Straight James/Gay James (Hansen Publishing Group)

Please note, this is a signing only. 

Straight James/Gay James explores the facets of James Franco’s public and private personas. Straight James/Gay James is a poetic bildungsroman—raw, candid, and uninhibited. James Franco writes about life as an actor and provokes questions about identity, sexuality, and gender. Other poems deal with family, Gucci, Lana Del Rey, James Dean, and Hollywood. His poetic style varies from the imagistic to the prosaic. The chapbook also contains an interview of “Gay James” conducted by “Straight James.” Yes, Straight James asks the question: “Let’s get substantial: are you gay or what?”

NOTE: As with all Skylight Books in-store events, this signing is free and open to the public (first come, first served).  But because we're expecting a large crowd at this event, we'll be giving out numbered tickets to the signing line to keep things organized:

  • To get a ticket to the signing line, you must purchase a copy of any James Franco title here at Skylight Books. You may bring other titles to have signed from home as long as you purchase a book from the store. 
  • James Franco will sign and personalize BOOKS ONLY--no memorabilia, posters, DVDs, fan art, etc. Also, we are not allowing any photographs.
  • For all website orders for this event, be sure to leave a note in the Order Comments field if you'd like a signing line ticket.
  • Can't attend? If you would like a signed book but will not be able to attend, click Signed Copy after adding the book to your cart and we'll do our best to get it signed for you. You  may pick up this book in the store after the event, or have it shipped to you.
  • Skylight's Friends with Benefits members get priority signing line tickets (and 20% off this and all other event books each month), so be sure to mention your membership (or join) when you order the book.

Praise for Straight James/Gay James

"The poems in Straight James/Gay James prove once more that James Franco will not be cornered nor ironed flat by the manufacturers of American celebrity. By turns ruthless, moving, quirky, and enigmatic, Franco's candor continues to be impressive. His divulgences of selfhood are composite, intelligent and distinctly modern. They demonstrate emphatically that Franco is his own artist, and his own man."--Tony Hoagland, author of Application for Release from the Dream: Poems

"Hollywood, the land of artifice, make-believe, myth-making—in short, of the false self—has driven James Franco to write a book of radical honesty. He does this not by debunking Hollywood, but by displaying fiction-making, self-creation, as underlying all of human life—underlying our double/triple natures. What burns through the writing as the book goes on is extraordinary candor and earnestness.  This is art that conceals great cunning and art.  An ambitious, moving, ruthlessly uncompromised work."--Frank Bidart, author of Metaphysical Dog: Poems

"Straight James/Gay James is partly a hilarious send up of the celebrity interview and partly an earnest investigation of gender and role playing, but most of all it's a deadly serious, uncompromising brief on art and the artistic exercise of imaginative play whose vitality and necessity depends on being free, robust, open and uninhibited."--Alan Shapiro, author of Reel to Reel

"On film, James Franco has portrayed poets Allen Ginsberg, Hart Crane and C.K. Williams. In real life, James Franco is an original American poet in his own right. Part of his singularity is the manner in which he melds his artistic vision with his poetic verse. The other part is his willingness to experiment and expand the poetic form. His new collection provides ample evidence of the new direction he is taking. This is his most ambitious and successful to date."--Gregg Barrios, author of I-DJ

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 two books that collage memoir, snapshots, poems, and artwork, A California Childhood and Hollywood Dreaming. His poetry has appeared in a chapbook, Strongest of the Litter, and the book, Directing Herbert White. His writing has also been published in Esquire, the Huffington Post, McSweeney’s, N+1, Vanity Fair, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has received MFAs in fiction from Brooklyn College and Columbia, an MFA in film from New York University, an MFA in art from Rhode Island School of Design, and an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College.

Franco’s film appearances include Milk, Pineapple Express, This is the End, Spring Breakers, Oz, and 127 Hours, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. He portrayed poets Allen Ginsberg in the film Howl, C.K. Williams in The Color of Time, and Hart Crane in The Broken Tower, a film Franco adapted and directed. He has also adapted many poems into films that he has directed, including short films based on “Herbert White” by Frank Bidart, the collection Black Dog, Red Dog by Stephen Dobyns, “The Clerk’s Tale” by Spencer Reece, and “The Feast of Stephen” by Anthony Hecht. 

Franco has also adapted to film the novels As I Lay Dying, and Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, Child of God by Cormac McCarthy, In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck, The Long Home by William Gay, and Zeroville by Steve Erickson.

He lives in New York and Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Saturday, May 14, 2016 - 12:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Straight James / Gay James By James Franco Cover Image
ISBN: 9781601822628
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Hansen Publishing Group, LLC - December 23rd, 2015

Palo Alto: Stories By James Franco Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781439163153
Published: Scribner - June 7th, 2011

A California Childhood  By James Franco Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781608873937
Published: Insight Editions - August 12th, 2014

Hollywood Dreaming: Stories, Pictures, and Poems By James Franco Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781608873432
Published: Insight Editions - September 23rd, 2014

Strongest of the Litter (the Hollyridge Press Chapbook Series) By James Franco Cover Image
ISBN: 9780984310050
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Hollyridge Press - November 1st, 2012

A California Childhood By James Franco Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781608872022
Published: Insight Editions - June 18th, 2013