Recent Writings and Projects:
Guinea Bastard collects personal essays by the New Jersey-born, Nashville-residing Joe Pagetta, both published and unpublished. They're about growing up Italian American in Jersey City and falling in love with rock music (especially the band Queen); about the promise and failings of marriage and the dreams and realities of making music; about reconciling with a father who can be abusive and caring for a mother who has dementia. Mostly, they're about growing and changing and becoming, in ways we all understand. Learn More and Purchase.
Is "Do They Know It's Christmas?" the Most Misunderstood Christmas Song? (America Magazine)
What started out as personal essay as to why the Band Aid single is my favorite secular Christmas turns into an exploration of the many ways the song may be misunderstood.
Finding Christ in Concrete (Ovunque Siamo)
An exploration into the value of reading writers we recognize, especially when we're young
Mussolini and Me (Wordpeace)
A personal essay about confronting my version of heritage not hate
Matthew Ryan: Feels Like Rain (Nashville Arts)
A profile of the Nashville-based singer-songwriter as he prepares to release a new collaboration with Hammock.
Woody Guthrie Sang the Gospel (America Magazine)
As a new box set reminds us, social justice was an important part of Woody Guthrie's life and work.
Honey and a Ham Sandwich (Chapter 16)
Remembering the comforts of a grandmother's love.
Music - I made music for awhile, and played shows and released several independent records in the early to mid 2000s. Songs and albums can be sampled or purchased at CDbaby.com or iTunes or listened to on Spotify and most other song streaming services.
Born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey, Joe Pagetta is a nonprofit communications professional, personal essayist and arts writer whose writing has appeared in America: The Jesuit Review, Chapter 16, the Nashville Scene, The Tennessean, PBS.org, Media Shift, Nashville Arts, My Modern Met and—if you count the time it published an excerpt of his letter to novelist Colum McCann about his fashion sense—Esquire. He is a member of the Men of La Mangia, the Queen Breakfast Club and the Extreme Readers, but is probably best known for his decade spent as the namesake of a sandwich at the now-closed Savarino's Cucina in Nashville. Guinea Bastard, a collection of his personal essays, was published in 2018. He lives in the Donelson area of Nashville with his wife and children.