Edgar Swamp graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1995, having majored in Literature with a minor in marine biology…okay, I’m yankin’ ya. I dropped out of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee after two semesters to go on the road with various rock/metal bands, entertaining/annoying drunks and miscreants with my off-key caterwauling. I traveled about this fine country in a delirious haze, soaking up local cultures, enjoying the regional cuisine and sampling the many proffered fermented beverages with great gusto.
To say it was educational is being trite; I felt I learned far more about human psychology in those travels than I ever could have in the quaint academic lecture halls of the university. Yet for every pool cue I took to the noggin after an argument over who was to buy the next round there were also bad times, lonely times. I was fired from more than one band for my insolent, irrational, reckless behavior, leaving me stranded in various cities where I would take up residence, working demeaning jobs to earn enough money to move on. I lived in some truly awful places: closet-sized boarding rooms where the cockroaches outnumbered me a thousand to one, warehouses inhabited by social misfits who rarely traveled farther than the liquor store at the end of the block, and once, for a period of about four weeks, in a battered 1981 Ford Escort station wagon in Stone Mountain Park outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
Introspection became key to my survival, the examination of my own tattered psyche, as well as studying the unique life forms I came upon and watching curiously as the threads of their dubious sanity unraveled like an old, worn sweater. My own sanity came into question many times (or lack thereof) and it was only through writing that I could mine the depths of my soul, all the emotional torture and torment, and somehow find a way to put the pieces back together, not quite the same as before but wholly anew, awash in a newfound insight. I found out who I truly was in those filthy boardinghouse rooms, in the dim light of a storage shed on the property of an abandoned lumberyard: a creative force to be reckoned with.
Over a decade of determined writing finally found my words in print, and three years of focused concentration produced the book I am proudly displaying for all the world to see. It was a long, strange trip up to this point, but in reality it is only the beginning…