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Biography

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Overview (1)

Date of Birth 24 December 1950Hawthorne, California, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Gioia (pronounced JOY-A) was born in Los Angeles of Italian and Mexican descent. The first member of his family to attend college, he received a B.A. from Stanford University. Before returning to Stanford to earn an M.B.A., he completed an M.A. in Comparative Literature at Harvard University where he studied with poets Robert Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Bishop.

In 1977 he moved to New York, and eventually became a Vice President of General Foods. He began writing on weekends, and published three books of poetry. His essay, "Can Poetry Matter?", which appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1991, ignited an international debate on the role of poetry in contemporary intellectual life. The Atlantic received more responses on this essay than on any piece in recent history. Today, "Can Poetry Matter?" stands as one of the most influential literary essays of the past quarter century. Gioia's essay collection, Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture (1992), was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the "Best Books of 1992." It also became a finalist for the 1992 National Book Critics Award in Criticism. His poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, and The Hudson Review. He is also a long time commentator for BBC Radio. He is also the classical music critic for San Francisco magazine.

In 1992 he left business to become a full-time writer, and in 1996, moved to Northern California. In November 2002 he was nominated by George W. Bush to serve as the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. He divides his time between Washington, D.C. and California.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Christine L. DeSimone

Spouse (1)

Mary Heicke (1977 - present) (2 children)

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