October Mourning by Leslea Newman
A Song for Matthew Shepard

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews




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.

About Leslea Newman

See more books from this Author
Lesléa Newman is the author of more than sixty books for children and adults, including the groundbreaking children's classic Heather Has Two Mommies. A former poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, she has received poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation. She lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Published September 25, 2012 by Candlewick. 128 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for October Mourning

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

This cycle of poems, meant to be read sequentially as a whole, incorporates Newman’s reflections on Shepard’s killing and its aftermath, using a number of common poetic forms and literary devices to portray the events of that fateful night and the trial that followed.

Jul 26 2012 | Read Full Review of October Mourning: A Song for ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Just days after 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was killed in 1998, Newman (Heather Has Two Mommies) visited his school, the University of Wyoming, as the keynote speaker for its Gay Awareness Week.

Jul 30 2012 | Read Full Review of October Mourning: A Song for ...

Project MUSE

A week after University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was beaten and left for dead tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998, Newman arrived in town to give the keynote speech for the university's Gay Awareness Week.

| Read Full Review of October Mourning: A Song for ...

Lambda Literary

Poet Lesléa Newman, author of the lesbian children’s book Heather Has Two Mommies, arrived in Laramie,Wyoming in the fall of 1998, just five days after 21-year-old gay man Matthew Shepard was discovered in the wild, tied to a fence, crying, beaten and dying.

Sep 25 2012 | Read Full Review of October Mourning: A Song for ...


Last month’s election saw the approval of same-sex marriage in three states—Maine, Maryland and Washington—and the defeat in Minnesota of an amendment to the state constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Dec 09 2012 | Read Full Review of October Mourning: A Song for ...

Reader Rating for October Mourning

An aggregated and normalized score based on 11 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review