Listen to Mattie read a random passage
Sweet Spots is a book for the curious. And for the wonder of what words can do. Its words aim to inspire, soothe, nudge and engage playfully, as a way to think the body differently. It is a book with many tendencies.
Chapter 1: Golfing and the Sweetest Sweet Spot
My dad had high hopes for me to become a professional golfer. In my early teens, I could out-drive his golfing buddies, who would gape at my easy swing and hand–eye–body precision...Keep reading
Chapter 3: A Case Study: The Hot Pink Scar
As she rattles off wedding plans, my hand explores the dent on the inside of her lower leg, just below her left calf. She does Irish dancing so her calf muscles are particularly meaty...Keep reading
Chapter 10: An important note on ethics (and fabulation)
As a practicing acupuncturist, I am privy to intimate spaces: spaces in bodies and the stories that emerge from the safe confines of the treatment room...Keep reading
Chapter 12: Slobber
Slobber. I say the word in my head and it echoes off internal walls. As a single sonorous word-vibration, it needs to be said aloud...Keep reading
Chapter 13 (an excerpt that appears after the essay Navel Gazing, or, The Immanent Twist):
I recall a period of time when, as a young child, I had a deep concern for the pickles that lived in a jar placed on the top shelf at the back of the refrigerator...Keep reading
I love these essays by Mattie Sempert. Some of them - such as the Scottish herring fishermen using a plumb line, their bodies and the boat a finely-tuned instrument - resemble nothing so much as Zhuang Zi: praise which I do not bestow lightly. Do yourself a favor and sit down with this book, and savor it.Steve Clavey, Author of Fluid Physiology and Pathology in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Mattie is a practicing acupuncturist, moxibustionist, writer and creative co-thinker, with a lifelong fondness for wandering and wondering.
As an acupuncturist, she “listens with her hands” as a way to find the precise (often stuck) spots in fleshy bodies to treat. As a writer, she loves to try and find language for sweet spots. The practice of writing – and how it has the capacity to express the feel of immediate lived experience including those sweetest sweet spots – interested her so much that she went on to get a PhD in Creative Writing. Her scholarly research continues to explore and experiment with ways in which language and body – a sort of text-tissue – move and change, always in process, one and the same.
To find out more specifics about her acupuncture and moxibustion style, see the link to the Wellness Medicine webpage.
Doctoral thesis title: “Essaying bodies, bodying essays: Write in the middle is a creative-critical research practice.”
Thesis title: “Mind the Gap: The Lyric Essay Steps into Embodied Experience”