Straight James / Gay James
|Straight James / Gay James|
|by James Franco|
Straight James / Gay James, actor James Franco’s new chapbook of poems, explores the facets of his public and private personas. Straight James / Gay James is a poetic bildungsroman—raw, candid, and uninhibited. James Franco writes about life as an actor, sexuality, questions of identity, gender, 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 f*****g gay or what?” Paperback, 58 pages, $12.00 USD,
ISBN 978-1-60182-262-8. Ebook, $4.99 USD, ISBN 978-1-60182-263-5.
Praise for James Franco’s 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