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2

MONDAY

Except for what’s scrawled on bathroom stalls, most Americans don’t read much contemporary poetry—or so the poet Dana Gioia contends in his Atlantic Monthly article “Can Poetry Matter?” “Like subsidized farming that grows food no one wants,” he writes, “a poetry industry has been created to serve the interests of the producers and not the consumers.” Gioia’s solution? Publish less poetry in specialty journals and more poetry criticism in general-interest publications. Accordingly, Gioia has been prolific with his criticism and parsimonious with his poetry. Interrogations at Noon is only Gioia’s third volume of poetry in 25 years. Gioia’s work is, at times, excessively cerebral, but it nevertheless resonates with crisp lyricism, as in “Nosferatu’s Serenade”: “I am the sin you have never confessed/The forbidden hand caressing your breast.” Does Gioia’s poetry matter? Come see for yourself when he reads from Interrogations at Noon at 7 p.m. at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. Free. (202) 347-5495. (Felix Gillette)