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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[…]

Hawthorne is a rough, urban neighborhood with Catholic, working-class immigrant families.

Topic: Growing Up in Los Angeles

Dan Gioia: I’m from Hawthorne, California originally. I live in both California and Washington, 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