Portuguese-American poet José [Joe] Gouveia – known to his friends as “JoeGo” – died at home, May 10, in Hyannis, Cape Cod, MA, of complications from lymphoma, a rare form of cancer.
A son of Portuguese immigrants, he was a journalist and radio personality who hosted the radio show “Poets Corner” on the Provincetown’s local radio station WOMR 92.1 FM and wrote “The Meter Man” a regular monthly poetry column to the Barnstable Patriot in Hyannis.
His poetry celebrating life, rebellion, passion, music, love and the erotic, was also about sorrow and mortality. It appeared in a variety of local, national and international publications and published in three chapbooks: What We Do; Ginsberg Is Dead; and The Slaughter of the Sacred Cow. Gouveia also edited four poetry anthologies: Dancing On Water; Common Roots, Common Ground as well as Rubber Side Down. His poetry book Saudades, was released last month.
A motorcycle rider enthusiast, he enjoyed writing about himself and his immediate life experiences. The anthology Rubber Side Down (2008), combining poetry, essays and photography, was dedicated to biker poets and to biker poetry.
José Gouveia received an MFA in Poetry from New England College, has served as Poet-In-Residence at Cape Cod Community College and was Poetry Curator at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. He was the founder of the Biker Poets & Writers Association and was awarded the Cambridge Poetry Awards Poet of the Year 2001.
He was published in Blue Collar Review, X Magazine (Ghana), The Stalking Tongue (Australia), The Broadkill Review, Alehouse, Naugatuck River Review, Pedestal magazine, the Boston Herald, The Best of MAP of Austin Poetry Anthology, Spare Change, the Cape Cod Review, The Boston Poet, Unity & Struggle, among others. Gouveia has also appeared on a number of radio & TV programs, including WGBH Boston, PBS, KDVS-FM UCal Davies, Radio SOULSPEAK and other media outlets.
A friend of Mass Poetry, a memorial service is being planned for him by the Cape Cod community, but the date hasn’t been established.
Services for Joe will be as follows: Visitation at Morris, O’Connor & Blute funeral home in South Yarmouth, Wednesday from 4-7. Funeral mass at St. Pius X church in South Yarmouth, Thursday at 11 followed by burial at Woodside Cemetery in Yarmouthport.
The Diaspora of the Word (*)
I, who have no particular credentials for writing any of these words;
I, who have no memories to jog your memory of things or times shared;
I, who have laid eyes on you once and only once, and that but a few months ago when we shared (with others) a place and a time to read our poems;
I, who have nevertheless followed your posts about poetry and pain, illness and friendship, hope and the fear that is never presented center stage in your works and days;
I, who must not intrude where others, more intimately of the elect, come forth, one by one, with their poems;
yet I have found the need to speak out, as you do, for the flesh of poetry, the speech of all poetry, denying silence its will to quench the word.
(*) Dedicated to Joe Gouveia by George Monteiro, November 25, 2013