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Dana Gioia-to Depart-NEA Post

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September 18 – September 25, 2008 Edition Dana Gioia
to Depart
NEA Post NEW YORK, NY/9/15/2008–Dana Gioia (pronounced JOY-uh), is stepping down as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, according to the New York Times. Gioia, age 57, will return to writing “while I still have the kind of stamina to do it seriously.”

Since becoming Chairman of the NEA, Gioia has succeeded in garnering enthusiastic bi-partisan support in the United States Congress for the mission of the Arts Endowment, as well as in strengthening the national consensus in favor of public funding for the arts and arts education. (Business Week Magazine referred to him as “The Man Who Saved the NEA.”)

Gioia’s creation of a series of NEA National Initiatives combined with a wider distribution of direct grants to reach previously underserved communities making the agency truly national in scope. Through programs such as Shakespeare in American Communities, Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, NEA Jazz Masters, American Masterpieces, and Poetry Out Loud, the Arts Endowment has successfully reached millions of Americans in all corners of the country.

Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. A native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent, Gioia (pronounced JOY-uh) received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University.

Gioia has published three full-length collections of poetry, as well as eight chapbooks. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia’s 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture.

Gioia’s many literary anthologies include Twentieth-Century American Poetry, 100 Great Poets of the English Language, The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction, and Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. His poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, and The Hudson Review. Gioia has written two opera libretti and is an active translator of poetry from Latin, Italian, and German.

He plans to split his time between Washington,D.C., and California.