Jan. 19, 2011

Acclaimed Poet to Speak on the Connection Between Catholic Faith and Writing

Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia, an award-winning poet and former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, will speak on "The Catholic Writer Today" on Monday, Feb. 28, at 4:15 p.m. in Great Room B of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.

Gioia's talk is part of a series of events related to the Jan. 25 inauguration of John Garvey as the 15th president of CUA.

Gioia, who was chair of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009, has published three collections of his own poetry and has edited several literary anthologies. His poetry collection, "Interrogations at Noon," won the 2002 American Book Award. Gioia also is an influential literary critic. His 1991 volume "Can Poetry Matter?" was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award.

In November 2010, he was named the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Pop Culture at the University of Southern California.

"Dana Gioia is an accomplished and significant poet and literary critic," says Ernest Suarez, professor and chair of the Department of English. "Perhaps more importantly, he's an incisive cultural critic, someone who recognizes the value of the aesthetic in people's lives and the role art can play in awakening our senses and combating the routines and pressures that dull our capacity for possibility."

Suarez will introduce Gioia before his lecture.

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The lecture is one of a number of events throughout the spring 2011 semester related to Garvey's inaugural year theme of "Intellect and Virtue: The Idea of a Catholic University." Throughout the semester, the University will host programs related to intellect and the four cardinal virtues of justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude. The choice of theme springs from two sources: Garvey's abiding interest in the distinctive character of Catholic higher education and the inspiration that he has drawn from the lectures on the idea of a university by Cardinal John Henry Newman, who was beatified in September 2010.

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.


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