In 1975 Joe received Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at the University of Kentucky. Then he studied at Florida State University, where he earned Master of Arts in 1981 and Doctor of Philosophy in 1985.
After finishing his education, Joe was a reader for Peachtree Press. In Alabama, he was a judge for the first Fred Bonnie Memorial Award. He taught at St. Leo College and now teaches at the University of West Alabama, where he has served as editor and publisher of Livingston Press for nearly twenty years. He has a previously published novel, "Oldcat & Ms. Puss: A Book of Days for You and Me", three published story collections, and several edited anthologies of stories. He has also two novels forthcoming.
Firstly, Joe married Linda Bramse, but they divorced in 1973. Then he married a registered nurse Patricia Willey on December 18, 1982.