Word began reverberating this morning in the relatively small world of magazine journalists via email lists and various social networks that we'd lost one of our own: Matthew Power--kind, generous, curious, brilliant, and indefatigable--passed away while reporting a story for Men's Journal in northern Uganda. He was profiing and following a man who is attempting to walk the entire length of the Nile, and initial reports indicate that Matt died of some combination fo heatstroke and overexertion, in a place remote enough that there was no possibility of timely medical assistance.
Matt was a friend, a guiding light, and an inspiration. While the rest of us would get bogged down, fed up with the vaguaries of the magazine world, Matt was always charging forward towards the next story, always one step ahead of the rest of us, always producing quality work at a rate that astounded me. He was also always generous with his time, his contacts, his words of encouragement, and his laughter. He was the kind of writer and journailst that many of us aspire to be, and he will be greatly, greatly missed.
I will leave it to others who knew him far better than I did to pen more thorough eulogies and remembrances, but I will post a couple links, because I think everyone should read some of Matt's work today, and because I think his work will endure. Small consolation right now, perhaps, but here's a small sampling:
"Mississippi Drift: River Vagrants in the Age of Wal-Mart," (PDF) Harper's, 2008.
"Confessions of a Drone Warrior," GQ, 2013.
"Excuse us While we Kiss the Sky," Urban Exploration, GQ, 2013.
"Blood in the Sand: The Killing of a Turtle Advocate," Outside, 2014.