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A Brief Guide to New Formalism
Books Noted:
Dana Gioia, Pity the Beautiful
Other Contemporary Formalist Poets
Charles Martin
Derek Walcott
Mark Jarman
Molly Peacock
Seamus Heaney
Wyatt Prunty
External Links
Two poems
"The Man in the Open Doorway" and "A Spy in the House of Commerce". From Frigate.
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Dana Gioia
Photo by Star Black

Dana Gioia

In 1950 Dana Gioia was born in Los Angeles. He received a BA from Stanford University. Before returning to Stanford to earn an MBA, he completed an MA in Comparative Literature at Harvard University where he studied with the poets Robert Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Bishop. In 1977 he moved to New York to begin a career in business. For fifteen years Gioia worked as a businessman, eventually becoming a Vice President of General Foods. In 1992 he left business to become a full-time writer.

Gioia is the author of Interrogations at Noon (Graywolf, 2001), winner of the American Book Award; The Gods of Winter (1991); and Daily Horoscope (1986).

His critical collection, Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture (Graywolf, 1992), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award in Criticism. Since then, Gioia has published two other collections of criticism, Barrier of a Common Language: An American Looks at Contemporary British Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2003) and Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture (Graywolf Press, 2004).

He has also written an opera libretto, Nosferatu, translated Eugenio Montale's Mottetti, co-edited two anthologies of Italian poetry and four of the nation's best-selling college literature textbooks.

Gioia has co-founded two major literary conferences. In 1995 he helped create the West Chester University summer conference on Form and Narrative, which is now the largest annual poetry-writing conference in the U.S. In 2001 he began "Teaching Poetry," a conference in Santa Rosa, California, dedicated to improving high school teaching of poetry. He has also taught as a visiting writer at Colorado College, Johns Hopkins, Sarah Lawrence, Mercer, and Wesleyan University.

Gioia is currently serving as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Gioia lives in Sonoma County, California, with his wife and two sons.

Poems by
Dana Gioia


Prose by
Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia on Richard Wilbur's Style and Sensibility
Video: The Biggest Challenge Facing the Arts

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