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Clasped hands in robe with CHF logo and text overlay: BELIEF, October 28 - November 12
Winter 2014

James Franco and Frank Bidart, Off the Shelf

Presented in partnership with the Poetry Foundation

James Franco: actor, scholar, performance artist, novelist, director—and yes—poet! Second City no more, Mr. Franco debuts his latest poetry collection, Directing Herbert White, right here in Chicago. Franco shares the stage: joining him are his hero, legendary poet Frank Bidart (Metaphysical Dog); and Poetry Foundation president Robert Polito. Grab a glimpse of our era’s Renaissance man and nab a signed copy before it hits the shelves.

This program is presented in partnership with the Poetry Foundation and The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. Watch the full-length program above or selected segments below.

Photo by Anna Kooris

Speakers and Performers

James Franco

James Franco is an actor, director, writer, and visual artist. He is the author of two works of fiction, Palo Alto and Actors Anonymous, and one work of nonfiction, A California Childhood. His latest collection of poetry, Directing Herbert White, will be published this spring. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.

Frank Bidart

Frank Bidart is the author of Watching the Spring Festival, Star Dust, Desire, and In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965–90. He has won many prizes, including the Wallace Stevens Award and the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. His most recent collection of poems, Metaphysical Dog, was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award and is currently a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He teaches at Wellesley College.

Robert Polito

Robert Polito is a poet and scholar. An expert on mid-century American crime novels and film noir, he edited Farber on Film: The Complete Film Writings of Manny Farber; The Selected Poems of Kenneth Fearing; and Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 1940s. His most recent poetry collection is Hollywood & God. Polito has served as director of Creative Writing at The New School for two decades. He became president of the Poetry Foundation in July 2013.