Dana GioiaDana Gioia is the Poet Laureate of California. He is the author of five collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which won the Poets’ Prize. He has also published three collections of criticism, most notably Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. A best-selling literary anthologist, Gioia has edited or co-edited over two dozen collections of poetry, fiction, and drama. He has also written four opera libretti and has collaborated with composers in genres ranging from classical to jazz and rock.

For six years (2003-2009) Gioia served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts where he gained strong bipartisan support for the previously imperiled agency and helped launch the largest literary programs in federal history, including The Big Read, Poetry Out Loud, and Shakespeare in American Communities. He was twice unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. During the NEA years Gioia also led the U.S. cultural delegation to UNESCO. For two years he directed the arts and culture programs for the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. and Colorado. In 2015 Governor Jerry Brown appointed him the Poet Laureate of California.

In 2011 Gioia became the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California. He has been awarded eleven honorary doctorates and many awards, including the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame, the Presidential Civilian Medal, and the Aiken-Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California.

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