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An Evening with Dana Gioia

The Mariposa County Arts Council is pleased to bring California State Poet Laureate, Dana Gioia, to Mariposa for a free evening of poetry on July 13, 2017. The event will be held at the Alley Beer and Wine Bar on their outdoor stage (5027 CA-140, Mariposa, CA 95338) at 6:30pm. Complementing the reading, Adam Burns will provide live music and Laura Phillips will facilitate a question and answer session. A poetry slam featuring local poets will precede Gioia’s presentation from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. The Arts Council invites the public to attend both the poetry slam and Gioia’s reading.

As California’s Poet Laureate, Gioia is a Governor’s appointee whose mission is to advocate for the art of poetry in classrooms and boardrooms across the state, to inspire an emerging generation of literary artists, and to educate all Californians about the many poets and authors who have influenced our great state through creative literary expression.

For the past year and a half, Gioia has been traveling to counties across California to engage with each county’s community, provide public readings, educate civic and state leaders about the value of poetry and creative expression, and bring poetry to students who might otherwise have little opportunity to be exposed.

“I believe that poetry is for everyone,” said Gioia. “It is not a remote or intellectual art. Poetry is our most concise, expressive, and memorable way of using words, and it can play a powerful role in schools and civic life. I am honored to become poetry’s public servant in California.”

Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia is a native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent. He 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 five full-length collections of poetry, most recently 99 Poems: New & Selected. 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. In 2014 he won the Aiken-Taylor Award for lifetime achievement in American poetry.

Gioia’s many literary anthologies include Twentieth-Century American Poetry100 Great Poets of the English LanguageThe Longman Anthology of Short FictionLiterature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, and Literature for Life. His poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines including The New YorkerThe AtlanticThe Washington Post Book WorldThe New York Times Book ReviewSlate, and The Hudson Review. Gioia has written three opera libretti and is an active translator of poetry from Latin, Italian, and German.

As Chairman of the NEA, Gioia 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.

Gioia’s creation of a series of NEA National Initiatives combined with a wider distribution of direct grants to reach previously underserved communities made 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.