October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Lesléa Newman / Feb 17, 2020
October Mourning A Song for Matthew Shepard On the night of October 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
  • Title: October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard
  • Author: Lesléa Newman
  • ISBN: 9781469206219
  • Page: 269
  • Format: Audio CD
  • 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 Lesl a Newman, discussing her book Heather Has Two Mommies Shaken, the author addrOn 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 Lesl a 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.
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      Published :2019-08-25T19:31:42+00:00

    About "Lesléa Newman"

      • Lesléa Newman

        Lesl a Newman born 1955, Brooklyn, NY is the author of over 50 books including Heather Has Two Mommies, A Letter To Harvey Milk, Writing From The Heart, In Every Laugh a Tear, The Femme Mystique, Still Life with Buddy, Fat Chance and Out of the Closet and Nothing to Wear.She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award, the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, and two Pushcart Prize Nominations Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists.Ms Newman wrote Heather Has Two Mommies, the first children s book to portray lesbian families in a positive way, and has followed up this pioneering work with several children s books on lesbian and gay families Gloria Goes To Gay Pride, Belinda s Bouquet, Too Far Away to Touch, and Saturday Is Pattyday.She is also the author of many books for adults that deal with lesbian identity, Jewish identity and the intersection and collision between the two Other topics Ms Newman explores include AIDS, eating disorders, butch femme relationships and sexual abuse Her award winning short story, A Letter To Harvey Milk has been made into a film and adapted for the stage.In addition to being an author, Ms Newman is a popular guest lecturer, and has spoken on college campuses across the country including Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Oregon, Bryn Mawr College, Smith College and the University of Judaism From 2005 2009, Lesl a was a faculty member of the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine Currently, she is the Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA.


    1. I made a commitment twenty years ago that I would not forget Matthew Shepard I think it was in part because of Doug, my Peter VanDaan from the high school production I directed of The Diary of Ane Frank who died later in Chicago of AIDS Gay, kidnapped by two straight drunk kids pretending to be gay, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, Shepard was tied to a fence to die outside Laramie, Wyoming, and became what he never wanted to be, a kind of symbol for vicious violent rage against queer kids [...]

    2. This review of OCTOBER MOURNING A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD is based upon the Advanced Reader Copy of the title.Is it any coincidence that the very day this book was left on my doorstep is the very day that I would stay home with my son who was not feeling well when he woke up Or that the book would arrive on the 20th of April, a day where LGBT students volunteer to go silent for the day in solidarity in order to create a sense of gay awareness.Leslea Newman s rending of the events of October 6, [...]

    3. This is a short book of poems all centered around the murder of Matthew Shepard They re told from various perspectives human but also inanimate objects including the fence that he was tied to.I ve read a lot of Leslea Newman s books and loved all that I ve read This is by far the best thing of hers that I ve read I hope it gets the widespread audience that it deserves, but I can t imagine any of my straight friends wanting to read a book of poems about a brutal murder.That s too bad because ever [...]

    4. So sad, I remember hearing about this in the news when it happened.I like that the author decided to write it in verse because it definitely makes the books unique to others like it.

    5. Beautiful book in verse inspired by a real tragedy simply because of one boy s sexual orientation and two other boys who could t handle someone being different.The poems in this book included some quotes from real people who spoke out on the senseless murder of Matthew Shepard It really made the story s authenticity and senselessness come to life.At the end of the book are notes from the author Read them They explain the quotes in detail and where they came from Additionally, this is a book in [...]

    6. Reviewed at teachmentortexts 2012 I was a junior in high school at a fine arts school of choice when Matthew Shepard was murdered My two best friends were both gay I remember that they were afraid of going anywhere alone after Matthew was killed We cried for him However, over time Matthew has become one of a way too big statistic Though his horrendous death got a lot of press, hate crimes on gay, lesbian, queer, transgendered, bisexual and transsexual people happen daily.Leslea Newman takes us i [...]

    7. Definitely an important book that should be offered to young people and should be in every YA collection, but the poetry is very uneven May have helped Newman through the process of assimilating what happened to Matthew Shepard, but that need shows too clearly in the writing There has been a great deal of praise showered on this book, but I wonder if it s at least partly because they are responding to the emotional impact, which it undoubtedly has Read aloud, many of the poems were effective an [...]

    8. WoW This is the true story of Matthew Shepard, a gay twenty one year old college student who, on the night of October 6th 1998 whilst visiting a bar in Wyoming, was conned into going with two other young men They drove him to a remote place, tied him to a fence then beat him senselessen left him to die.Profound, extremely poignant and very, very moving This is an important piece of writing, the message of which should be heard by all at least once.This is a true story narrated through poetry I l [...]

    9. I put off reading this book in spite of the universal accolades it s received I knew that Leslea Newman s poetic memorial to Matthew Shepard would leave me sad and emotionally drained I m a little ashamed that I was afraid Matthew s life was not wasted as long as we bear witness to it and model lives of caring and love Beyond the power of Matthew s story, Newman s poetry represents exemplars of the form A work of art and remembrance.

    10. I ve had this book on my to read list since I heard Michael Cart talk about it at the ISLMA conference last October When I saw Mr Anderson rated it 5 stars a few days ago, it shot to the top of my to read list I checked out a copy from the library this morning and finished reading it in less than an hour Everyone should read this book of poetry, which, as a collection, is called a song for Matthew Shepard, the 21 year old college student who was kidnapped, beaten, and left for dead tied to a fen [...]

    11. I m not a real big poetry fan and while not all of the poems in this book spoke to me, those that did just made me tear up Some of it is so beautiful and all of it is so sad The poet definitely produces a wide range of poetry types, so likely most people can find at least one that speaks to them.

