USC professor named California's next poet laureate

Dec 5, 2015 11:49 AM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown is naming a professor from the University of Southern California as the state's new poet laureate.

On Friday he named 64-year-old Dana Gioia, of Santa Rosa, who teaches poetry and public culture.

Gioia's job over a two-year term will be to promote poetry across the state, often by providing public readings.

Gioia was chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009. There he began several nationwide arts education programs including the Poetry Out Loud contest for high school students.

He compiled a 2003 anthology of California poetry dating to the Gold Rush era that includes poetry from 101 authors examining the state's cultural history.

The poet laureate position was created 100 years ago and was most recently filled by Juan Felipe Herrera.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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