A Song for Matthew Shepard
author: Lesléa Newman
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, 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 two decades later, the Stonewall Award–winning cycle of sixty-eight poems still serves as a powerful, enduring tribute to Matthew Shepard’s life. This paperback edition features a new foreword as well as an epilogue, an afterword, discussion questions, explanations of poetic forms, and resources.
“Written with love, anger, regret, and other profound emotions, this is a truly important book that deserves the widest readership.” —Booklist (starred review)