Dana Gioia (JOY-uh) is an award-winning Catholic writer, Poet Laureate of California, and 2010 winner of University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, the most prestigious honor given to American Catholics. Dana was born in Los Angeles in 1950 and received his BA and MBA from Stanford University, and MA in Comparative Literature from Harvard. For fifteen years he worked as a business executive in New York before quitting in 1992 to write full-time. He has published five collections of poetry, fifteen anthologies of poetry and fiction, and such influential essays as Can Poetry Matter (1991) and The Catholic Writer Today (2013). From 2003 to 2009 Dana served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and had such a positive impact that Business Week Magazine referred to him as “The Man Who Saved the NEA." He currently lectures at the University of Southern California as the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture. His writing can be found at DanaGioia.com.
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