Michael Dana Gioia (born December 24, 1950) is an American writer, critic, poet and businessman. He initially worked as a marketing executive for General Foods Corporation, where he is best known for his role in promoting Jell-O snacks. He was also writing while working at General Foods, and resigned in 1992 to write full-time.
From January 29, 2003, until January 22, 2009, he was chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the U.S. government's arts agency, and has worked to revitalize an organization that had suffered bitter controversies about the nature of grants to artists in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In August 2011, Gioia became Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California.
He has sought to encourage jazz, which he calls the only uniquely American form of art, to promote reading and performance of Shakespeare and to increase the number of Americans reading literature. Before taking the NEA post, Gioia was a resident of Santa Rosa, California, and before that, of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
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