Matt Ortile

Instructor & Writer
Profile Photo

Matt Ortile is the author of the essay collection The Groom Will Keep His Name and the co-editor of the nonfiction anthology Body Language. He is also the executive editor of Catapult magazine and was previously the founding editor of BuzzFeed Philippines. He has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and MacDowell; has taught workshops for Kundiman, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and PEN America; and has written for Esquire, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Out magazine, and BuzzFeed News, among others. He is a graduate of Vassar College, which means he now lives in Brooklyn.



Cover Photo: A man holding up a magnifying glass to investigate . . . himself!
How to Write Personal Essays Through Who You Are

This exercise is meant to let you use a part of your identity as a perspective, rather than just a subject that you’re putting under pressure and scrutiny.

Jun 30, 2022
Cover Photo: Photograph courtesy of the author
Wherever I Am, I Write From a Place of Grief

Walang katapusan ang dalamhati. What else can I do but live through it? Write through it?

Jun 23, 2022
Cover Photo: A Polaroid-style photo collage of the author, Matt Ortile, taken across various  indoor and outdoor restaurant tables. Handwritten at the bottom of each photo is the number of days that have passed since his mother's death: 14 days later, 617 days later, 434 days later, and 311 days later.
How to Date While You’re Grieving

The point of dating is to get to know another person. It’s a process made more confusing when, in my grief, I’m getting reacquainted with myself.

Mar 15, 2022
Cover Photo: A photograph of the actress Sarah Jessica Parker, playing Carrie Bradshaw, in HBO Max's 'And Just Like That.' She is wearing a black long-sleeved top, a black fascinator hat, and a wide dark skirt. She stands against a bare white wall behind the backs of six white chairs.
‘And Just Like That’ Isn’t Perfect, But It Gets Grief Right

In the ‘Sex and the City’ reboot, Carrie Bradshaw’s arc is one of the most truthful depictions of mourning I’ve ever seen on TV.

Feb 07, 2022
Cover Photo: a screencap of the @publishersbrunch Instagram account
Publishers Brunch Believes Book Memes Can Bring Us Together

In an interview with Catapult magazine, Publishers Brunch shares how Instagram memes foster a sense of community in the publishing industry.

Feb 03, 2022
Cover Photo: A black and white portrait photograph of Princess Diana. She is staring at the camera and smiling very slightly.
My Mom, Princess Diana, and Me

At what point does someone we’ve lost become only a story we tell, more myth than memory?

Nov 08, 2021
Cover Photo: A dining table on which sit a laptop, a notebook, magazines (Condé Nast Traveler and The New Yorker), a book (The Best American Travel Writing 2021), and a glass of wine (grüner veltliner)
Where Matt Ortile Writes

I try to be agnostic about where I write; I never have an excuse to not.

Oct 18, 2021
Cover Photo: collage consisting of several photos of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and the author baking them
Baking My Mother’s Recipes Keeps Her Near

Baking was solely Mom’s domain, I believed, and cooking for her was mine.

Aug 04, 2021
Cover Photo: Screenshot via Nintendo
I Can’t Defeat My Grief, But I’m Learning to Carry It

In video games, dead parent storylines give a character depth. Their grief becomes a plot point, something to overcome.

Feb 22, 2021
Cover Photo: photograph of a gold-framed photograph of the author as a child, with his mother, on a shelf also containing a clock and a wooden jewelry box with a vase and framed art behind
My Mother Lives Here Because I Live Here

It was the middle of a pandemic. Mom had just died of cancer. Why leave my home of four and a half years?

Jan 20, 2021