by Josh Sheridan
For many new writing students, reading work in front of an audience can be a daunting prospect. The pressure of reading in front of professors, classmates and friends can be great: “How does my writing stack up? Who might respond to this well? Who might I offend? Is my professor going to tear this apart?” Nerves can get the best of you and things can get ugly.The last Frequency North series event, on September 12, was an interesting twist on this familiar tale. This time, the writing teachers were in the hot seat, and the audience was made up largely of their own students. I could say that we students sat quietly, picking the work of our superiors apart mentally, changing words and turning phrases, telling ourselves how we could make this work better.
But I can’t. It didn’t happen that way.
No, instead Rone Shavers, Dan Nester, Barbara Unger, Hollis Seamon and Ken Krauss put on a clinic that night. Not only did they show a great amount of appreciation and respect for each other, they showed what a gathering of writers can, and should, be: a mixed bag of literary influences, styles, performance and moods. For my part, I sat both glued to my seat and intensely gratified that I am a part of the MFA program at Saint Rose.
After all, if this is the work my professors produce, I feel like I have a strong shot at producing work this good, too.
The next Frequency North event will feature novelist Rick Moody and will be held in the Standish Rooms, in the Events and Athletics Center on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7:30. As always it is free and open to the public.