Dan Nester has done great service to the Capital District with his fine, free reading series at St. Rose, "Frequency North". This is the second year he has brought in poets & edgy prose writers. It's like the Writers Institue without the big budget & without the best-seller list: young/young-ish writers with a sharp edge, some of whom will be on the Writers Institute program in a few years, or should have been already. Thanks to Dan we hear them now. And hopefully he'll be back with more next season.
The final program of the year (you know that crazy academic calendar, September to May) was Katie Degentesh & Denise Duhamel. Both had works that clearly come out of the MFA repertoire. You know, devise a clever prompt (write a sonnet series on the varieties of Campbell soup, imagine what it would be like to live in your girl friend's underwear drawer, write a poem based on a dictionary of old slang, etc.), then publish the book & get a job teaching creative writing by coming up with more clever prompts, to people who write poems based on clever prompts, then publish the book who go on to get a job teaching creative writing..., you get the point.
Actually, Denise Duhamel does have such a poem based on slang from mid-century, "Our Americano" that is funny & long & clever & entertaining, like her Barbie poems. And Katie Degentesh read from her series of short prose pieces based on the MMPI (Minnesota Mult-phastic Personality Inventory). You sort of had to be there.
Very entertaining, sort of like "Law & Order" without the crime.