October Mourning is Lesléa Newman’s deeply personal response to the tragic day Matthew Shepard was beaten and left for dead, and the brutal aftermath of those events. This work of poetic imagination explores the impact of the vicious crime through fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence to which Matthew was tied, the deer that kept watch beside him, and even Matthew himself.

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 and legacy.

October Mourning Resources

The Matthew Shepard Foundation provides the following English Language Arts (ELA) supports for the oratorio: