The Associate Press reported on September 28 that President Bush plans to renominate Dana Gioia for a second term as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Gioia took office in 2003, succeeding Michael P. Hammond, who died seven days after assuming his duties in 2002. The NEA, which is “dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education,” has a budget of approximately $125 million.
Gioia, who has a BA and an MBA from Stanford University and an MA in Comparative Literature from Harvard University, worked at the General Foods Corporation for fifteen years before becoming a full-time writer. His poetry and criticism has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post Book World, and the New York Times Book Review; and his books include the poetry collections Interrogations at Noon (Graywolf, 2001), The Gods of Winter (Graywolf, 1991), and Daily Horoscope (Graywolf, 1986), and the essay collection, Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture (Graywolf, 1992). He is the NEA’s ninth chairman, and the first poet—and the first Californian—to head the Washington, D.C.-based agency.