There was this rumor floating around in the spring, you see. James Franco–fresh from his Columbia MFA and hungering for more time in academia, tired or saddened, perhaps, by his performance art piece (which consisted of starring in a bunch of episodes of “General Hospital”)–applied to our little PhD program out here in the mountains. It was said he might come for a campus visit. Hearts and crotches were aflutter.
Of course, he didn’t show. Some degree mill in New Haven accepted him instead and the Franc bailed on SLC. Horny curiosity turned to low-level depression as mid-terms set in. There was still a chance for us though–AWP (the annual Associated Writing Programs conference) was coming up and maybe he would be there so we would all, at last, get to fulfill our dreams of standing awkwardly five feet away and taking surreptitious photos with our cell phones. I wrote a story about that moment and the Barrelhouse blog generously posted it.