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Journalist Matt Power Passes in Uganda. RIP
March 11, 2014 9:02 AM   Subscribe

From writing about Tree-Living Anarchists to a recent GQ story on Drone pilots, Matthew Power wrote "The kind of stories I've gotten to do have involved fulfilling my childhood fantasies of having an adventurous life." He had an adventurous life and brought us along with him. RIP.
posted by history is a weapon (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
so lazy googling and the only obit that came up was men's journal.
posted by k5.user at 9:12 AM on March 11


Same age as me. Done far more things than me, though.

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posted by josher71 at 9:33 AM on March 11


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posted by chaosys at 9:42 AM on March 11


Matt and I were classmates, and coworkers at a variety of places. We hadn't been in touch for years, but I've followed his career with interest (and some jealousy). He was friendly and generous, curious about the world, and a good writer. This is a real loss.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:44 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


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posted by oceanjesse at 9:46 AM on March 11


Apparently of heat stroke and exhaustion. Shame. He was a real talent.

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posted by inturnaround at 9:53 AM on March 11


Jeez that sucks. Heatstroke - an entirely avoidable condition with a bit more luck, experience and good judgment.

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posted by MuffinMan at 9:56 AM on March 11


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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:04 AM on March 11


I'm not sure if this is the appropriate forum for this. Hell, I'm not sure there exists an appropriate forum for this.

Matt Power changed my life.

I was in college in New York, in urgent need of a new living situation. There was an ad on Craigslist for a room in a Long Island City art collective. Within my basically nonexistent price range.

That Craigslist ad was placed by Matt Power, who, despite the fact that he was theoretically moving out, became a fixture of my life at said art collective for the next few years. He was someone I argued with, flirted with, read and wrote with, planned adventures with, and learned to be an adult with.

By inviting me to live there, he didn't just rent me a room. He gave me my entire adult life. I met at least two of my big 20-something loves through Matt. I started moving down the path that eventually led to the career I have today with his encouragement. I had all my big adventures because of paths he opened up to me. I grew up with Matt, literally.

We didn't always like each other or agree about things while we lived together, but I always assumed we'd eventually meet up again. There has not been another person, aside from maybe my parents, who has been more responsible for the life I lead in this world.

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posted by Sara C. at 10:10 AM on March 11 [51 favorites]


I hope his work can be anthologized. We're living in a gold age of non-fiction travel/adventure writing. Where is the "Library of America" volume on contemporary travel writing (yeah I know they have to be posthumous, but there you go).
posted by stbalbach at 10:13 AM on March 11


Matt was my wife's roommate when she and I started dating; she had previously been his editor at National Geographic Adventure. Matt had, as I posted on Facebook, and essential skill that any freelance journalist needs to succeed: the ability to raid and devour everything in any refrigerator within his reach (the time he ate ALL of the ribolitta soup I'd labored over for hours comes to mind...but somehow, it didn't bother anyone too much. It was just Matt being his free self.) My wife is downstairs crying right now; he'll be missed.
posted by soulbarn at 10:14 AM on March 11 [9 favorites]


matt power took me on my first motorcycle ride.

For the past little while I had just assumed/hoped this was a different matt power the internet was talking about.

This is horrible.
posted by goneill at 10:55 AM on March 11 [1 favorite]


I didn't connect the dots until now, but I read and relished all the linked articles, including those listed in the Men's Journal obit without realizing they were written by the same writer.

He lived an interesting life and we got to share some of it.

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posted by mygoditsbob at 11:20 AM on March 11 [1 favorite]




There's now a New York Times obituary. No new information, but it talks a lot more about the other publications he wrote for and a little more about who he was as a person.

I highly recommend the Allen Ginsberg piece, which Scoop linked above. He gave it to me to read when we first met (not only are great journalists champion eaters, they also have huge heads), and it's a beautiful piece of writing that feels just that little bit more poignant today.
posted by Sara C. at 9:18 AM on March 12


There's a great photo of him at GQ, with links to more of his writing.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:21 AM on March 12


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posted by homunculus at 10:23 PM on March 13






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