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While Joy Shannon is best known as the front woman of Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks, she is also a writer. Along with her visual art and music, Joy has been writing poetry, short stories, magazine articles, and screenplays since she was a child.

Over the years, Joy became fascinated with historical cultural patterns, which often served as the source material or focus for her visual art and music. For example, her 2010 album “The Black Madonna” and accompanying visual art were inspired by the Western European historical shift away from matriarchal, goddess-based spirituality into patriarchal Christianity. In these offerings, she examined the emotional impact of this shift upon women’s identities, both in the past and to this day. These cultural investigations led Joy to pursue an MA in American Studies at Cal State Fullerton with a focus on art history, countercultures, and Irish culture.

Joy’s first venture into publishing a full-length book was the 2011 manuscript  The First Counterculture Celebrity: Oscar Wilde’s 1882 North American Tour, which was originally Joy’s thesis project for the completion of her master’s degree. The book represents a full-circle moment for Joy because Oscar Wilde was one of her first artistic inspirations as a child: She was deeply inspired by his sass and the way he daringly self-created his artistic career while defying cultural norms. Her book investigates several of her favorite interests, such as the interaction between Irish and American cultures and how the arts and countercultures challenge and react to mainstream culture.

For those who might be skeptical at finding historical research engaging, Joy brings a sense of wild excitement, humor, and poignancy to the excellent body of research on Oscar Wilde. She takes the reader on the 1882 tour as if it is a modern rock-and-roll tour, with press controversy and an abundance of hilarious Wildean witicisms.


Joy Shannon has worked as the music editor for the OC Art Blog as well as a contributing writer to Terrorizer Magazine in the UK, the Rogue Art and Research Writing JournalCulture Magazine and the IE Weekly. She has interviewed numerous musicians and artists, including Alcest, Mikael Akerfledt from Opeth, Children of Bodom, Baroness, and Mike Giant.


T.O.M.B./Dreadlords – 28 August 2014

Lord Dying – 14 July 2014

Chelsea Wolfe – 30 June 2014

Crowbar – 12 June 2014

Alcest – 9 June 2014

Chelsea Wolfe’s “Lone” – 20 May 2014

Ghost – 14 May 2014

Death Angel – 14 April 2014

Mike Wohlberg – 4 April 2014

Children of Bodom – 9 March 2014

Zola Jesus – 9 Oct 2013

Jinkx Monsoon – 3 Oct 2013

Artist Mike Giant – 5 Sept 2013

Lord Dying – 1 Aug 2013

Comedian Wanda Sykes – 30 May 2013

Visual Artist Jeremy Hush – 29 May 2013

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Coachella) – 12 May 2013

Deleyaman – 7 April 2013

Owen Dara’s Two Pint Wonder – 13 April 2013

Chuck Schuldiner of Death and Sweet Relief Musicians Fund – April 2013

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – 24 Feb 2013

Churches Without Roofs – January 2013

Toots and the Maytals – 3 Dec 2012

Siempre es Hoy – 14 Nov 2012

Tristan Prettyman – 8 Oct 2012

Between the Buried and Me – 22 Sept 2012

The Gypsy Jazz of Hedgehog Swing – 28 August 2012

Alyssandra Nighswonger – 26 July 2012

Rhapsody of Fire – 25 June 2012

Nostalghia – 12 June 2012

Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s – 3 June 2012

John Baizley of Baroness – 14 May 2012

Mikael Akerfledt of Opeth – 4 May 2012

M. Ward – 22 April 2012

Artist Joe Sorren – 16 April 2012

Datadrone – 3 April 2012

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – 18 March 2012

Ghost – 7 March 2012

The Copper Door – 1 March 2012

Echo Echo – 14 February 2012

Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks – 13 February 2

Book Abstract

In January 1882, Oscar Wilde embarked on a lecture tour of the United States and Canada. Wilde was lecturing about the English art movement Aestheticism in conjunction with the comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan called Patience or Bunthorne’s Bride, which mocked the movement. Stretching from the East to West Coast, this was one of the very first press tours of its kind, made possible by new, faster train transportation and more press coverage. With his cunning, witty interaction with the press and his fantastical, gender-role-defying clothing, Wilde embodied a new cultural phenomenon: the counterculture artist celebrity. By detailing how Wilde defied Victorian gender roles while spreading the counterculture ideals of Aestheticism, this book shows the lasting cultural impact of Wilde’s 1882 tour.

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