Lesléa Newman, the prolific poet and children’s book author who wrote “Heather has
two Mommies” will give two talks Tuesday, Oct. 29.
At noon, she will present “It Takes
a Village to Raise a Children’s Book Writer.” At 7:30 p.m., she will present
“He Continues to Make a Difference: The Story of Matthew Shepard.” Both
presentations will take place in the Mukaiyama University Room and are free and
open to the public.
Newman is the author of more than 40
books for children and young adults, including “Heather has two Mommies,” the
first children’s bookto
portray lesbian families in a positive way. Other popular youth titles include
“Hachiko Waits,” “Fat Chance” and “A Sweet Passover.”
The evening program uses poetry, photographs
and creative visualization to explore the impact of Matthew Shepard’s murder on
the world. In 1998, Shepard was kidnapped, robbed, beaten and murdered in
was the keynote speaker for the Gay Awareness Week at the University of Wyoming
that year and arrived on campus the day that Shepard died. She spoke to a
devastated campus and community and vowed to work to erase hate from that day
most recent book, “October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard” explores the impact
of Shepard’s murder in a cycle of 68 poems written as fictional monologues in a
variety of voices, including the fence he was tied to, the stars that watched
over him and a doe who kept him company.
is the author of many books for adults that deal with lesbian identity, Jewish
identity and the intersection between the two. Other topics she explores
include AIDS, eating disorders and sexual abuse. Her award-winning short story
“A Letter to Harvey Milk” has been made into a film and adapted for the stage.
visit is part of Pitt-Bradford’s Spectrum arts series. It is co-sponsored by
the Women’s Studies program and the LGBTS Alliance.