Lesléa Newman was scheduled to speak at the University of Wyoming’s Gay Awareness Week just five days after student Matthew Shepherd was savagely murdered in the small town of Laramie. It was an event that shook the college—and the nation—to the core. How could such evil exist in the world?
Lesléa was so upset by the event, she sat down and wrote October Mourning, a novel-in-verse that imagines the horrific last night of Matthew Shepherd’s life. The poems are told through various points of view, including the fence that Matthew was tied to, and the stars and moon that watched from overhead.
Inspired by Lesléa Newman’s novel-in-verse, we challenged you to write a poem inspired by an event that made the national news in the last year. And write you did! The Figment editors read all of the poems, and we’re now pleased to announce the five winners!
Well done! You’ll each receive hardcover and audiobook editions of October Mourning.
Thanks to everyone who participated!