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Exploring the humanities

Dana Gioia, award-​​winning poet and former chairman of the National Endow­ment for the Arts (NEA), will engage the North­eastern com­mu­nity this week over three days of inter­dis­ci­pli­nary pro­gram­ming, through the Human­i­ties Center’s Artists and Practitioners-​​in-​​Residence Pro­gram.

As NEA chairman, Gioia is cred­ited with rebuilding bipar­tisan sup­port for the agency, and launching new pro­grams such as Shake­speare in Amer­ican Com­mu­ni­ties, in which the­ater com­pa­nies per­form nation­wide and edu­cate youth. He has pub­lished three full-​​length col­lec­tions of poetry, as well as eight chap­books. His poetry col­lec­tion, “Inter­ro­ga­tions at Noon,” won the 2002 Amer­ican Book Award. He is also a pro­fessor at the Uni­ver­sity of Southern Cal­i­fornia.

“In the last decade, no one has done more to advance the cause of poetry, the arts, crit­ical lit­eracy and public cul­ture in America than Dana Gioia,” said Georges Van Den Abbeele, founding dean of the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties.

On Wednesday evening, Gioia will read from his upcoming pub­li­ca­tion, “Pity the Beau­tiful” and con­verse with an audi­ence at 305 Shillman Hall as part of the “Encoun­tering the Human­i­ties” lec­ture series.

Over the next three days, campus events will also include a con­ver­sa­tion with Gioia to reflect on the role of poetry in Amer­ican cul­ture, a class for writers of all levels that explores the craft of poetry and a “Meet the Author” event hosted by Uni­ver­sity Libraries.

“Lis­tening to Dana read poetry out loud is a joy,” said Erika Koss, assis­tant dean for research and pro­gram devel­op­ment in the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties. “His own poetry is full of sur­prising images and themes, and he always recites sev­eral of his favorite poems by heart. I dare anyone who thinks they don’t like poetry to make that claim after an evening with Dana Gioia.“

For more infor­ma­tion and a full list of events, visit http://​www​.north​eastern​.edu/​h​u​m​a​n​i​t​i​e​s​/​e​v​e​n​t​s​/​a​r​t​i​s​t​s​_​r​e​s​i​d​e​n​ce/.

– by Greg St. Martin

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