News and Events
Pepperdine Hosted Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
Pepperdine University hosted "Poetry as Enchantment in a Disenchanted Age," a poetry reading and discussion by Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, on Thursday, Feb. 1. Poet, critic, and best-selling anthologist, Chairman Gioia is one of America's leading contemporary men of letters.
Winner of the American Book Award, Gioia is internationally recognized for his role in reviving rhyme, meter, and narrative in contemporary poetry. An influential critic, he has combined populist ideals and high standards to bring poetry to a broader audience.
Gioia's 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. He is also a longtime commentator on American culture and literature for BBC Radio.
Gioia has published three full-length books of poetry titled: Daily Horoscope (1986), The Gods of Winter (1991), and Interrogations at Noon (2001). Best known to many as a critic, Gioia has been an active and outspoken literary commentator for over a quarter century. Gioia's critical collection, Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture (1992), was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the "Best Books of 1992." This volume also became a finalist for the 1992 National Book Critics Award in Criticism.
Before deciding to be a writer, Gioia had intended to be a composer. Trained in music, he has maintained a lifelong passion for the art in all its forms. For the past six years he has been the classical music critic for San Francisco magazine.
Gioia is also the founder and co-director of two major literary conferences. In 1995 he helped create the West Chester University summer conference on Form and Narrative, which is now the largest annual all-poetry writing conference in the U.S. In 2001 he began Teaching Poetry, a conference in Santa Rosa, California, dedicated to improving high school teaching of poetry.