Growing Up in Los Angeles
Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. A native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent, Gioia (pronounced JOY-uh) received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University.
Gioia has published three full-length collections of poetry, as well as eight chapbooks. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia's 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture.
Topic: Growing Up in Los Angeles
Dan Gioia: I’m from Hawthorne, California originally. I live in both California and Washington, D.C.at the moment.See I’m of the belief that your origins shape you in ways that you can never really entirelyshake off. And I am a working class, Latin kid from L.A. I was raised in a veryrough neighborhood – Hawthorne – which a lot of people would know from being the settingof “Pulp Fiction” and “Jackie Brown”. It’s an urban, harsh neighborhood in SouthwestLos Angeles. My father was Sicilian. My mother was Mexican. I was raised largely ina neighborhood of immigrants. And so I was raised in a very Catholic, working-class way.And that’s shaped pretty much most of my attitude since then.
Recorded On: 7/6/07
Hawthorne is a rough, urban neighborhood with Catholic, working-class immigrant families.
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