William Joyce, Guillermo O’Joyce, Guillermo Truculento


1941, born in Swissvale, Pennsylvania, USA.

1959, using Kerouac’s On the Road as a guide, he tours the U.S. and Mexico.  Wins a TV Guide Scholarship in Journalism to Penn State University.

1963, after graduation goes to work for a CBS affiliate and works closely with Mike Wallace on an investigative report.

1966, joins the Iowa Writers Workshop, studying with Richard Yates, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Jose Donoso. Serves as a teaching assistant with office mate John Irving. Receives an MFA degree.

l972 – 1975, receives a fellowship at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, studies with poet Alan Dugan (National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize).  Joyce’s first published poem in Western Humanities Review results in the banning of the magazine at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City Tribune, Feb., 1975), and subsequent student protests. In Provincetown, Joyce meets Norman Mailer who later writes the jacket blurb for Joyce’s first novel.

1976 – 1977,  becomes first creative writer in U.S. to win Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship ($10,000), receives Connecticut Fiction Grant, NEA residency fellowship, and is invited by Texas Arts Commission to become Poet-in-Residence. Joyce takes up AIS work in 15 states over the next 10 years including residencies on the Shoshone Reservation (Pasadena, CA center ) for Juvenile Delinquents, and the New Orleans Home for Abused Children.

David Ray, publisher of New Letters (Univ. of Missouri at Kansas City), sends Joyce’s short stories to Gordon Lish, fiction editor of Esquire and head of fiction at Knopf; Lish introduces Joyce to Lynn Nesbit founder of ICM Talent Agency who agrees to take Joyce on.  A year later ICM fires Joyce when they discover he’s been sending letters to James Laughlin at New Directions (first U.S. publisher of Henry Miller) asking him to read a novel manuscript titled First Born of an Ass.

1982 – 1987, First Born of an Ass is rejected by 57 U.S. publishers until Barney Rosset acquires it and funnels the novel to Henry Holt & Co.  Finally published in 1990, a NY Times Reviewer writes, “The decade has barely begun but let’s hope before it ends this novel is out of print.” Kurt Vonnegut, Joyce’s former mentor, is incensed.  He organizes Manhattan’s independent booksellers who put a blowup of the Times’ review, Joyce’s photo, and stacks of First Born of an Ass in windows.  Led by Endicotts, and the Gotham Book Mart, 1,700 copies sell in two weeks.

1993, joins Karen Mogenson Fischer, founder of 26 national parks, in Costa Rica. She rents him a cabin in the forest where she rescues and raises orphaned animals.

Meanwhile, two volumes of poetry are published, For Women Who Moan and Listen America, You Don’t Even Own Your Name.  Poets & Writers magazine runs an article (Nov., 1991) on Joyce’s unusual sales method for hustling these books.  Listen America  and The State of American Poetry (NY Quarterly, l986), are sent by an unknown person to Cuba. They are translated and published by Opcion magazine. Jose Marti Publishing House offers a two-book contract.  Joyce celebrates the occasion by visiting Cuba, then opens a bordello in a Vedado mansion, renting to tourists.

The Cuban government allows him to operate until he assaults an undercover cop. In jail he writes an essay on B. Traven, the final essay in the U.S. edition of Miller, Bukowski, and Their Enemies, (1997 Avisson Press, enlarged with new essays in 2011).

Five previous books of prose and verse are out of print.  Six new manuscripts of prose and poetry are available, including a memoir of Cuba.

Joyce now lives in St. Augustine, Florida where he survives by busking with the harmonica.

IN PRINT: Miller, Bukowski & Their Enemies, 2nd edition, Pinter & Martin

MANUSCRIPTS AVAILABLE (Attention, Agents & Publishers):

When Cuba Was a Virgin, memoir.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Pyromaniac, novel.

Unusual Places, Remarkable People, non-fiction travel, found stories.

Money, poems.


Don’t Do It Standing Up, Poetry, Wall Street Press, 2001

Recorder of Births & Deaths, stories, Watermark Press, Wichita, KS, 1990.

First Born of an Ass, novel, Watermark, 1989.

For Women Who Moan, poetry, Wall Street Press, Wash., D.C., l989.

Listen America, You Don’t Even Own Your Name, poems, Wall Street, 1989.


Bio edited and published by Elaine Ash