Lesléa Newman ~ writer ~

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October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard
Candlewick Press, 2012

On the night of October 6, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay, twenty-one-year-old college student was lured from a Wyoming bar by two young men, savagely beaten, tied to a remote fence, and left to die. Gay Awareness Week was beginning at the University of Wyoming, and the keynote speaker was Leslea Newman, discussing her book Heather Has Two Mommies. Shaken, the author addressed the large audience that gathered and remained haunted by Matthew's murder.

October Mourning, a novel in verse, is her deeply felt response to the events of that tragic day. Using her poetic imagination, the author creates fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence Matthew was tied to, the stars that watched over him, the deer that kept him company, and Matthew himself. More than a decade later, this stunning cycle of sixty-eight poems serves as a powerful, enduring tribute to Matthew Shepard's life.

Watch the Book Trailer on Youtube.

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I Remember: Hachiko Speaks
Finishing Line Press, 2012

A chapbook of poetry told in the voice of Hachiko, Japan's famous Akita, as an old dog looking back on his life. Hachiko was born in 1935 and owned by Professor Eisaburo Ueno. Every day he accompanied his master to the train station, ran home, and returned to meet him at the end of the day. One day, the Professor did not return. Hachiko waited for 10 long years, hoping to be reunited with his master.


 
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Based on the same true story as Lesléa Newman's children's book, Hachiko Waits, and the movie Hachi: A Dog's Tale starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen.
 
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Hear a Poet, There a Poet: A Pioneer Valley Anthology

Alas, my two-year poet laureate term has ended. I had a blast, met dozens of wonderful poets and poetry lovers, and promoted poetry throughout the land. As a souvenir of my tenure, I have put together an anthology that features the poetry that appeared in my newspaper column, "Hear a Poet, There a Poet" which appeared in our local paper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

The poems are short, accessible, and very moving! Poets include Martín Espada, Nikky Finney, Ellen Doré Watson, Annie Boutelle, Genie Zeiger, and a host of others. The book also includes the first, second, and third place winners of the Paradise Poetry Prize (which I judged) and a poem I wrote at age 14.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, please send me an email to leslea@lesleakids.com and I will send you an order form.

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The Reluctant Daughter
Bold Strokes Books, 2009

A story every daughter will recognize, The Reluctant Daughter depicts the struggles of Lydia Pinkowitz to communicate the realities of her life as a lesbian, as a feminist scholar, and as the woman she has become to her mother Doris. After years of hoping to attain her motherís love and acceptance while struggling to live a true and honest life, Lydia eventually acknowledges her mother will never really see her.


 
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When Doris develops a life-threatening illness, Lydia is forced to make a life-and-death decision of her own: should she make one final attempt to heal her relationship with her mother or simply let her go?
 
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