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 Contact InformationHelpHelp  
Matthew R Bondurant
Assistant Professor-Arts & Humanities
Office MailstopMail Box: JO31, JO 4.624, Room No.: 4.624 
Email Address    Primary Phone Number 972-883-2071    URL Personal website    Media Contact
 Professional Preparation
 PhDEnglish and Creative WritingFlorida State University2003
 MAEnglishJames Madison University1998
 BAEnglishJames Madison University1993
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
Areas of Specialization
  • Fiction and Poetry Writing, Contemporary Fiction, Postmodern Fiction, The History of the Novel, 19th Century American Literature, Romanticism, Shakespeare
Collapse Section Expand Section Appointments
DurationRankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
2009-PresentAssistant Professor  The University of Texas at Dallas
2009-PresentDirectorExecutive Editorial Committee Sojourn/Reunion: The Dallas Review
2007-2009Assistant Professor  SUNY Plattsburgh
2007-2009Fiction Editor  The Saranac Review
2003-2007Assistant Term Professor  George Mason University
1999-2002Associate Fiction Editor  The Apalachee Review
1998-2002   Florida State University
1998-2000Associate Fiction Editor  The Southeast Review
1997-1998   James Madison University
 News Articles
Book review: ‘Middle Men,’ by Jim Gavin
The Dallas Morning News
By MATT BONDURANT Special Contributor
Published: 01 March 2013 07:09 PM
Updated: 01 March 2013 07:09 PM
Jim Gavin’s debut collection is filled with stories of men in all stages of development — innocent, striving, desperate, defeated — and imbued with a sense of humanity and hilarity.
In Gavin’s Los Angeles, desire is a distant reverberation heard on the highways, the studio parking lot, the backyard patio, the drive-through at Del Taco. Not just desire for fame in the conventional sense, but for a broader feeling of belonging, being loved or finding absolution. It is the background noise as life dissolves into the great muddling middle, here brought to the forefront and explored with surgical precision.

Book review: ‘Country Girl: A Memoir,’ by Edna O’Brien
The Dallas Morning News
When Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls was published in Ireland in 1960, it rocked the conservative country like a seismic shock wave.
O’Brien was pilloried for the frank sexual nature of the novel. Her mother blacked out the tawdrier sections of the clearly autobiographical novel. But she was championed around the world for her honesty and artful depiction of the ardors of young women. By the time O’Brien completed The Country Girls Trilogy, she was one of the best-known celebrities in Ireland.
Nearly 30 books and 53 years later, she has written a charming and heartfelt account of her life, Country Girl: A Memoir.
Its structure is a roughly chronological series of vignettes, beginning with childhood. Her youth was dominated by Catholicism, developing a passion for sin and salvation: “The flames of Hell seemed as real as the turf burning in the fire.
Sometimes, if a sod fell out, my mother would catch it with her bare hand to test her strength for the future and possible flames of eternity.” Growing up in rural Ireland also affected her with a dark sense of destiny: “It was borne in on me at that very young age that I came from fierce people and that the wounds of history were as raw and vivid as the pictures on the packs of cards that had been flung down.”

Professor's Book Becomes New Hollywood Film
UT Dallas News Center

Dr. Matt Bondurant’s 2008 book, The Wettest County in the World, has made the leap to the big screen, and on Wednesday, Aug. 29, the film adaptation will open in theaters in a movie called, Lawless.
Bondurant has published two other novels, including The Night Swimmer and Bondurant’s first book, The Third Translation, which was an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages.
The film will star Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Gary Oldman and Mia Wasikowska. It is directed by John Hillcoat, who also directed The Road.Bondurant said he did not envision that his book would be made into a film.

Film Based on Prof's 2nd Book Set for Release This Summer
UT Dallas News Center

Dr. Matt Bondurant’s 2008 book, The Wettest County in the World, is about to make the leap to the big screen with an all-star cast.
The story is set in Prohibition-era Virginia and is inspired by Bondurant’s grandfather and great-­uncles, the Bondurant Boys, who ran moonshine during the Great Depression.
Forrest, the eldest brother, is fierce but also the consummate businessman. Howard, the middle brother, is besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War. Jack, the youngest, has a taste for luxury and a dream to get out of Franklin County, Va. The men struggle to keep their illegal business afloat in the face of the Great Depression and a drought.
The film will star Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Gary Oldman and Mia Wasikowska. It is directed by John Hillcoat, who also directed The Road, and is set for release in August.

