléa Newman captures both the horrors and sentiments surrounding the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay twenty one year old student at the University of Wyoming.  In this book of poems, readers will experience the raw emotion felt by the people personally affected by the infamous 1998 hate crime.  It also offers the reader new perspective in poems narrated by the fence he was tied to, and even the deer that stood with Matthew on the night the crime was committed.  For readers too young to remember the shock and impact of this event, this book is the perfect tool to edu

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