Laura Sewell Matter’s debut essay about a bad novelist was anthologized in Best Creative Nonfiction (Norton 2008), nominated for a National Magazine Award by the editors of The Georgia Review, and awarded a GAMMA Award by the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Like most of her nonfiction work, it blends biography with a first person account of her own wandering curiosity. This curiosity led her to write about other such disparate topics as ultra-marathon running in Iceland, the objectionable reading habits of 19th century Viennese composers, and the construction of both atomic bombs and pipe organs.
Raised in Connecticut, Laura spent her young adult years drifting between Northern California and damp island nations in the North Atlantic, while pursuing her checkered educational credentials. These credentials include a BA in English from Stanford University and an MSc in Medieval Philology with a concentration in Old Norse from the University of Edinburgh. On a Fulbright scholarship, Laura studied Icelandic language and literature at Háskóli Íslands (University of Iceland). Then—inevitably, after marrying a New Mexican—she moved to Albuquerque, where she earned an MFA in creative writing at the University of New Mexico. Laura remains in the desert to this day, now teaching English at Albuquerque Academy, and wandering the Sandia Mountains with her husband and two kids.