Neil Mathison



Winner of the 2016 Monandnock Essay Collection Prize and available now from Bauhan Publishing.
"This is an inviting essay collection - full of time, thought, unsentimental feeling, and a clarity of observation that together range far and wide. With beautiful writing, Neil Mathison offers us the benefits of his wild and tamed curiosity - which, as he suggests, may be divine. I'm pleased to chose it as the winner of the Monadnock Essay Collection Prize."
- ALICE B. FOGEL, New Hampshire poet laureate and author of A Doubtful House.

Neil Mathison is an essayist and short-story writer who has been a naval officer, a nuclear engineer, an expatriate businessman living in Hong Kong, a corporate vice-president, and a stay-at-home-dad. His essays and short stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Bosque,The Ontario Review, Georgia Review, Southern Humanities Review, North American Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Agni, Under the Sun, - divide-, Bellowing Ark, Pangolin Papers, Blue Mesa Review, and elsewhere. Neil was born in Sao Paulo Brazil, grew up in Seattle, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, and ultimately returned to the Northwest where he now lives and writes . Neil’s essay, “Volcano: an A to Z” was recognized as a “notable essay” in Best American Essays 2010. His essay, "Wooden Boat," is a notable essay in Best American Essays 2013 and has been anthologized in California Prose Directory 2014 New Writing from the Golden State. His short story "Cannery" won the Fiction Attic 2013 Short Story Contest and was published in the collection Modern Shorts: 16 Stories from Fiction Attic Press. His collection of essays, Volcano: an A to Z and Other Essays about Geology, Geography, and Geo-Travel in the American West, finalist for the 2013 AWP Nonfiction Book Contest, won the 2016 Bauhan Publishing Monadnock Essay Collection Contest and will be published in June 2017.



Volcano: an A to Z and Other Essays about Geology, Geography, and Geo-travel in the American West, Bauhan Publishing, Peterborough, New Hampshire, 2017.


"Crossings," Juxtaprose Magazine, http:/​/​, Winter, 2016.

"Big Island Abcedarian," Eunoia Review,

"Beaches," Eunoia Review,

"Catastrophic Columbia," Old Growth Northwest, http/​/​​wp-content/​uploads/​2013/​10/​2014Spring.pdf

"Rafting Off the Grid," Rappahannock Review, http:/​/​​issue-1-3/​neil-mathison/​

"A Passion for Boats," Blue Bear Review, http:/​/​

"A Requiem in Books," North Dakota Quarterly, Vol. 78, Issue 4.

"Maps," Cold Mountain Review, Vol. 41, No. 2, (Spring 2013), 5-15.

"Dodd Narrows," Moon City Review, 2013, 149-157

“Wooden Boat,” Blue Lyra Review, http:/​/​​issue-1-2/​

“My Redwoods,” Blue Lyra Review, http:/​/​​neil-mathison/​ and Blue Lyra Review: an Anthology of Diverse Voices, Vol. 1, p. 11-14.

“Aunt Janet,” Under the Sun, Vol. XVII, No. 1, (Summer 2012), 63-75.

“Ice,” North American Review, Vol. 297, No. 1, (Winter 2012), 3-6.

“Twenty-two Ways to Lose and (Maybe) Regain Paradise,” Southern Humanities Review, Vol. 45, No. 4. (Fall 2011), 352-363.

“Six Meditations on Sailing with John,” Under the Sun, Vol. XVI, No. 1, (Summer 2011), 96-103.

“Volcano: An A to Z,” Southern Humanities Review, Vol. 43, No. 4,. (Fall 2008), 305-328.

“Unfinished Business,” Under the Sun, Vol. XIV No. 1, (Summer 2009), 207-218.

“Memory and Helix: What Comes to Us from the Past,” The Georgia Review Vol. 62, No. 3, (Fall 2008), 586-600.

“Gunkholing the Internet: My Search for Howard Pease,” North Dakota Quarterly, Vol. 73, No.4 (Fall 2006), 68-81.

“Cross Threaded,” AGNI, Boston University, http:/​/​​agni/​essays-reviews/​online/​2005/​mathison.html .

“Horton Point,” Northwest Review Vol. 42, No. 2 (2004), 116-127.

“Fitting Out,” SAIL (May 2004), 91-92.

“Shadow and Light,” Facere Signs of Life Catalog (Seattle: Facere Art Jewelry Gallery, 2006), 10.

Short Stories

"Wintering Over," Kenyon Review, Kenyon Review, Summer 2016.

"Road Trip," Road Story: an anthology, p. 45-73.

"Moon Rocket," Bosque, Fifth Annual Issue, November 2015, Bosque Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico, p.134-145.

"The Bells of San Marco," Mary: a Literary Magazine, Spring 2015.

"Henry's Bone," Poplorish Winter 2015, http:/​/​​poplorish, p8-14.

"Cannery," Modern Shorts: 18 Short Stories from Fiction Attic press, ed. Michelle Richmond, Fiction Attic Press, p. 1-16.

"Waterslide," Valparaiso Fiction Review,​vfr/​vol4/​iss1/​4

"Iceman," Stoneslide Corrective, http:/​/​​p=4726

"The Comet," Shark Reef, http:/​/​​fiction/​comet/​

"Corazon's America," Split Infinitive, http:/​/​​corazons-america/​#,VAZQtD90y91

"Bread and Water," Constellation, Vol. 3, Fall 2013.

"Pompeii," Brooklyner, http:/​/​​2013/​pompeii-by-neil-matison/​

"Ashes," The Write Room, http:/​/​​2012/​11/​ashes/​?doing_wp_cron=13651853

"Kites," The Circus Book, http:/​/​​2012/​neil-mathison-kites

"Liberty Turns," Blue Lake Review, http:/​/​​liberty-turns.html

"Ski Group Weekend," Northwind Magazine," http:/​/​​contents/​5/​?issue=5

"Facts of the Case," Notes," No. 5, (2012), 15-20.

“Big Bang,” Northwind Magazine, http:/​/​​contents/​3/​big_bang.html

“Rose Wood Has a Good Heart,” Blue Mesa Review, Issue XXIV, (Spring 2011), 152-168.

“Monopoly,” Bellowing Ark Vol. 25, No. 1 (January/​February 2009), 10-12.

“Hawaiian Wedding,” divide, (Fall 2007).

“The Towers of San Gimignano,” Ontario Review No. 64 (Spring/​Summer 2006), 52-64.

“An Bien,” Pangolin Papers Vol.5, No. 3 (Spring 1999), 4-15.

Selected Works

When is it too late? A divorced spouse demands an annulment.
A navy sailor faces choices and challenges on a Vietnamese river during the war.
Mathison explores how his seagoing ancestors may have drawn him to the sea.
This essay explores what it means to live in the shadow of an active volcano.

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