If you are in or around Houston on Friday, January 31st, let me encourage you to swing by my home institution to hear Dana Gioia read and speak. Gioia is one of the most gifted poets and critics writing today. His essay “Can Poetry Matter?” is still regularly discussed some twenty years after it was first published, and his recent essay, “The Catholic Writer Today,” is also making some waves.  And, of course, his subtle, crafted narrative poetry is a real pleasure.

Gioia’s Friday evening lecture is free and open to the public. His talk on Saturday is part of the paid conference. There are lots of other great talks on Saturday, too–from Doug TenNapel on video games and the graphic novel to J. Matthew Boyleston on pastoral poetry. I’ll be there to chat about the role of the critic today and would love to meet any Prufrock or TAC readers.