Matthew T. Dickerson is an author, a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, a scholar of the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien and the fantastic fiction of C.S.Lewis, and an environmental journalist and outdoor writer. He books include works of fiction, biography, philosophy, and scholarship (including eco-critical work) on fantasy and mythopoeic literature.
As a fiction writer, Dickerson's interests are in early medieval Europe and fantasy. When not writing or teaching, he is a Americana musician, a fly fisherman, and a caretaker of a hillside plot of Vermont land where he boils maple sugar, cuts firewood, and attempts to protect a beehive or two from marauding bee-thieves known as black bears. He has been married for 25 years and has three sons, all born in Vermont.
Dickerson received his A.B. from Dartmouth College (1985) and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University (1989) — where he also did graduate work in Old English language and literature. His computer science research has been primarily in computational geometry, though he has also worked in agent-based simulation and the modeling of killer whale behavior in southeast Alaska.
Dickerson is the author of numerous non-technical books, among them Following Gandalf: Epic Battles and Moral Victory in The Lord of the Rings (Brazos Press, 2003), recently reissued in a revised and expanded edition as A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth (Brazos, 2012), which was shortlisted for the Mythopoeic Society's Mythopoeic Scholarship Awards. He also co-wrote From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy (with David L. O'Hara, Brazos Press, 2006). Dickerson has introduced eco-criticism to the world of fantasy in his Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien (with Jonathan Evans, University Press of Kentucky, 2006) and Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C. S. Lewis (with David L. O'Hara, University Press of Kentucky, 2009). And he has contributed chapters or entries to several other volumes of Tolkien scholarship including The J.R.R.Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment (2006).
Dickerson's first novel, The Finnsburg Encounter (Crossway Books, 1991), was translated into German as Licht uber Friesland (Verlag Schulte & Gerth, 1996). His new fantasy novel The Gifted, the first book of a trilogy titled The Daegmon War, is due out in late 2014.
Since 2002 Dickerson has been the director of the New England Young Writers Conference, an annual four-day conference for high school students in Bread Loaf, Vermont, that is associated with Middlebury College.