W. Joe Hoppe’s motto, which was revealed to him in a graffiti message in 1987 in Minneapolis, MN, is: happy – good success – fortune – thank you.

W. Joe Hoppe is a poet, professor, and maniacal mechanic. He lives in Austin, TX where he’s a professor in English and Creative Writing at Austin Community College. When he’s not writing poems or grading papers, he’s on his back in the driveway welding, hammering, or wrenching on his customized ’51 Plymouth Cranbrook. He has  spent the last 4 years building this car from scratch and plans to drive it down Route 66 in the summer of 2017.

W. Joe has been a central figure in the Austin poetry scene since 1989. A founding member of the now-defunct poetry supergroup, The Blue Plate Poets, he is now the Poet Lariat of Austin’s intellectual variety show The Dionysium. He has hosted numerous poetry events at Austin’s Malvern Books, including interviews of local poets, a reading and discussion of Emily Dickinson, a communal performance of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl celebrating its 60th anniversary, and an annual memorial reading for the late, great Austin poet Albert Huffstickler. He’s also an occasional hired gun for the Typewriter Rodeo.

W. Joe’s poems have appeared in AnalectaBorderlandsCider Press Review, Di*Verse*CitiesNerve Cowboy, Utter, and The Blanton Museum of Art’s Poetry Project. His poems have been anthologized in Stand Up Poetry, How to be This Man, gumballpoetry.com, 100 Year Flood in 500 Words, and Beatest State in the Union. 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, a poetry collection, Galvanized (2007), from Dalton Publishing, and a second poetry collection, Diamond Plate (2012), from Obsolete Press. He will be reading from his new collection, Hotrod Golgotha, at the 2017 Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference in Albuquerque, NM.



AA in Arts, Jackson Community College, Jackson, Michigan.
BA in Communications, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
MA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, University of Texas, Austin.
Post-Graduate Michener Fellow, Michener Center, University of Texas, Austin.


Austin Chronicle, Best of Austin 2016

What do you get when you mix a card-carrying Mopar Muscle Cars of Austin member with a poet? A red-bearded wordsmith growling with steel and smoke. The Austin Community College professor originally came from Michigan, but he quickly became an essential part of Austin as a Blue Plate Poets member and a Michener fellow. He still hosts a regular reading series at Malvern Books. And his poems still have their urgency, seeking beauty and truth in the ordinary: “stainless steel hex nuts/falling like raindrops/to a polished concrete floor.”

Technical Achievement of the Year, 2012

Mopar Muscle Cars of Austin

Member of the Year, 2011

Mopar Muscle Cars of Austin