Dana Gioia may be best known to our audience for his essay in First Things last year entitled “The Catholic Writer Today.” The essay began with a dismaying regret that while 50 years ago one could scan the American literary scene and find Catholicism and Catholic writers playing a formative role, today that role has disappeared. As Gioia put it, “the religion of one-quarter of the U.S. population has retreated to the point of invisibility in the fine arts.”
As you may imagine, the essay sparked heated responses both among First Things readers and in the literary world. In February USC and the Institute of Advanced Catholic Studies hosted a conference on the topic, entitled “The Future of Catholic Literary Imagination,” and it included some of the leading Catholic writers and critics in America.
Last month, Gioia sat down for an interview with First Things to discuss the topic. You may listen to the podcast below.