Add Another Fellow to My List of Heroes

In the last month I’ve:

  • read up on the life of Dana Gioia,
  • perused his poetry,
  • shouted “Amen!” over and over again while reading his book Can Poetry Matter?,
  • and interviewed him twice.

I’ve got to say that he’s becoming one of my heroes. He’s about as qualified an individual as you’ll find on the planet to head up the National Endowment for the Arts. He’s doing a fine job.

The interview will appear in the next issue of Seattle Pacific’s magazine Response. The full transcript will appear in the online edition. I’ll let you know when it’s available. (It hasn’t gone to press yet.)

In the meantime, here are some headlines about the study he’s just released… Reading at Risk (available at the NEA site.) As he said to me, “If this doesn’t depress you, nothing will.”

Here’s a quote: “At the current rate of loss, literary reading as a leisure activity will virtually disappear in half a century.”

What a great time to be a writer.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.


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