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Matthew Power

Matthew Power (1974-2014) was a contributing editor at Harper’s and VQR. His essays and reporting have also appeared in Discover, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and Slate.


A miner piles salt to drain and cure on the edge of Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat. A fifty kilo bag sells for three bolivianos, about fifty cents.

The Solution: Bolivia’s Lithium Dreams

Fall 2010 | Reporting

The 4,086-square-mile Salar de Uyuni is remote, flat as a billiard table, twice the size of Rhode Island—and it hides a great treasure. The billions of gallons of mineral-rich brine just below its crystalline surface hold perhaps half the world’s supply of lithium.

Charlie Don’t Surf

Spring 2008 | Reporting

A container ship the size of a prone Chrysler Building slides silently past me, at eye level, close enough to touch. Multicolored intermodal containers, the red blood cells of global commerce, are stacked a hundred feet high on the deck. The freighter slips into the lock with mere inches to spare, kissing the concrete wall with a hollow shriek while the massive steel gates swing closed. The 65,000-ton ship is lowered from Gatún Lake. Sailors wave at the bow, and millions of gallons of water leave the lock chamber. Inch by inch, the giant vessel appears to sink to its gunwales, stately as a coffin put in the ground. 

Bradley Will, photographed in Oaxaca, Mexico on October 25, 2006. (Hinrich Schultze)

One More Martyr in a Dirty War

Summer 2007 | Profiles

Brad always went farther afield than the rest of us. He was restless, nomadic, and would disappear from the city for months at a time. He had friends all over the country and the world, made a point of knowing everyone everywhere, and crashing on their couches.