Moderated by Poetry Foundation president Robert Polito, the conversation will focus on Franco's film "Herbert White," which is based on Bidart's 1973 poem of the same name, as well as Franco's forthcoming poetry collection, "Directing Herbert White."
Here's how the event is billed: "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."
As previously reported, Franco will make his Broadway debut playing George in Of Mice and Men, which begins performances in March. He began his career on the cult television program "Freaks and Geeks" and received a Golden Globe Award for playing the title character in the TV biographical film “James Dean.” Notable film credits include "Oz the Great and Powerful," "Spring Breakers," Harry Osborn in the "Spider-Man" trilogy, "Milk" and "127 Hours," for which he received Academy Award, SAG and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor.
Award-winning writer Bidart is the author of "Watching the Spring Festival," "Star Dust," Desire" and "In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965–90."
Polito is a poet and scholar who has 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."
Tickets go on sale to the public Jan. 30 at noon and are available by calling (312) 494-9509 or visiting chicagohumanities.org.