Novelist Prof to Share Latest Creation at Lecture
News Center at UT Dallas

What do you get when you mix a deep-sea swimmer, a troubled marriage, an Irish pub and a goat that walks upright on two legs?  The answer is Dr. Matt Bondurant’s third novel, The Night Swimmer.
The Night Swimmer is set in a small town on the southern coast of Ireland, an isolated place frequented only by fishermen and the occasional group of bird-watchers. Fred and Elly Bulkington arrive from Vermont after winning a pub in a contest.  They encounter a wild, strange land shaped by the pounding storms of the North Atlantic, as well as the native resistance to strangers.
The Night Swimmer has received reviews from The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Daily Beast. His 2008 book The Wettest County in the World is currently being made into a movie. Bondurant’s first novel, The Third Translation, was an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages worldwide. His short fiction has been published in journals such asPrairie Schooner and The New England Review. In 2008, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poetry has recently appeared in Ninth Letter, The Notre Dame Review, and other journals, as well as anthologized in Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, a widely adopted creative writing text. His reviews and essays have appeared in journals such as The Southeast Reviewand The Northern Virginia Review.

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 Additional Information
Selected Writing Awards/Fellowships
  • Editor’s Pick, The New York Times, The Wettest County in the World 2008
  • 50 Best Books of the Year, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Wettest County in the World 2008
  • Artist in Residence, The MacDowell Colony, June 2009
  • Artist in Residence, Yaddo, June 2008
  • Pushcart Prize Nomination: “The Jerusalem Syndrome” Iron Horse Review, Fall 2007
  • Booksense Notable Pick: The Third Translation 2005
  • The Sewanee Writer’s Conference: Walter E. Dakin Fellow 2005
  • The Dean’s Prize: Florida State University, 7 Days of Opening Nights Festival 2004
  • Kingsbury Fellow, Florida State University 2002-2003
  • The Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference: Staff Member Scholarship 2001
  • The Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference: “Waiter” Scholarship 2000
  • Bernice Slote Award for “Best Story of the Year by a New Writer” (Prairie Schooner- 2001)
  • FSU English Department Outstanding Creative Writing Student Award 2001
  • Outstanding Achievement in Creative Writing Award, JMU English Honors Awards, 1996.

Other Selected Writing & Teaching Awards/Honors/Achievements
  • Guest Expert, Dr. G Medical Examiner Show, The Discovery Channel. The Death of Sherwood Anderson, Spring 2010.
  • Interview, A Chef’s Table, NPR nationally syndicated show, Prohibition and Moonshine, 2008
  • Creator and Chairman, The North Country Literature Festival, Plattsburgh, NY 2009
  • Interview, Radio One France, The Third Translation, French Bestseller 2006
  • Judge, Literary Love Poem Contest, Ward 1 Achievement Center, Washington DC, 2006
  • Presenter: Publishing the First Book, GMU Luncheon Workshops 2005
  • Instructor/Presenter for new TA Comp/Rhet. Workshops, FSU 1999-2002
  • Creator, writer, producer, and host of Literature Matters, a weekly literary talk and commentary radio show broadcast on WXJM 88.7 FM Harrisonburg, 1995- 997.
  • Vice President, The English Graduate Organization, JMU, 1997-98.
  • Planning Committee, The Madison Conference on English Studies, JMU 1995-98.

