Posted by Emily Webb, Managing Editor for 1.2
Welcome, Gandy Dancers!
I am delighted to report that the first official issue of the SUNY-Wide literary magazine, Gandy Dancer, is chugging right along to fruition! After the first week of our Editing & Production workshop, the Gandy Dancer team has actively started to devise ways of rallying fellow students in the SUNY system & extending our ambition to diverse, creative voices across the state.
In the midst of fierce brainstorming – nourishing the aesthetic of our promising brainchild, constructing catchy taglines, designing the ultimate promotional swag, etc. – I couldn’t help but notice a budding sense of camaraderie sweep across the room as editors dug deep to kick-start this venture. It almost seemed as if we were channeling the raucous spirit & fervent work ethic of our namesake.
Through their industry in the 20th century, Gandy Dancers would toil side by side to align railroad tracks while burrowing long hooks beneath rusted rails & lurching their weight forward in order to forge a clear path. These laborers would wail out haunting work chants – including the song “Take this Hammer,” which can be heard in the link below as performed by blues guitarist, Leadbelly – to synchronize their motions alongside a heavy rhythm.
Just as these railroad workers trudged together to accomplish such grueling tasks, so should we to collaborate with campuses far & wide. We must roll up our sleeves, break ground with innovative tools & align our aspirations with other writers to spread kindred voices that work in harmony. In this moment, I swear, we are all Gandy Dancers (…yeah, I know).
If you believe that you have what it takes to contribute to our mission, go ahead & spread the word so that we can build this inspired network of writers. We can’t wait to have you come aboard!