Introducing Gandy Dancer 6.1 Section Heads

Posted by Merrin Sardi, Fiction Reader for issue 6.1

We are already half way through the semester but it’s never too late to meet the new section heads! Below, each editor explains what prompted them to sign on as a section head this semester, and tells us what they are hoping to encounter in our submission pile. Perhaps their views will inspire you to submit a piece or two to the literary magazine. Our deadline has been extended until 10/22.

Rachel Britton-Poetry Editor

What made you consider taking the position of poetry editor?

Poetry is relentless. I’ll get a line or an image stuck in my head and then I’m awake all night thinking about it. As poetry section head, I’ll be able to see what other poets are doing and learn from them. When I do sleep, I want to dream that I’m living in book of poetry, and I think this experience is as close as I can get to that fantasy.

What would make a piece publishable for you?

I think a publishable poem has the power to stick with you, whether it is a couple of words or its sum, so that long after you’ve turned the page or closed your web-browser, it resonates in your whole body. For me, a poem is an experience for the mind, soul, and body all at the same time.

What is your favorite piece of literature?

This is a really difficult question. One of my favorite poetry collections, though, is Cori A. Winrock’s This Coalition of Bones. Her poetry is a powerful and vulnerable experience that fuses scientific language and sun light.

Elizabeth Verrastro- Fiction Editor

What made you consider taking the position of fiction editor?

I love reading all types of work, but fiction is my passion and I have more experience working with fictional pieces.

What would make a piece publishable for you?

When a piece stays with me, I know it’s an effective work. If hours after I’ve read a piece, I’m still thinking about it, it’s definitely worth considering for publication.

What is your favorite most moving piece of literature?

My favorite piece of literature is Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, because I really connect with the main character, Catherine, which makes the novel especially funny and enjoyable.

Isabel Keane- Creative Nonfiction Editor

What made you consider taking the position of CNF editor?

I became interested in taking on the position of section head when I took Editing and Production last semester and was a reader for the fiction section. Creative nonfiction has always been my favorite genre to read and write, and I was interested in becoming even more involved within class. The personal nature of creative nonfiction makes the reader form a deeper connection to the text, which is why I love the genre so much. Being the section head allows me to study the genre even more closely and work with others who are as passionate about it as I am.

What would make a piece publishable for you?

I’m really big on first lines, and I think the ability to draw in readers goes hand in hand with having a strong opener. What we’re all looking to find in our submissions is something that will pull us in and keep us captivated. A well written essay reveals something to us about the world on a larger scale that we otherwise might not have known, makes us feel things we maybe don’t want to feel, and leaves the impression that we’ve gained something essential from it.

Sarah Munjack- Art Editor

What made you consider taking the position of Art editor?

Mostly because I think there’s not enough art on our campus, and because Gandy Dancer is a SUNY-wide journal, it highlights that, yes, we still care about the arts. At Geneseo the entire art department was defunded, and doesn’t exist anymore. But I also think it’s very important to recognize that there is still art being made and Gandy Dancer is the perfect place to showcase that.

What would make a piece publishable for you?

I don’t think that every piece of art is politicized, however I do feel the act of making art is a political move, because you are choosing to express yourself in this sort of outside bounds way. You aren’t using words to communicate. I think a smart and successful piece of art is one that is conscious of itself or somehow brings new awareness to an onlooker.

What types of art do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy when there are layers to the pieces so that you can see something is happening even in an everyday kind of thing. When there are more to things than you think, for instance there is a piece of art called My Bed by Tracy Emin that is just a messy bed with tissues on the floor. It asks questions of the viewer. It’s an everyday thing, but why can’t it be art, too?

At a time where it feels like art is being undervalued, we are still publishing and producing art and literature that inspires and make you question the motive of the artist and author. Gandy Dancer is proud to display the creative talents of undergraduate SUNY students. Be sure to submit your best work!


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