6 Poetry Collections Written by Celebrities
James Franco isn’t the only actor branching out of Hollywood into the world of poetry and creative writing. Although he might be the most popular to discuss, there are many actors, musicians, and models who write poetry. Kristen Stewart, Pamela Anderson, Suzanne Somers, and many others have shared their love of writing poems.
In this list, I’m exploring the work of celebrities who have taken the plunge and finished entire collections of poems, most of which were published by major publishers. With mixed reviews and varying emotions, here are six collections written by the rich and the famous.
Blinking With Fists by Billy Corgan (2004)
Frontman, vocalist, and songwriter for the ‘90s grunge band, Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan’s poetry collection Blinking With Fists is a little more personal than his music lyrics. His poems explore love, loss, identity, and loyalty with his signature style—melancholy wordplay. This collection did not receive many positive reviews, however, and one look through the ratings on Goodreads will confirm that his music was the more popular of his art.
Mixed Feelings by Avan Jogia (2019)
Best known for his role as Beck on the Nickelodeon show Victorious, Avan Jogia will release a collection of poetry and stories in September of this year. Mixed Feelings explores race and identity as Jogia delves into his own experience of growing up in a home with an Indian-British father and an English-Irish mother. This collection seeks to start a dialogue about living as a mixed-person in a world that is fixated on racial identity. Pre-order your copy of Mixed Feelings here!
Dark Sparkler by Amber Tamblyn (2015)
I stumbled across this poetry collection by Amber Tamblyn last year and it quickly became one of my favorite reads of 2018. Dark Sparkler is an account of the lives of twenty-five actresses who died young. From Marilyn Monroe to Brittany Murphy, Tamblyn weaves the stories of suicide, murder, obscurity, and death of these young starlets with emotional and empathic poetry. These haunting poems have stayed with me for a long time.
Directing Herbert White by James Franco (2012)
James Franco has received a lot of attention (mostly negative) for his ventures away from the screen and onto the page. Directing Herbert White was Franco’s debut collection, which delves into his obsession with deceased celebrities such as Heath Ledger, James Dean, and River Phoenix. He also wrote a poem in the voice of Lindsay Lohan in addition to his own self-reflections and musings of Hollywood.
A Night Without Armor by Jewel (1998)
Goddess of the ‘90s, Jewel, is best known for her success in the music industry with her debut album selling more than 10 million copies. Poetry and journal writing inspired her beautiful songwriting abilities, which are evident within her poetry collection, A Night Without Armor. Jewel explores first love, the lessons of betrayal, and the healing of intimacy as she delves into matters of the home, the comfort of family, the beauty of Alaska, and the dislocation of divorce. Just like in her music, Jewel’s poems discover and reflect upon the truth. Jewel also went on to write a memoir called Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story.
Tears for Water by Alicia Keys (2005)
Alicia Keys is a force of her own. With her bestselling, Grammy Award-winning first album, Songs in A-Minor, Alicia Keys became a household name and a superstar. Since then, Keys has expanded into producing, acting, and passionate activism—winning her worldwide acclaim, numerous awards, and a spot on Time’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People.” Don’t forget to add poet to the list. In 2005, Keys published a collection of poetry called Tears for Water that explores the journals and notebooks she kept throughout her life, blending lyrics and poetry in an honest, heartfelt way.
Yesterday I Saw The Sun by Ally Sheedy (1991)
Best known for her role as Allison, the outcast in the noteworthy 1985 film The Breakfast Club, Ally Sheedy also dipped her toes into poetry, publishing a book of poems in 1991.
Yesterday I Saw the Sun is a collection of fifty poems that explores love, her experiences with men, her dependence on drugs and alcohol, and her time in rehabilitation. Although the book wasn’t wildly popular, reviewers called it raw and honest, addressing the concerns many young women have today.