The New York Times announced yesterday that Dana Gioia will be stepping down as Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts in order to return to writing.

Gioia is perhaps most famous for the essay he wrote for The Atlantic called "Can Poetry Matter?" (and the book of the same title) as well as the "Reading at Risk" report issued by the NEA in 2004. At the time of its release, Gioia said, "This report documents a national crisis. Reading develops a capacity for focused attention and imaginative growth that enriches both private and public life. The decline in reading among every segment of the adult population reflects a general collapse in advanced literacy. To lose this human capacity - and all the diverse benefits it fosters - impoverishes both cultural and civic life."

Learn more about Gioia's publications, poetry and criticism on his website.