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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 66/100: October Mourning - A Song for Matthew Shepherd by Leslea Newman

— feeling sad
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard - Lesléa Newman

This is a beautiful, haunting tribute to Matthew Shepherd told in a bevy of imagined voices, some of which are spun off quotes from people connected to the murder in some way, from the murderers to the investigating officers to the person who found Matthew's body. While it's tempting to find voices of inanimate objects such as the fence post to be funny, what these objects have to say, the way they have witnessed what no human being did, is no laughing matter. These are some of the most powerful poems in the collection, although the poems from the imagined perspectives of the perpetrators were most chilling, and the poems from marginally connected people -- the police officers, classmates, etc. -- most thought-provoking.

The author Leslea Newman was actually personally connected to the events as well -- she was scheduled to speak at a Pride event the weekend after Matthew Shepherd was discovered. It was scheduled prior to the hate crime, and of course the whole tone had changed by the time the event arrived. I appreciated hearing Newman's personal perspective, as well as the work that came out of an event many of us will never be able to forget.