Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed poet and critic. He is the author of four collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and Pity the Beautiful (2012). He has also published three collections of criticism, most notably Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. A best-selling literary anthologist, Gioia has edited or co-edited over two dozen collections of poetry, fiction, and drama. He has also written two opera libretti and has collaborated with composers in genres ranging from classical to jazz and rock. For six years (2003-2009) he served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts where he gained strong bipartisan support for the previously imperiled agency and helped launch the largest literary programs in federal history, including The Big Read, Poetry Out Loud, and Shakespeare in American Communities. He was twice unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. During these years Gioia also led the U.S. cultural delegation to UNESCO. For two years he directed the arts and culture programs for the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. and Colorado. In 2011 Gioia became the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California. He has been awarded ten honorary doctorates and many awards, including the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California.