Dana is what I call one of the world’s information billionaires. For more specifics, here is part of his Wikipedia page:
Michael Dana Gioia (/ˈdʒɔɪ.ə/; born December 24, 1950) is an American poet and writer. He spent the first fifteen years of his career writing at night while working for General Foods Corporation. After his 1991 essay “Can Poetry Matter?” in The Atlantic generated international attention, Gioia quit business to pursue writing full-time. He served as the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) between 2003 and 2009. Gioia has published five books of poetry and three volumes of literary criticism as well as opera libretti, song cycles, translations, and over two dozen literary anthologies.
Gioia is the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California, where he teaches, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Trinity Forum. In December 2015 he became the California State Poet Laureate.
He is also well-known as a composer of opera libretti, and more recently as a spokesperson for the importance of Catholicism for culture. And he is brother of TedGioia, former CWT guest. And here is Dana’s home page.
I will be doing a Conversation with him — so what should I ask?