Q. You have recently announced that you will be leaving the NEA in January, although both parties seem to want you to stay. Looking back, what do you hope people will see as your legacy at the NEA?
Gioia: I hope I am remembered as a good writer who put his own work aside for six years to help heal his country’s culture in a dark and divisive time. It’s important for a nation to have a few poets in its history who have played a role in civic life.