Matt Barnes is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. He is an M.A. student majoring in Japanese Literature. He received his B.A. in Japanese Literature with a minor in Japanese Religion from the University of Arizona. His research is focused on the themes of violence and sexuality in modern (post-war) Japanese literature, especially related to Murakami Ryu and Natsuo Kirino. He plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Japanese Literature in hopes of teaching at the university level.