Exploring Writing as Activism through Amanda Gorman’s Poem: “The Hill We Climb”

Photo by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Flickr

Posted by Hailey Cullen, Poetry Reader for Issue 9.2

On a gloomy January day, before the start of my 2021 Spring Semester at SUNY Geneseo, I sat down to watch the inauguration of Joe Biden. There were many highlights (Michelle Obama’s fabulous monochromatic outfit was one), but I found myself especially moved by Amanda Gorman’s role in the ceremony. America’s first national Youth Poet Laureate, Gorman recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

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Writing with Mental Illness: The Value of Acceptance

Syed Ali Wasif from Flickr

Posted by Anthony Lyon, Fiction Reader for Issue 9.2

This past year, I took a stay in a mental health institution for my severe depression. While I was there, I spent many hours thinking about my life, and talking to others about the crossroads where they had found themselves. How should I continue? I would ask myself. How should I continue when nothing else has worked?

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To-Read…Later.

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Posted by Jess Vance, Creative Nonfiction Reader for Issue 9.2

There is a pile of unread books on my bookshelf that have been quietly mocking me for years. These are books I’ve bought (and a few borrowed from friends whom I hope don’t expect them back) with excitement. Books by authors I like, subjects which interest me; books I shouldn’t have to fight myself to read. Yet, I never seemed to have the time to start them—and then in March of 2020 we all gained a lot more free time.

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Victorian Literature: The Genius Beneath the Bias

Photo From Canterbury School of Humanities

Posted by Sarah Sharples, Poetry Reader for Issue 9.2

One of the saddest truths I have had to come to terms with over my literary life is the tainted light in which we tend to view Victorian literature.

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Starting A New Writing Project

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Posted by Maria Pawlak, Fiction Editor for issue 9.2

Picture this: the perfect writing playlist is pulled up on Spotify. Your favorite pen rests beside a pristine notebook (you needed another brand new one for this project, of course), and the coffee you reheated in the microwave steams gently in front of your fully charged laptop. It’s perfect. Now, you think, I’ll finally be able to start my next big writing project.

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Rejection Is Not Failure: The Necessity of Finding the Right Literary Magazine for You

Posted by Kathryn Capone, Fiction Reader for issue 9.2

The feeling of rejection is not a pleasant feeling. It leaves a person to wonder, “where did I go wrong?” When submitting a piece to a literary magazine, writers are hopeful that their work will be rewarded with publication; rejection only makes them feel like they didn’t do something right and that they have failed. However, it’s important for writers to learn that not every piece is right for just any literary magazine. Researching a literary magazine before submitting a piece is the best way for writers to determine if their work would fit in well with the magazine as a whole.

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The Geneseo Literary Magazine Project

Cover of The Experimentalist, 1955 by Alice Doorley

Posted by Lara Mangino, Creative Nonfiction Reader for Issue 9.2

I’ve been involved in literary magazines at SUNY Geneseo since my freshman year. In fact, I selected Geneseo because it housed two different literary magazines. However, despite being very involved in publications here, I knew so little about their history. Gandy Dancer may have its entire history documented here on our website, but what about MiNT Magazine? What about Opus or Our Time or The Experimentalist? Who is documenting their history? Continue reading

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The 1619 Project: Our Disavowed Ancestry

Credit: https://neaedjustice.org/the-1619-project-resource-page/

Posted by Marissa Filipello, CNF Editor for Issue 9.2

Do you like sugar in your coffee? In your tea? Have you ever thought about where that sugar originated? Today at Domino Sugar’s Chalmette Refinery, sugar is made at a rate of 120 bags a minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But originally this work was done by enslaved Africans working under horrendous conditions. Sugar cane was a heavy crop, that had to be pulled by hand, then immediately ground before spoiling in a day or two. It was sharp to touch and would leave small cuts in enslaved Africans hands when accompanied with perspiration. Sugar became known as ‘White gold,’ as it fueled the wealth of the European and British nations. Yet, it’s rarely acknowledged that the excessive sugar today came at the expense or exploitation of enslaved Africans. This is just one fact of many found in the 1619 Project.

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by | April 28, 2021 · 2:39 pm

Things to Consider When Writing Diverse Characters:

Source: https://www.gandydancer.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/writing-1209121_1280.jpg

 

Posted by Sara Devoe, GD Managing Editor for 9.1

When writing fiction, we travel into a world with no limits. The writer is both the navigator and the passenger on a journey to which they may or may not know the destination. This destination most always, though, starts with a character. Most writers of fiction, including professor Rachel Hall with whom I took a workshop focusing specifically on writing characters with, will tell you that plot comes from characterization. A character must want something in order for there to be a story. But this raises the question–how does one go about writing a character? Sometimes, we can mine our lives for characters, but other times, the story calls for a character who is unlike us or who has experienced different things than we have.  Continue reading

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by | February 22, 2021 · 3:26 pm

The Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Cover Letter for Gandy Dancer (and other Literary Magazines)

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/red-cakes-flowers-fondant-286197/

Posted by Rebecca Williamson, GD Managing Editor for 9.1

As a fellow writer, I understand that submitting your work can be scary. You’ve probably revised and edited many drafts. You’ve poured countless hours into making sure each word, each punctuation mark, is perfect. All writing, even if it’s fictional, is personal. Now that I’m on the other side of the submission button, I’m recognizing that there’s more to submitting your work than just pressing the button once you have your final draft. One thing that writers need to consider is their cover letter. Continue reading

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