Joe Massey (1895 - ?) was an African-American self-taught artist and poet. He created an oeuvre rich with themes of memory, fantasy, and surreal meditations on the everyday while imprisoned in an Ohio state correctional facility. His works on paper are populated with exaggerated human figures and fantastical creatures, from their deft handling of form to the expert use of color. Although it seems that Massey treated his literary and visual endeavors as separate projects, his visual works rely very much on the written word and feature prominent poetic captions, as well as his hallmark signature, which included his inmate number. Massey was passionate about sharing his work with a larger community, and actively sought a platform for the serious presentation of his art. He had the savvy and initiative to engage in a years-long correspondence with Charles Henri Ford, the editor of the surrealist art publication “View.” Those letters, written mainly in the 1940s, and with a clear request for feedback and publication, resulted in the eventual inclusion of Massey's art and poetry in issues of the magazine between 1943 and 1946.