Swimmers Club

17th April 2017


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Graffiti in Wroclaw, Poland

Municipal Pool

Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.


Who: Judson Hamilton
Where: Wroclaw, Poland
What: writer

Who are you?
Judson Hamilton

Where are you from?
Outside of Houston.

What do you do?
I work as a copy editor. When I'm not doing that I'm usually engaged in some form of domesticity, playing with my kids, writing or just staring out the window if my schedule permits.

Stock question. Can you tell us a bit about your influences?
Hmm. Influences are a tricky thing because what was once influential might no longer be. Right now I'm most influenced by Hrabal, Jelinek, Bernhard, a lot of contemporary poets, Bergman films, anime, and comics. Music is also a big influence: Martinů, Chausson, Janáček and Lutosławski as well as a bunch of lo-fi hip hop mixes are all in heavy rotation at the moment.

Can you tell us a little bit about your most recently published book and whether it does or doesn't differ from the types of things you've written before?

Most of the things I've written before could be classified as poetry of one sort or another. This is the first collection of short stories I've written and by far the most personal thing I've published.

What are you currently working on?

I'm putting the final touches on a poetry collection called The New Make Believe.

Swimmers Club has a focus on the state of independent culture at the moment (independent coffee shops, presses, record labels, etc). How healthy do you think independent culture is right now?

I live in Wrocław, Poland which has been experiencing a renaissance of sorts over the last 5-7 years. Food trucks, craft brews, vegan restaurants and various cultural festivals all more or less cobbled together by young people with an idea and heart have been popping up all over the place, so from where I'm standing it's looking pretty good.

What influence, if any, does the city in which you live have on your work?

For years I had a job that took me to various parts of the city and so I did most of my writing during my downtime in coffee shops and food courts (including most of the stories in this collection in fact). The various layers of history here coupled with the aforementioned youthful energy are inspirational for sure.

Finally, can you swim?

I am the master of the backstroke.

Judson Hamilton's 'Gross in Feather, Loud in Voice' is out now on Dostoyevsky Wannabe. Go and buy it right now, here.