Baylor University Welcomes Distinguished Poet to Speak at Annual Beall-Russell Lectures

Oct. 12, 2010

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Award-winning poet Dana Gioia is presented by Baylor University College of Arts and Sciences as the 2010 Beall-Russell lecturer at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, in Cashion Academic Center, Room 510.

His lecture will be entitled, "Why Culture Matters."

Former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia has published three full-length collections of poetry. His collection Interrogations at Noon won the 2002 American Book Award. Gioia's 1991 prose work Can Poetry Matter? was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Gioia's many literary anthologies include Twentieth-Century American Poetry, 100 Great Poets of the English Language, The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction, and Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. Gioia is also the author of two opera libretti and is a translator of poetry from Latin, Italian and German. He is the recipient of 10 honorary degrees.

As the ninth chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia increased public funding for the arts and arts education. Through programs such as Shakespeare in American Communities, Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, NEA Jazz Masters, American Masterpieces and Poetry Out Loud, the Arts Endowment has reached millions of Americans.

The Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities were established in 1982 with a financial gift from the late Virginia B. Ball of Muncie, Ind. She named the lecture series in honor of her mother, the late Mrs. John A. Beall, and the late Lily Russell, former dean of women at Baylor, both graduated with the Baylor University Class of 1910.

Ball subsequently funded the establishment of the Beall Poetry Festival in 1993, encouraging contemporary poetry. The purpose of the lectures is to provide an opportunity for Baylor students and faculty to meet and hear lecturers renowned in the humanities.

Past lecturers have included poet Maya Angelou, journalist Bill Moyers and Nobel Prize winner for Literature Czeslaw Milosz.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information on the Beall-Russell Lectures, visit www.baylor.edu/beall-russell or call (254) 710-4288.

The Cashion Academic Center is located at 1400 S. Fourth St.

by Alison Higgins, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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