Professor and Poet Interview with Dick Dalton
Joe Polacco has curiosity and an abundance of love for people, plants, critters large and small, and the planet. He was so into spiders, he got the nickname “Spider Polacco.” His first book, Vina–A Brooklyn Memoir, introduces his dear mom and many important people in his life. The second book, Giovanni–street urchin of Naples, is a historical novel based on the life of his great grandfather. His newest book, A Life’s Rambles, is a bilingual (Spanish/English) book of poems and descriptions of places, love and loss, lab meetings, nature, and nonsense.
Interview with Paul Pepper
Paul Pepper interview’s Joe on new novel, “Giovanni.” Giovanni tells the story of Joe’s great-grandfather making the journey from Italy to America and his ascension to patriarchy in a society rife with racism and injustice.
Paul Pepper interviews Joe on his first book: Vina, A Brooklyn Memoir. Joe tells us how this tribute to his Italian mother came to be, and what he learned about her after her death.
Vox Magazine Interview
In center field of a rundown and unkempt baseball field near Gravesend Bay, New York, in 1956, a 12-year-old Joe Polacco was bored during batting practice. A hit ball rarely traveled his way, and he began pacing to pass the time. He noticed rocks jutting out from the field, and when he kicked one over, it revealed a black widow spider underneath.
Polacco, who would one day become a poet, author and professor at MU, sprinted from his position in center field to a pile of equipment and snatched a baseball box, which he carried back to center field. He coaxed the black spider with the red hourglass on its abdomen into the box and brought it home to add to his collection.