Dana Gioia, Former NEA Chair and Former Poet Laureate of California, To Read His Poetry at LSU

March 22, 2023

BATON ROUGE – Dana Gioia, internationally acclaimed poet and essayist, will read from his poetry on Monday, March 27, 2023, at 4:30 pm, at LSU.  The reading, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Sternberg Salon of the French House, home of the Ogden Honors College. His visit is sponsored by the Ogden Honors College and the Eric Voegelin Institute.

Gioia is the former poet laureate of California and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, where he founded the “Poetry Out Loud” competition.  He attended Stanford University for his BA and MBA and earned his MA from Harvard in comparative literature, beginning his career as a poet while working at a major New York corporation.  The author of six full-length collections of verse, Gioia is the recipient of both the Poet’s Prize for best book of the year and the American Book Award.  Gioia has also written four opera libretti and collaborated with musicians in genres from classical to jazz.  In addition to poetry and opera, he has written as a critic and published four books of essays, including “The Catholic Writer Today and Can Poetry Matter?”  He has won many awards, including the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Aiken Taylor Award in Modern Poetry, and the Walt Whitman Champion of Literacy Prize, and has been awarded ten honorary doctorates.

While in Louisiana, Gioia will also read at the University of New Orleans and Tulane University.

“'Poets are the acknowledged legislators of the world,' wrote Shelley, but Dana Gioia has not entirely escaped recognition,” said James Stoner, Hermann Moyse Jr. Professor and Director of the Voegelin Institute.  “Through poems that make us ponder and essays that make us reconsider what we thought we knew, Gioia has made a distinctive contibution to American letters.  Add to that his brilliant work in public office rejuvenating an agency that had lost its way, and you can see why we are privileged to have visit LSU one of the leading civic figures of our time.”

The Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College is a vibrant, diverse, and prestigious community providing students a curriculum of rigorous seminar classes, as well as opportunities for undergraduate research.  Its focus on community service, study abroad, internships and independent research helps today’s high-achieving students become tomorrow’s leaders.  The Eric Voegelin Institute, named for one of LSU’s original Boyd Professors and a scholar of international recognition and acclaim, is a humanities and social science research institute devoted to the revitalization of teaching and understanding of the great works of civilization.