Dana Gioia

Manzanita Writers Press Director Monika Rose, left, with California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia and the new “Out of the Fire” book.

California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia visited the Carriage House at the Angels Camp Museum on June 17. He read to the audience from his own acclaimed works, including “99 Poems.”

“I’ve never given a reading in a space quite like the Carriage House,” Gioia said. “It was a splendid afternoon, full of poetry and emotion.”

Gioia, renowned for a number of projects geared to bring poetry and the spoken word to all corners and counties of the state, has made it clear his mission is to visit every California county to share his love for the beauty and power of a form of expression that spans the breadth of human emotion and experience. Calaveras was his 41st stop on the list.

Gioia urged the audience to support the literary arts in schools, from the first days of kindergarten when children shape sounds and words in rhymes and giggle along with stories in class to college courses that explore what it means to be human.

Manzanita Writers Press also unveiled “Out of the Fire: A Calaveras Anthology” and contributors read selections from the book. Photographers and artists whose works appear in the anthology were also on hand.

“The readers for your Butte Fire anthology moved me deeply,” Gioia said.

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