guy lecharles gonzalez
Open Room Host circa 1998

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez was born in New York, NY in 1969, the only child of Frank and Debra Gonzalez. After their separation when he was three years old, Guy was raised by his mother, spending most of his childhood in the Claremont Park section of the Bronx with later moves to Manhattan, Mt. Vernon and Yorktown Heights, from where he graduated Lakeland High School in 1987.

It was in 5th grade that Guy wrote his first story, after nearly getting caught plagiarizing because he liked the praise he received for a story taken from a kid's book of ghost stories so much, he'd decided to copy another. Stashing the book in his closet, he sat down and wrote his own story that he wishes he remembered what it was about. Unfortunately, he doesn't, which kind of makes this tangent irrelevant...

Over the years, he'd write several more stories, most often influenced by his current taste in books (Ian Fleming, Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton and Lawrence Block were all early inspirations) and girls (most stories had to do with him getting the girl in question, usually at the expense of an ex-boyfriend cast as the bad guy). He also dabbled in journalism and broadcasting, writing for his high school newspaper and writing/reporting/directing for its local public access show.

Post-high school, after a year or two as a full-time Jehovah's Witness where he began to develop his speaking and debating skills knocking on doors in Northern Westchester County, he had a crisis of faith - partly inspired by the movie It's A Wonderful Life, which he saw for the first time at eighteen - and moved back to the NYC-area, staying with his estranged father in North Bergen, NJ. A year later, in 1990, he picked up and moved to Miami Beach, FL with a cousin and a friend - eventually living four blocks from a beach he somehow only went to four times! - and spent a semester and a half at Miami Dade Community College before blowing his student loan money and hopping a Greyhound back north.

Having gotten rid of all his winter clothes the year before, he spent his first week back in NYC sick and ended up signing up for the US Army, leaving three weeks later for Ft. Dix, NJ and Basic Training/AIT where he trained for six months as the Army equivalent of a Jiffy Lube "mechanic," followed by another three weeks in Ft Benning, GA for Airborne School. He then spent the next two years stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY with the 2/5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a Light Wheel Vehicle Mechanic, doing everything he could to avoid Somalia, Saudi Arabia and getting dirty working on HMMWV's (aka Hummers), while figuring out what his next move would be.

Many years, poems and stories later, Guy once again resides in the Bronx, with a beautiful wife and two amazing kids. He won some poetry slams, founded a reading series, co-authored a book of poetry, and still writes when the mood hits him and he has the time. He prefers Pumpkin and India Pale Ales or Skyy Vodka with cranberry, still reads comic books, and hasn't completely let go of his plans for world domination.

This bio from Guy's website www.loudpoet.com. Please see his site for updates on new books and projects.

See Grand Slam Finales/1998 and National Teams/1998.

Photo by David Huang from www.loudpoet.com.