    12. I was browsing the shelf at the library for a quick read when I stumbled across October Mourning Just as most people who are aware of the sad fate that befell Matthew Shepard, my heart breaks when I think of it No one deserves that fate, but Matthew Shepard deserves to be remembered As some of the people who are nearest and dearest to my heart are LGBT, Matthew s story hits close to home for me, as it should hit close to home for us all Leslea Newman does absolute justice to Matthew s story and [...]

    13. I was in middle school when Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered His story had and continues to have a strong impact on me As a Denver native, and as someone with gay friends and family members, the fact that something so terrible could happen so close to home was deeply saddening and unsettling.I received a copy of this book a few months ago, but never felt ready to read it The Laramie Project left me a sobbing, emotional mess and I assumed that this book would too As it turns out, I had no ne [...]

    14. I re read this book as part of the August chat to read books from the 1980s and 1990s written during that time or SET in that time period for the 8 30 chat at 8pm EST, please join us Newman s novel in verse is beautiful, horrible in it s sadness, insightful in the imagining of Matthew Shepard s murder, really EVERYONE must read this slim but HAUNTING imagining of his last night, October 6, 1998.I want to thank Lauren Strohecker for this wonderful gift to our library and with it her advice that i [...]

    15. Economical in language and haunting, here lies a directly communicative set of poems commemorating the hate crime murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming The poems are written from the perspective of not only Matthew but of those linked to the tragedy, including the killers, the parents, the community case juror, police, medical staff, etc

    16. This book was a quick read It is a collection of poems of various points of view relating to the beating and death of Matthew Shepard, who in October, 1998, was kidnapped, beaten, and then tied to a fence and let there to die in Laramie, Wyoming The poems include the points of view of the fence, the stars, the biker, the victim s family, and many .A powerful book that was nominated for the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Reader s Choice Award.

    17. Wow I m not sure what else to say I read this book in about 30 minutes and wished it hadn t gone so quickly Each poem is specifically written to capture something related to the murder of Matthew Shepard Each poem is so well written that you feel like you were there with Mathew on the fence or at the trials against the murderers or grieving with his mother and father An excellent collection and a must read for the LGBT community and its supporters.

    18. Beautiful and wrenching An excellent mentor text for poetry poetry as narrative and in many forms But there is a wealth to be leaned here beyond the genre Leslea Newman pays extraordinary tribute to Matthew Shepard by offering up so much learning and a catalyst for change.

    19. October Mourning A Song for Matthew Shepard is a collection of poems in honor of Matthew Shepard, a twenty one year old gay college student who was lured out of a bar and into a truck with two guys who hated him They took him to the middle of nowhere, beat him, and tied him to a fence to die which he did five days after being in the hospital The poems in this collection are striking, beautiful, and give Matthew Shepard the voice that he never had the night that he was killed.This collection of p [...]

    20. As a student of literature in every sense of the term, I could never have understood the impact of the vicious murder of Matthew Shepard without reading this book of poems I have only cried over something I ve read a few times in my life If you want to know about the killing of this college student from Wyoming in 1998, no police report or news story will explain it to you as well as this book of poetry does Books that make people question the nature of hate crimes are especially important today [...]

    21. October Mourning A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesle Newman won honors for the Stonewall Awards in Children s and Adult Literature in 2013 What immediately drew me to this book was the format Written in poetic free verse, this book is powerful, beautiful tribute to Matthew Shepard, a homosexual man who would be turning 37 this year but whose life was cut short due to the hatred displayed by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson in 1998, when Shepard was merely 21 years old and a University of Wyo [...]

    22. October Mourning A Song for Matthew ShepardBy Leslea NewmanThis book fulfills my requirement for the RLL 520 0 poetry book club read.October Mourning is a collection of 68 poems that catalogue the events surrounding Matthew Shepard s brutal beating and death in a hate crime in October of 1998 Newman makes plain in the Introduction of the work that this is not intended to be an accurate blow by blow account of the crime This is a collection of poems as historical fiction grounded in the truth of [...]

    23. This book of poetry follows the moments before, during, and after Matthew Shepard s tragic murder scene On Tuesday, October 6th, 1998, two boy picked up Shepard at a bar, drove him to the outskirts of town, and proceeded to rob, then beat him to death This book looks at the town and the murder from nearly every perspective imaginable, all the while playing with poetic form.The two strengths that this book has are its frankness in which it talks about Shepard s death, and its want to play with po [...]

    24. This sincere memorial to Shepard, beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die because he was gay, is the result of Newman s grief over the crime that preceded by five days her keynote address for Gay Awareness Week at the University of Wyoming in October 1998 Unfortunately, the reflections and reimagining of the events are told as a series of clich d amateur doggerel Therapeutic as the writing undoubtedly were for the author, the result is some remarkably bad verse Only the final epilogue, Pilgrima [...]

    25. In 1998 Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old gay college student, was tied to a fence in rural Wyoming, brutally beaten and left to die He was discovered 18 hours later and rushed to a hospital, but never regained consciousness Newman, a poet, spoke at his university for National Coming Out Day just five days later She revisits the crime and its aftermath in this slim book of verse My feelings about the individual poems are mixed Some, like Where Is My Boy from the POV of Shepard s cat Where is the so [...]

    26. the book is good it s not a hit out of the park, and it s oftentimes heavy handed with the grief and symbolism, but the really true poems are Really True.but that s not really what i feel like talking about what i was left with, after finishing the book, were a lot of questions about memory and memorialization.october mourning s focus isn t really matthew shepard it s Matthew Shepard the young gay college boy who was murdered for being gay who became an icon a martyr and i dunno at times that fe [...]

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