2010: Dana Gioia
Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia is an award-winning poet who has published three full-length collections of poetry. His collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. Gioia's 1991 prose work, Can Poetry Matter?, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, and is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture.
Gioia's many literary anthologies include Twentieth-Century American Poetry, 100 Great Poets of the English Language, The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction, and Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, and his work has appeared in many magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, and The Hudson Review. Gioia is also the author of two opera libretti and is an active translator of poetry from Latin, Italian, and German. He is the recipient of ten honorary degrees.
As the ninth Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia increased public funding for the arts and arts education. Through programs such as Shakespeare in American Communities, Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, NEA Jazz Masters, American Masterpieces, and Poetry Out Loud, the Arts Endowment has successfully reached millions of Americans.