"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: October Mourning: a Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman

"On the night of October 12, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a bar by two young men, then savagely beaten, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, and left to die. Five days later, Leslea Newman arrived on campus to give the keynote speech for the University of Wyoming's Gay Awareness Week."- from the book jacket

This lovely tribute to Matthew's life and his legacy explores the impact of this vicious crime through a variety of points of view. All these fictitious monologues are written utilizing different poetic forms. Even the fence and moon have their own poems. This book is a moving and obviously deeply personal account by the author Leslea Newman.

I was very touched by this small volume. I read it in an hour, which included the end notes. Several of the poems brought me to tears. In a strange act of synchronicity I actually read this book on October 12, the very day that Matthew Shepard was savagely beaten fourteen years earlier. I didn't notice this fact as I read the book but realized the coincidence today after receiving an e-mail from ThinkProgress about the anniversary of the event and the progress that has been made in GLTB issues since Matthew's death.

I highly recommend this book for all public and high school libraries. It is not only an important witness to a despicable event, a gentle reminder that all life is precious, and it is a lovely poetry book that could be used for examples of poetic styles.

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