Alumna’s Newest Poetry Book


Lesléa Newman, Certificate of Poetics in 1980, announces the publication of her newest poetry book, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student attending the University of Wyoming, was kidnapped, robbed, beaten, lashed to a fence, and left to die. Eighteen hours passed before he was found and brought to a hospital. He died five days later with his family by his side. It was the start of Gay Awareness Week and Newman was the keynote speaker. OCTOBER MOURNING is her personal response to this hate crime. This novel-in-verse explores the impact of Matthew Shepard’s murder in a cycle of 68 imaginative poems that speak from various fictitious voices including the fence to which Matthew Shepard was tied, the moon that watched over him, and a deer that kept him company all through the night.

See the book trailer here.