Leslea Newman was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the University of Wyoming's Gay Awareness Week. Matthew Shepard died the next day, as a result of the brutal beating he had sustained six days before.
Newman's incredible collection of poems, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, brings back the outrage, horror, and the tragedy of that night through a myriad of voices. The fence that held Matthew as he hung, tied, through the long night. The stars looking down on him, mothers, fathers, townspeople, so many voices all focused on this one, horrific event and the guilt and pain that resulted.
Deeply, deeply moving, this is a stunning collection, and a beautiful tribute to a dark event. As sad as it is (I cried more than once) the focus is on tolerance and growth. Teens who were too young at the time would be well served by reading this book.
My food rating is the Passover meal. This solemn, ritual feast commemorates an important event. The bitter herbs are especially appropriate to the story of Matthew Shepard.