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
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.