Matt Thompson is the author of three nonfiction books. Two are works of international reportage: the bestselling My Colombian Death and its acclaimed sequel, Running With The Blood God.
Matt's most recent book is the blistering MAYHEM, a manic first-person biography of Christopher BADNE$$ Binse, Australia's wildest bandit of the modern era who is now serving 18 years in inhumane 'ultramax' conditions.
Matt is now adapting MAYHEM into a ferocious screenplay.
Dr Matt Thompson specialises in immersive reportage.
His field work has involved hiking into bamboo forests to dine with Filipino guerrillas, sprinting from Iranian riot police, 'dying' in traumatic ceremonies with a Colombian shaman, touring Kosovo with Serb nationalists, weeping inconsolably at a Pow Wow in Oregon, and much more.
Matt is published by Australian Foreign Affairs, the Sydney Review of Books, the Weekend Australian, the BBC, the ABC, the Sydney Morning Herald, Dazed + Confused, and many others.
Dr Matt Thompson is an accomplished public speaker and university lecturer, currently teaching into graduate and bachelor media programs at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
Matt taught at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji near the end of military rule.
Matt is a University Medal winner and a Doctor of Creative Arts, with his dissertation in literary journalism examined by New York University’s Director of Literary Reportage, Robert Boynton.
Matt was born in Portland, Oregon, but thereafter exiled to Canada and then Australia. The long decades of separation from his birthplace have been testing, but when Matt returns all clocks will stop.
Below is from 'Running With The Blood God'
The BOOM-boom-BOOM-boom-BOOM-boom and the surging, wailing chant are overcoming the surroundings: the schoolyard, the portable toilets, the brick buildings, the cars, the Portland out there. They're pounding it down, pounding away the shame of defeat but not the pain, and pounding the sound around and around until it's here again: the past, the future, all the time that's been lost, and they place their moccasins through curves and turns, shaking their shoulders and twitching their staffs and seeing the light of double sight until the drums fall silent.
Given the extended duration of his stay in Australia, Matt has been determined to use his time productively.
His central focus has been conducting an immersive study of unparalleled qualitative depth into Australians' mating rituals, totems, taboos, habitats, triebe (engines of the insistent unconscious), and much, much more.
To enrich this research, Matt has lived in a variety of locations in metropolitan and rural Australia, even spending six years as a professional firefighter and rescue operator attached to a country town's fire brigade.
The Fire + Rescue Project, in particular, has yielded a mother lode of insights into authority-performance and gender positioning in contemporary Australia.
It has also done much to reduce the cultural distance Matt once perceived between Australia and the 'trouble-spots' abroad of his reporting.
It’s windy now, the giant clumping bamboo outside my study window swaying and whooshing, leaves and shadows all a-ripple.
It’s been a hard year, full of trials and torments. Renae doesn’t like the wind, which after the floods seemed to carry disease. It’s as if something was released. Scores of people fell ill with serious respiratory ailments including atypical pneumonia, our daughter included. One of her schoolmates coughed and vomited so hard from pneumonia he split his oesophagus, which apparently let gases into his body, causing subcutaneous emphysema. Another kid fell ill with Kawasaki disease, a rare inflammation of the body’s blood vessels. Researchers are looking closely at its correlation with certain tropospheric airflow patterns.
But I love the wind. To me it is the water in which our spirits swim.
From 'Nightswimming in Dungog'