As the oldest in a family of ten, stories of family come naturally to F. Rutledge Hammes. His grandparents moved out to the Carolina Sea Islands early in their marriage and made friends in the Gullah community, and he grew up enamored by all the stories and folklore he was told as a child. It wasn’t until he was a junior in college that Rutledge decided to try his hand at writing fiction; a proud and pledged poet, he became inspired by the minimalist style of Raymond Carver, Pat Conroy’s sense of character and place, and the hard-hitting subject matter of Dorothy Allison. He has long believed that magic is at the heart of Charleston, SC, and so magic must be at the heart of the Charleston novel. Through his novel, A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, Rutledge 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.
He 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 was a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee and the winner of the Cypress Dome Fiction Award as well as a finalist for both the Montage Poetry Award and the Paul Laurence Dunbar Award for Poetry. He was named “The Best Up-and-Coming Writer in Charleston, SC” in 2011, 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. He is the recipient of the 2019 South Carolina Arts Commission Fellowship for prose. His novel, A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, published by SFK Press, is available on Amazon and at select bookstores across the country.