Matthew J. Hefti is a masthead editor at The Wrath-Bearing Tree, an accomplished author, and a practicing attorney with his own law firm in Houston, Texas. An experienced instructor and public speaker, he frequently teaches creative writing workshops and continuing legal education seminars for non-profit professional organizations.

Hefti's debut novel, A Hard and Heavy Thing (Gallery / Simon & Schuster 2016), was named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by Military Times and one of the Top Ten First Novels of the Year by Booklist. It was chosen by the Women's National Book Association as a Great Group Read. A Hard and Heavy Thing was also awarded the Wisconsin Library Association's Outstanding Achievement recognition.

 

Hefti's fiction, poetry, literary criticism, and essays have all been widely published online, appearing on websites such as The WarhorseLiterary Hub, Electric Literature, War on the Rocks, The Wrath-Bearing Tree​, and many others. 

Hefti has also contributed fiction and nonfiction to traditional print anthologies such as The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War (Pegasus Books 2017), Retire The Colors (Hudson Whitman 2016), MFA vs. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2014), and others.


Long before any literary success, Hefti dropped out of college to join the military. He spent twelve years enlisted in the Air Force as an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician. During that time, he was named Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year at the major command level in multiple years. Most notably, the Air Force named Hefti one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen in the entire Air Force, the highest and most prestigious annual award the service offers. 

During his combat deployments, Hefti frequently embedded with line and special forces units from different branches of the military and from different nations to provide the teams with counter-improvised explosive device support. Over his multiple tours, Hefti was awarded medals for his combat service from every different branch of the military.  

As an explosives specialist, Hefti earned the qualification of Master EOD Craftsman and the award of the coveted "Master Blaster" badge. Hefti left the military as a highly decorated combat veteran of four tours of duty, two each to Iraq and Afghanistan.

While enlisted, Hefti earned an Associate of Arts degree in Technical Studies, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiction. After his honorable discharge from the military, he earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin-Law School.

He lives with his family in Houston, Texas. 

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