St. Leger "Monty" Joynes, author and librettist

Librettist and Author

St. Leger “Monty” Joynes sang choral music for five years under the direction of Eleanor Walden and sang cantatas and special-event music with the Norfolk Naval Base Chapel Choir during his university years. After a psychology degree from the University of Virginia, he went to Scandinavia for fifteen months of post-graduate artistic work as a Bauhaus Situationist fellow. Joynes is also a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War years.

In Norfolk, Virginia in the late 1960s, Joynes produced Handel’s Messiah Oratorio for conductor Walter Noona and what later became the Virginia Pops Orchestra. During this period, Joynes also wrote and directed two short films—A Place In Time, produced in Sweden, and The Graz Experience, produced in Austria.

Joynes’s first novel, Naked Into the Night, was published in 1997 and was followed by Lost In Las Vegas (1998), Save the Good Seed (1999) and Dead Water Rites (2000). These Booker Series novels deal with social issues and the metaphysics of contemporary American Indians.

Joynes began to write literature for classical music in 2007. In collaboration with composer Edmund Barton Bullock, Joynes completed the The Awakening of Humanity libretto in December 2007. In 2008 Joynes adapted his novel Save the Good Seed into a three-act opera. Completed in December 2008, the opera libretto was attached in April 2009 to composer Dawn Bailiff.

Continuing to write for classical music, Joynes began a second opera adapted from his unpublished novel Eagle Feathers In Glass. This opera, like Save the Good Seed, concerns itself with contemporary American Indian dramatic characters and was encouraged by Native American composer George Quincy. Joynes completed the Eagle Feathers In Glass opera libretto in February 2010.

Joynes is the author of more than twenty published books including translations into German and Italian. His short story "First Day at An Khe" won the Fiction Category prize in a national veteran writing competition; and in 2012 his stories and articles appeared in five publications. His most recent publications include Confessions of a Channeler (2014); For Love and Treasure (2015); and poems in literary journals (2015- 2016).