J. D. Mathes grew up a feral child in the deserts of the American Southwest who loved to read library books. In 2019 he became a PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow. He is the author of four books, one of which is about his experiences fighting wildfire, including four years on an elite helicopter rappel crew. His most recent libretto, On the Origin of Time, is set 45,000 years ago in France and 45,000 years in the future in the Andromeda Archipelago Penal Colony, simultaneously. A One-Man Show, his short script about the trials of a young man entering a halfway house as filtered through his standup comic persona, is in post-production. His feature script, In the Desert of Dark and Light, is in pre-production and the proof-of-concept short is finished. Although Mathes still struggles with subject-verb agreement and where to put commas, he is working on a book/memoir about veterans, mental illness, and mass incarceration. He loves his two daughters very much.