Mattie Sempert
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Writing the Connective Tissue of Relation

by Mattie-Martha Sempert

Mattie Sempert's Sweet Spots book cover

Listen to Mattie read a random passage

The sweetest sweet spot is found, not in the center, but slightly askew...

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.

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A sneak peak of what's inside

  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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Sweet Spots is a brilliant meditation on practice and it will find receptive readers in and out of the university.

Anna Gibbs, Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, University Western Sydney

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.

  • PhD (Creative Writing) Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
    2014 - 2019

    Doctoral thesis title: “Essaying bodies, bodying essays: Write in the middle is a creative-critical research practice.”

  • Master of Creative Media (Creative Writing) RMIT
    2011 - 2013

    Thesis title: “Mind the Gap: The Lyric Essay Steps into Embodied Experience”

  • Registered Acupuncturist, Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA)
    2002 - current


  • Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture New England School of Acupuncture (Boston)
    1988 - 1991


  • B.S. (English) Lewis and Clark College, Portland Oregon
    1976 - 1981


Practice Locations and Affiliations (over the years)
  • Wellness Integrative Medicine, Melbourne, 2004 – current
  • The Centre Clinic/Victorian AIDS Council, Melbourne, 1995 – 2021
  • Connections Health and Movement, Hobart, Tasmania, 2009 – 2013
  • Foundation House, The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, 2007 – 2010
  • Fenway Community Health Centre, Boston, 1991-1993
  • Dimock Community Health Centre, Boston, 1991-1993
  • AIDS Care Project, Boston, 1991-1993
  • Lincoln Hospital (NADA Program), South Bronx, NYC, 1991
Teaching Related
  • Workshops and seminars, Japanese Palpatory Techniques, Melbourne, 2001 – current
  • Sessional Lecturer, TCM Department, Victoria University, Melbourne, 1995 – 2001
  • Lecturer, Exploring Careers in Natural Medicine, CAE, Melbourne, 1997 – 2000
  • Guest Lecturer, Australian Shiatsu College, Melbourne, 1995 – 1999
Curious Work Experience
  • Voice actor, Australian Broadcasting Commission, radio program Soundproof, 2016
  • Slate and Copper Roofing business (self-employed), Boston, 1988-1991
  • Technician, Paediatric Cardiology, Floating Hospital NEMC, Boston, 1987-1989
  • Emergency Medical Technician, Metro Ambulance, Plymouth, Mass, 1985-1987
  • Boat Builder, Watertown, Mass USA, 1984-1985
  • Fish Inspector, Icicle Seafoods, Alaska, 1983-1985

Contact Mattie