Monthly Archives: May 2016

Senior Readings: An Exploration of Past and Future

Posted by Maya Bergamasco, Poetry reader for issue 4.2

Here in Geneseo, spring is not only a time to lounge on the campus green or celebrate the return of famed Geneseo sunsets. For English students, spring heralds the annual senior readings, where every graduating senior in the creative writing program reads their work for their peers, professors, and family. For me, this is a bittersweet time. As I listen to my peers share their poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and hear their plans for the future, I am both excited and saddened. Excited that they will do such amazing things: become a teacher, earn an MFA in creative writing, or join the world of publishing. Yet, I am saddened that I will no longer laugh with them in class, or receive their feedback in workshop, or simply have the privilege to read rough drafts fresh from their thoughts. The seniors, too, seem to share this bittersweet feeling.

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An Interview with Michael Sheehan

Posted by Katherine Jerabeck, Fiction reader for issue 4.2

Are you an English major, or aspiring writer, sick of future accountants telling you that you will never get a job? Fear not, Geneseo alumni and accomplished writer, Michael Sheehan, is here to prove that you can do what you love and make a living. Michael Sheehan graduated from Geneseo with an English (creative writing) degree, and is the author of Proposals for the Recovery of the Apparently Drowned and editor-in-chief of REAL literary journal. I spoke with Michael to find out some of his background on how he made his way from Geneseo to where he is now. Continue reading

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Real World Geneseo and the Power of Student Performance

Posted by Kyle Frink, Poetry reader for issue 4.2

Mariposa Fernandez at the McVittie Union Ballroom during All- College Hour January 20th

Mariposa Fernandez at the McVittie Union Ballroom during All- College Hour January 20th

In mid-January of this year several students participated in the Real World Geneseo class taught by Professor Becky Glass, Executive Assistant to the President, and Mrs. Fatima Rodriguez, the Assistant Dean of Students, Multicultural Programs & Services. Even at a school where the majority of students are white, it’s important to note that there are people dedicated to providing resources and support for those who are marginalized and/or underrepresented. The four-day class focused on intersectionality, and the heart of it was a writing seminar lead by Mariposa Fernandez. Fernandez is a Puerto Rican author, poet, and performance artist born and raised in the Bronx. She is the author of Born Bronxeña: Poems on Identity, Love & Survival (2001), and has been featured on the HBO series Habla Ya! and in the HBO documentary Americanos: Latino Life in the United States. She lives in New York City. She, along with Dr. Broomfield, Assistant Professor of Dance Studies, prompted the students to divulge their inner most feelings and share intimate stories about their backgrounds. Some of these students weren’t writers, or familiar with creative nonfiction, and had not ever shared these stories before.

In mid-January of this year several students participated in the Real World Geneseo class taught by

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Jenny Soudachanh, Liz Boateng, Seung Yun Kim, Nana Boakye, Momo (Jawad) Tazari, and Skyler Susnick during the performance February 28th.

Professor Becky Glass, Executive Assistant to the President, and Mrs. Fatima Rodriguez, the Assistant Dean of Students, Multicultural Programs & Services. Even at a school where the majority of students are white, it’s important to note that there are people dedicated to providing resources and support for those who are marginalized and/or underrepresented. The four-day class focused on intersectionality, and the heart of it was a writing seminar lead by Mariposa Fernandez. Fernandez is a Puerto Rican author, poet, and performance artist born and raised in the Bronx. She is the author of Born Bronxeña: Poems on Identity, Love & Survival (2001), and has been featured on the HBO series Habla Ya! and in the HBO documentary Americanos: Latino Life in the United States. She lives in New York City. She, along with Dr. Broomfield, Assistant Professor of Dance Studies, prompted the students to divulge their inner most feelings and share intimate stories about their backgrounds. Some of these students weren’t writers, or familiar with creative nonfiction, and had not ever shared these stories before.

The script to the full New Vistas performance is archived in the Theatre department. Video recordings of the performance can be purchased for $25. I went and saw it twice. The powerful message Geneseo’s student artists have to share is more than meaningful; it’s their everyday reality. This performance says, “This is who we are. We are proud. We demand respect. We are the voices of this generation. We are the change.”

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A Brief Reflection

Posted by Kyle Frink, Poetry reader for issue 4.2

Now that the final publishing of Gandy Dancer 4.2 is coming to a close, I wanted to take the opportunity to find out a little about the published authors’ thoughts and feelings. I had the privilege of asking a couple questions to authors currently published in Gandy Dancer. Mainly concerned with how it felt to be published, I asked Sarah Steil ’17, and Sarah Simon ’17 (both from Geneseo) about their first reactions to being published and to reflect on their writing process. I found the responses differ a widely between each person. Sarah Steil said of being published, “I mean it’s really exciting, right? Like that means a group of people read something I wrote and thought it was meaningful in some way.” However, Sarah feels like now that her piece is out in the world, she doesn’t have another chance to fix or change it. “It’s exciting to see your name in print, but you never get feedback for it so I just hope someone reads it.” Knowing Sarah personally, it is quite plain to see how hard on herself she can be. While Sarah’s story, “Flickering,” is fiction, she prefers to write nonfiction. “I feel like writing nonfiction is more satisfying, because when I finish a piece it’s exciting because it’s done, but also satisfying because I’ve figured something out through writing it.” Sarah uses nonfiction to put the complex and ever-changing puzzle pieces of her life together in a way she can understand.

We had a very interesting piece of poetry come through our submissions list, one that at first caused wrinkled brows and took some time to discuss. This poetry submission included images as well as a sporadic change in format. Sarah Simon’s “Cingulum” was accepted into the latest edition, providing a unique perspective on depression. She says “‘Cingulum,’ the poem I submitted, is personal. It discusses and plays with the idea of clinical depression. The imagery and literal images (photos are part of it) expound on these ideas, which often halt me my in my tracks yet keep me going. If that poem was chosen, maybe it stopped someone for a little while too, and in a way that makes you realize that you must keep going.” Sarah Simon looks forward to the Gandy Dancer launch part on May 11th at 9:00 AM in the College Union Hunt Room. “I was so pumped to hear about getting published; I know the editors really consider submissions… I’m planning on reading my poem there. I hope to have a similar effect on the audience at the launch party, using my voice and material.”

We are delighted and very satisfied with the finished product and are looking forward to the launch party to debut the 4.2 edition!

 

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What We’re Reading: the Innovative [PANK] Literary Magazine

Posted by Alexandra Ciarcia, fiction reader for issue 4.2

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Cover art for the December 2015 issue of [PANK]

Amidst the literary journal renaissance that we live in today, Gandy Dancer finds grounding in examining other literary journals. From The Common to TriQuarterly, we have studied a plethora of literary journals, but the one that influenced our selection process the most is [PANK]. [PANK] was a favorite of Gandy Dancer for its innovative pieces, ones that could never be described as run-of-the-mill.

[PANK] is an online and print literary magazine, with a mission statement that reads, “[PANK] fosters access to emerging and experimental poetry and prose, publishing the brightest and most promising writers for the most adventurous readers.” Their search for innovation is displayed in their selected pieces and their overall aesthetic. We were very impressed with their November & December 2015 online edition. As they state in their submission process, [PANK] asks writers to “send us something that screams.” If you take a look at such pieces as “We Sad Girls” by Lindsey Reese or “Lavatory” by Diane Williams in the November & December 2015 edition, you’ll see what I mean.

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