About this book
Directing Herbert White
The debut poetry collection by the actor, director, and writer James Franco
I’m a nocturnal creature,
And I’m here to cheat time.
You can see time and exhaustion
Taking pay from my face—
In fifty years
My sleep will be death,
I’ll go like the rest,
But I’ll have played
All the games and all the roles.
“There’s never been a book quite like this. Hollywood — fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist — is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget.” — Frank Bidart, winner of the Bollingen Prize in American Poetry
“A star-studded cast moves like ghosts across the screen of James Franco’s poetic consciousness, imbuing the writing with scenes of icons who are also humans replete with sorrow and presence in our own psyches. James Dean, Monica Vitti, Catherine Deneuve, Sal Mineo, Heath Ledger, pass and fade. The author has a wonderful self-reflexive insouciance about his own fame and roles inhabited, from Hart Crane to Allen Ginsberg to Harvey Milk’s lover. Franco is a gifted contemporary Renaissance kind of guy, surveying the waterfront of illusion, suffering, and impermanance. We leave the movie theater a little wiser.” — Anne Waldman, poet, editor, scholar, and cultural/political activist
About the Author
James Franco is an actor, director, author, and visual artist. His film appearances include Milk, Pineapple Express, Howl, and 127 Hours, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. He is the author of the collection Palo Alto, and his writing has been published in Esquire, Vanity Fair, N+1, the Wall Street Journal, and McSweeney’s. Franco’s art has been exhibited throughout the world including at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s PS1 in New York, the Clocktower Gallery in New York, and the Peres Projects in Berlin. He lives in New York City.