Hammes himself was born here in the Lowcountry, where he fell in love with the waterways, the people and the folklore that inhabit the Sea Islands. His whole life, he has been writing about the Charleston area and Sea Island culture, and for the past decade, he has been teaching those young writers who will keep our lush storytelling tradition alive. Having grown up the oldest in a family of ten, stories of family come naturally to him. His grandparents moved out to the Sea Islands early in their marriage and made friends in the Gullah community, and he grew up enamored by all the stories and folklore his grandmother told him as a child. Hammes says, “I have long believed that magic is at the heart of Charleston, SC, and so magic must be at the heart of the Charleston novel.” Through A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, Hammes hopes readers will see the redemption that comes to people who keep their promises to one another and stand together regardless of ethnicity, culture and class.
Hammes earned his MFA in fiction from Old Dominion University, has had numerous short stories, essays and poems published in various journals and magazines around the country, and is a contributing writer in several books. He is also the 2019 South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow and is presently Director of the Creative Writing program at Charleston County School of the Arts, the most awarded middle- and high-school writing program in the nation.