Achievements in Original Investigation


  • The Nightjar (working title), Scribner, Hardback Fall 2011.
  • The Wettest County in the World - Scribner, Hardback April 2008, Paperback Jan. 2009
    • Foreign Language Editions: French: L’Archipel, Czech: Dobrovsky, others pending.
  • The Third Translation - Hyperion, Hardback April 2005, Paperback April 2006
    • Foreign Language Editions: United Kingdom: Hyperion, Spanish: Plaza y Janes (Random House), Italian: Sperling and Kupfer (Mondadori), Portuguese (Brazil): Distribuidora Record (Grupo Editorial Record), Catalan: Enciclopedia Catalana, S.A., Russian: AST Publishers, German: Random House (Bertelsmann), Serbian: Vega Publishing, Portuguese (Portugal): Estampa, French: L’Archipel, Hungarian: Gabo, Greek: Pontiki, Polish: Bellona, Czech: Dobrovsky

Short Stories

  • “Birthmark” Alaska Quarterly Review – Summer 2008
  • “The Jerusalem Syndrome” Iron Horse Literary Review Fall 2007
  • “Telemetry” Glimmer Train September 2005
  • “It Never Ends” The Hawaii Review Winter 2004
  • “The Two Lands” New England Review Spring 2003
  • “So Calm, So Vaporless, The World of Light” Gulf Coast Review 2003
  • “The Queen of Sparta” Prairie Schooner Winter 2001 – Bernice Slote Award
  • “Careful” The Baltimore Review Winter 2001
  • “Kept” The Madison Review Fall 2000


  • “The Pathos of Charles Schultz” (reprinted) Imaginative Writing, Pearson Longman 2010
  • “The Pathos of Charles Schultz” & “The Kite Eating Tree” Ninth Letter Spring 2008
  • “Waltz” & “Poem For A Woman You Never Knew” The Notre Dame Review Winter 2007
  • “Melodrama” Hiram Poetry Review - Spring 2007


  • Burning Bright: Stories, by Ron Rash – The San Francisco Chronicle, March 28th 2010
  • The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, by Jerome Charyn, First Person Plural – The Writer’s Center, June 24th 2010
  • “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Dan Brown” The Northern Virginia Review Spring 2007
  • Big If, by Mark Costello - The Southeast Review Spring 2003
  • Big Fish, by Daniel Wallace - The Southeast Review Spring 2001


  • The Wettest County in the World, currently in development, rights sold 2008 to Columbia Pictures/ Red Wagon Entertainment, John Hillcoat –Director, Nick Cave – Screenplay, Shia Labeouf, Ryan Gosling, Paul Dano, Scarlett Johanssen, attached principals.

Selected Conferences/ Readings
  • The Dallas Opera: Program Leader, Romeo & Juliet Reading Group, Fall 2011
  • National Alcohol Beverage Control Assocation: Featured Speaker, "The Wettest County in the World: Prohibition, Moonshine, and the Law" January 2009
  • The Dallas Opera: Program Leader, The Moby Dick Bookclub Series, 2009 – 2010
  • Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers Conference: Panel, Graduate CW Programs 2009
  • The Discovery Channel: Guest Expert, The Death of Sherwood Anderson: Dr. G Investigates 2009
  • Algonkian Workshops Lecturer: "The First Novel & the Politics of Publishing" 2006-2007
  • La Stele Maudite: Release Party and Press Event at the British Museum with Curator Richard Parkinson (French edition of The Third Translation) Paris/London, Sept. 2006
  • Virginia Festival for the Book, Charlottesville VA. March 24, 2006: "Museum Pieces: Fiction set in Museums"
  • The Northern Virginia Review Reception, Keynote Speaker, March 21, 2006: "Lost in Translation:
  • Research and the Modern Novel"
  • Baltimore Book Festival, Baltimore MD. Sept 2005 Reading & Panel: "Writers on Publishing"
  • Fall for the Book Festival, Fairfax VA. Sept 2005 Panel: "Publishing the Debut Novel"
  • Wordstock Book Festival, Portland OR. April 2005. Reading and Q&A: Border's Stage
  • Literary Lounge, Washington DC Community Reading Series, Summer 2005
  • Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies, New Orleans, LA November 2000: History is (Not) Now: The Postmodern Historical Narrative and Theoretical Violence of Yambo Ouloguem's Les Devoirs de violence
  • AWP Annual Conference, Kansas City MO April 2000: Word by Word: A Narrative Exercise for Writing Workshops
  • AWP Annual Conference, Albany NY April 1999: Restoring Cultural Context and Temporality in the Fiction Workshop
  • The Madison Conference on English Studies, April 1998: You Can Have It (fiction panel)
  • Writing By Degrees : The National Creative Writing Conference, Binghamton, NY. March 1998: "It's In The Details: Teaching Short Fiction Writing and the Preservation of Temporal Space and Cultural Context"
  • The Madison Conference on English Studies, April 1997: The Way Things Passed (fiction panel)
  • The Philological Association of the Carolinas, March 1997: "The One Who Makes Whole: Jane Austen and the Primordial Unconscious of Jung's "Child Archetype" in Mansfield Park"
  • The Madison Conference on English Studies, April 1996: December Song (fiction panel)


