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Chicago Humanities Festival and The Poetry Foundation Present JAMES FRANCO AND FRANK BIDART, OFF THE SHELF, 2/19

Chicago Humanities Festival and The Poetry Foundation Present JAMES FRANCO AND FRANK BIDART, OFF THE SHELF, 2/19

The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) and The Poetry Foundation partner to present James Franco and Frank Bidart, Off the Shelf, an evening of poetry, film, and discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 at 8 p.m. at Thorne Auditorium, Northwestern University School of Law (375 E Chicago Ave). The program will revolve around James Franco's film Herbert White, based on legendary poet Frank Bidart's 1973 poem of the same name, as well as Franco's forthcoming poetry collection, Directing Herbert White. The conversation will be moderated by Poetry Foundation president Robert Polito. Tickets are on sale now to CHF Members, and go on sale to the public at noon on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. Call the CHF Box Office at 312.494.9509 or visit chicagohumanities.org.

For the first time, James Franco and his hero, Frank Bidart, take the stage together! In 1973, award-winning poet Bidart published one of his most famous poems, Herbert White. In 2010, James Franco adapted and directed it for film. Franco's own collection of poetry, Directing Herbert White, will be released in April 2014. Exclusive, early copies of Directing Herbert White will be available for purchase at the event, provided by Graywolf Press and Unabridged Bookstore.

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 newest poetry collection, Directing Herbert White, will be released in April 2014. As an actor, Franco's breakout role was as Daniel Desario in the cult TV series Freaks and Geeks. TV credits include: the title character in the TV biographical film James Dean, for which he earned a Golden Globe Award, and Franco in ABC's General Hospital. He has starred in several films, including Sam Raimi's Spider Man trilogy, Milk, Spring Breakers, This is the End, and 127 Hours, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Franco has taught film classes at NYU, USC and his alma mater, UCLA, and is a PhD candidate at Yale University.

"James Franco is dazzlingly original and totally out there," said CHF Artistic Director Matti Bunzl. "Actor, director, writer-he does it all. We are excited to see what happens once he's on stage!"

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 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 (2009). Polito earned his PhD from Harvard and served as director of Creative Writing at The New School for two decades. He became the second president of the Poetry Foundation in July 2013.

For more information about James Franco and Frank Bidart, Off the Shelf, visit chicagohumanities.org. Tickets are on sale now to CHF Members, and go on sale to the public at noon on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, online and through the CHF Box Office at 312-494-9509, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets range from $10-15, with a limited number of student tickets available. Book/Ticket packages range from $25-30. Visit supportchf.org to become a CHF Member. A $6 per order processing fee is applied to all pre-event sales. Tickets are $5 more per ticket at the door.

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