SRJC Arts & Lectures Presents Dana Gioia, Former Poet Laureate - March 28, 2024

The Santa Rosa Junior College Arts & Lectures series presents Dana Gioia, the former Poet Laureate of California, on Thursday, March 28 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at the SRJC Frank Chong Studio Theatre inside Burbank Auditorium. This is a free event. Gioia is an internationally recognized poet and critic, and the author of six collections of verse, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which won the Poets' Prize for the best new poetry volume of the year. His most recent collection is Meet Me at the Lighthouse (2023). Gioia's critical collections include Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award, and Studying with Miss Bishop: Memoirs from a Young Writer's Life (2022). He has also written four opera libretti and edited twenty literary anthologies. He was born in Los Angeles in a working-class family of Italian and Mexican heritage. He was the first person in his family to attend college. He earned a BA and MBA from Stanford and an MA from Harvard. For fifteen years, he worked in business in New York becoming a vice-president of Kraft-General Foods. He wrote at nights and on weekends. In 1992, he quit to become a full-time writer. He served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009 where he created major national programs such as The Big Read and Poetry Out Loud. He has been awarded eleven honorary doctorates and many honors, including the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame, the Presidential Civilian Medal, the Poet's Prize, the Walt Whitman Champion of Literary Award, and the Aiken-Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry. He served as the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California before retiring in 2020 to return to full-time writing.

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