Doctoral Advisement/direction

  • Diane McGurren, PhD Committee, expected graduation 2012
  • LaToya S. Watkins, MA Committee, expected graduation 2011

Classroom teaching

  • The University of Texas at Dallas, Assistant Professor, 2009 – Present
    • HUSL 8303 – Independent Readings in Literary Study
    • HUAS 8305 – Research Aesthetics and Performance
    • HUAS 6395 – Creating Short Fictions - Graduate Fiction Workshop
    • HUSL 6309 – Literary Movements - Postmodern Short Fiction
    • CRWT 3307 - Creating Short Stories
    • LIT 3309 - Studies in the Short Story
    • LIT 3326 - Literature of the American South
  • SUNY Plattsburgh, Assistant Professor, 2007 – 2009
    • Herman Melville: Major Author, 19th Century American Novel, Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop,
    • 20th American Novel, The Modern Short Story, Introduction to Fiction Writing, Introduction to Creative Writing
  • George Mason University, Assistant Term Professor, 2003 - 07
    • Fiction Workshop, Introduction to Creative Writing, Writing About Texts, Advanced Literature/ Texts in Contexts, Advanced Composition – Humanities
  • Florida State University 1998-02
    • Shakespeare, British Literature from 1800 to the present, Introduction to Short Fiction, Article and
  • Essay Workshop, Contemporary Literature, Research Writing, Freshman Composition and Rhetoric
    • James Madison University 1997-98

Poetry Writing Workshop, Freshman Composition and Research

  • Outside Chair: M. Momodu – Dissertation Defense, Public Policy, Summer 2010
  • Events Committee – Arts and Humanities Representative, 2010.
  • Faculty Coordinator/Oversight – for Sojourn (now renamed as Reunion: The Dallas Review) magazine, a annual production of the Arts & Humanities graduate students. This position includes supervising all aspects of design, publication, and distribution of the magazine, as well as all promotional elements, advertising, and overall editorial duties.
  • Faculty Editorial Consultant – the undergraduate literary arts magazine of UTD (to be named later), produced by and for UTD undergraduates.

Personal Statement

Matt Bondurant's first novel The Third Translation (Hyperion 2005) was an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages worldwide. His second novel The Wettest County in the World (Scribner 20008) was a New York Times Editor's Pick, a San Francisco Chronicle Best 50 Books of the Year, and was featured in Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, and Men's Journal.

Matt's short fiction has been published in journals such as Prairie Schooner, The New England Review, and Glimmer Train, among others, and in 2008 he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poetry has recently appeared in Ninth Letter, The Notre Dame Review, and other journals, as well as anthologized in Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, the most widely adopted creative writing text in America. His reviews and essays have appeared in journals such as The Southeast Review and The Northern Virginia Review.

He has presented scholarly work at The Philological Association of the Carolinas, The Group For Early Modern Cultural Studies, AWP, The National Creative Writing Conference, and The Madison Conference on English Studies, focusing on topics such as Postmodern African Novelists, The Fiction Workshop Model, and Jane Austen. He has been a featured speaker or reader at dozens of literary festivals, workshops, and conferences, and he currently leads the Moby Dick Book Club for the Dallas Opera.

A Bread Loaf waiter and staff member, Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State, and Walter E. Dakin Fellow at Sewanee, Matt has recently held residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. He has appeared on various media outlets, including Radio France, NPR, and The Discovery Chanel, and has served as an editor on numerous literary journals. In the past he worked for the Associated Press, NPR, and The British Museum.

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