American poet, author, and National Endowment for the Arts Chairman (2003-2009). His acclaimed poetry collections include The Gods of Winter and Interrogations at Noon; the latter work won the 2002 American Book Award.
Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked in marketing at General Foods Corporation and promoted Jell-O products.
He began teaching at the University of Southern California in 2011.
He married Mary Elizabeth Hiecke in 1980. One of his three sons died as a baby, and Gioia memorialized the child in his poem "Planting a Sequoia."
He was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2008 by then-American President George W. Bush.