Pity the Beautiful

By Dana Gioia
(Graywolf Press, Paperback, 9781555976132, 73pp.)

Publication Date: May 8, 2012

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Description

The long-awaited fourth collection by one of America's foremost poets O Lord of indirection and ellipses,
ignore our prayers. Deliver us from distraction.
Slow our heartbeat to a cricket's call.
  --from “Prophecy” Pity the Beautiful is Dana Gioia's first new poetry book in over a decade. Its emotional revelations and careful construction are hard won, inventive, and resilient. These new poems show Gioia's craftsmanship at its finest, its most mature, as they make music, crack wise, remember the dead, and in a long, central poem even tell ghost stories.




About the Author
Born in Los Angeles in 1950, Dana Gioia attended Stanford University and did graduate work at Harvard, where he studied with Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Fitzgerald. He left Harvard to attend Stanford Business School. For fifteen years he worked in New York for general Foods (eventually becoming a Vice President) while writing nights and weekends, In 1992 he became a full-time writer. Currently he lives in California. Gioia has published three books of poems, Daily Horoscope (1986), The Gods of Winter (1991), and Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award. He is also the author of Can Poetry Matter? (1992; reprinted 2002). He has edited a dozen anthologies of poetry and fiction. A prolific critic and reviewer, he is also a frequent commentator on American culture for BBC Radio. He recently completed Nosferatu (2001), an opera libretto for composer Alva Henderson.


Praise For Pity the Beautiful

"In his best poems, Gioia rises to the occasion of all great poetry: to immortalize our experience by submitting it to the test of tradition and inspiration." --Thomas D'Evelyn, The Christian Science Monitor “Gioia concerns himself with every aspect of his craft: its traditions, its movements toward and away from rhyme and meter, and its ancient roots in the sound of the human voice . . . Gioia is clearly a poet whose words are heard, whose positions ignite debate, whose work constantly and unflinchingly searches out new ways to counter what he calls 'our sentimental, upbeat age.'” --from the American Book Award citation for Interrogations at Noon “Dana Gioia's poems always reveal his narrative ease and naturalness of diction; he's partly an old-fashioned storyteller and partly a metaphysical poet of reflection and devotion. From his very first book, which was published twenty-five years ago, he's always been considered one of this country's most accomplished formal masters.” --David St. John

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