October Mourning

October Mourning

Book - 2012
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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 Lesl#65533;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.
Back matter includes an epilogue, an afterword, explanations of poetic forms, and resources.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2012.
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780763658076
Characteristics: 111 pages ; cm.

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FindingJane Mar 30, 2015

Playing with words as the title does, each of these poems explores different aspects of the Matthew Shepard beating and murder that took place in Laramie, WY in October 1998. The poetry is devastating and moving in its simplicity, bringing an immediacy to its subject as though the tragedy had taken place only days ago instead of years.

As any poet does, she places unspoken words in the mouths of people who may have been rendered all too dumb by the horror of that night. Voices and inner thoughts are given to inanimate objects such as stars, a fence, a truck. The viewpoints range all over, presenting a tattered but wide-ranging glimpse of a hate crime that still resonates with modern readers.

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ashley355
Jul 18, 2014

October Mourning was a sad song/story. I enjoyed the book because the author, Lesléa Newman gave different perspectives through out the book/poem. i feel when there are different point of views in a novel the storyline it's self turns out to be a good read.

The text gave an excellent message and i would recommend this book for teens and adults.

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desto77
Jun 15, 2013

FANTASTIC book! This collection of poems by Newman is intricately woven to show the different views of the people and objects that were directly and indirectly involved with the 1998 Matthew Shepard case. The brutality and pain compels the reader to continue reading, even if tears are streaming down your face. There is an excellent plethora of various poetry styles displayed in the book, including free verse, pantoum, rhyming couplets, and sonnets. An emotional journey reflecting on a true story, "October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard" is a must read for literature enthusiasts and recreational readers alike. Rest In Peace Matthew Shepard.
** My favorite poem in this collection is "The Fence (That Night)"

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desto77
Jun 15, 2013

desto77 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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desto77
Jun 15, 2013

This collection of poems by Newman is intricately woven to show the different views of the people and objects that were directly and indirectly involved with the 1998 Matthew Shepard case. The brutality and pain compels the reader to continue reading, even if tears are streaming down your face. There is an excellent plethora of various poetry styles displayed in the book, including free verse, pantoum, rhyming couplets, and sonnets. An emotional journey reflecting on a true story, "October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard" is a must read for literature enthusiasts and recreational readers alike.

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