In 1998l, Matthew Shepard a gay student attending the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, robbed, beaten, tied to a fence and abandoned. He died five days, at the start of Gay Awareness Week, the day Lesléa Newman arrived on campus to give a keynote address. October mourning, explores the impact of Matthew Shepard's murder in a cycle of 68 poems told from various points of view including the the fence to which he was tied, the stars that watched over him, and a deer that kept him company all through the night.
October mourning received a 2013 Stonewall Honor from the American Library Association and was selected for the 2014 Texas Tayshas High School Reading List.
Lesléa Newman is the author of 65 books for readers of all ages including the, HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES and A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK. Her literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. From 2008-2010 she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, MA
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