In Memoriam: Shannon Leigh

It's with heavy heart that I announce that Shannon Leigh passed away earlier today. She had been in a coma since her diving accident on June 14. At just 20-years-old, she had already established herself as rising star in spoken word and poetry. We have lost an important voice today. Shannon will be missed. My condolences to all her friends and family. You can visit the website set up for her at www.getwellshannon.com or check her MySpace page to hear some of the amazing poetry. I am honored to have worked with her, albeit briefly, here in Atlanta and that one of her finest poems, Sudanese Children, is in the recently released Java Monkey Anthology Vol. 3.

Comments

what an absolutely tragedy. do they know what went wrong during the dive yet? ive been reading the sites and the news. such a beauty she was.
M. RuPere said…
omg, words can't even begin . . . she was the shit . . . at 20 . . . gurlfriend shot from the hip, suffered zero fools . . . just a few weeks ago she was doing, "Fuck Me Human" and cracking us up with the come-ons she had to endure after doing that piece - so funny, so "on" . . . also saw her shed one big tear on a hot night when she missed making the slam team by .10 of a point - but then she became an alternate and came in what, 2nd or something, in individual at the Nationals . . . hard to take in . . .
Karen Head said…
It sounds so cliche, but damn if there isn't some truth to the notion that "only the good die young." In this case, it really does seem that this world simply couldn't calibrate for so much talent, so much passion, so much beauty.
Lisa Allender said…
I'm so sorry Coll. Although I did not get to interact with her, her exceptional beauty was certainly matched by her poetic skills. And apparently, she was fearless. To the end.
KATE EVANS said…
Really sad...I read from the website. I can't imagine how devastated her mother must be.
Maggie May said…
as a mother this makes the depths of my soul tremble. perhaps because i have young children i go immediately to her parents loss rather than her own, then come round again to her loss, the twenty years so fully lived but so much more! to do. this is horrible and a tragic waste of a talented young girl. it's impossible to imagine the loss. i'm very sorry.
Robin Kemp said…
Question: Was she a cave or cavern diver, or just a regular open-water diver? In looking through the preliminary dive accident info, I don't see any mention of specifics, beyond a story that she may have had trouble equalizing her ears and that she left her buddy/buddies at that point,

I don't know whether Shannon was either a cave or cavern diver, or if she had some sort of other problem/inexperience that precipitated her accident. OW divers make the mistake of thinking they can just "take a peek" inside a cave without paying the price. Take note if any of you are also poet-divers.

Regardless, what a waste.

--Robin
PADI OW, AOW, Rescue/NAUI OW/YMCA AOW/AAUS Scientific Diver
Very sorry to read this, Collin.
Collin said…
From what I've heard, and anyone that knows better please correct me, Shannon and her friends were diving and exploring caves at Ginnie Springs. Shannon was having trouble with her equlibrium, so she left the other divers to go to more shallow water. When she was found, she had become lodged in underwater logs and debris and her breathing apparatus had been pulled off her face. It's uncertain how long she was without oxygen when she was found by other divers. It's just a tragic accident all the way around, and I don't think we will ever know exactly what happened while she was on her own and how she became ensnared in the debris and why she couldn't free herself.
Anonymous said…
Very sad to hear about this. I litened to her on Myspace and watched her on Youtube. She was amazing.

GAV

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