W. Joe Hoppe

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For the Minnesota politician, see Joe Hoppe (politician).

W. Joe Hoppe (born December 24, 1961, in Ypsilanti, Michigan) is an American poet, short story writer and filmmaker who was at the forefront of the performance poetry scene in Austin, Texas.

He grew up in Jackson, Michigan, where he worked as a janitor in a tool & die shop and as a gas station attendant. He received a degree in communications from the University of Michigan in 1984 then headed to Minneapolis to pay off his debt to society by working in shelters. In Minneapolis he also got into the international Xerox zine scene co-editing Bitter Obscurity, Journal of Erickson's Stage 61/2, and Pocketful of Mirrors. He was a regular at readings and performances at Rifle Sport Gallery, Circus to the Trade, and Speedboat Gallery.

He married P.S. Monear in 1990, one year after moving to Austin, Texas. Hoppe quickly became an important member of the nascent performance poetry scene that grew up around Chicago House coffee house, where Hedwig Gorski, the originator of performance poetry, and Raul Salinas often performed together. He was a student of famed poet Albert Huffstickler and a member of one of Austin’s premier poetry groups, The Blue Plate Poets, which included Marlys West, Pasha, Tammy Gomez, Mike Henry and Robert Lee. Hoppe received a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Texas in 1994, and subsequently received a James A. Michener Post-Graduate Fellowship from the Texas Center for Writers (now Michener Center for Writers). Through excellent timing, he was able to use the fellowship to stay home and be a house dad to his son Max, born in 1995.

Joe has self-published about a dozen chapbooks through Lucky Tiger Press. His poems have appeared in Analecta, Borderlands, Cider Press Review, Di*Verse*Cities, Nerve Cowboy, and Utter. His poems have been anthologized in Stand Up Poetry and How to be This Man, and on the Web at gumballpoetry.com. Joe’s one-of-a-kind poetry video, “$5200 MSTA” has been shown at the Dallas Video Festival, San Antonio Underground Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, and VideoEx in Zurich, Switzerland.

His books include a collection of short stories, Harmon Place (1991) from Primal Press, and a poetry collection, Galvanized (2007), from Dalton Publishing, Diamond Plate (2012), from Obsolete Press.

Hoppe currently teaches English and Creative Writing at Austin Community College.

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