Posted by Shayna Nenni, Fiction Editor for Issue 4.2
Leslie Pietrzyk, author of This Angel On My Chest. Photo courtesy of John Hopkins University.
Geneseo was incredibly privileged to have writer Leslie Pietrzyk visit our campus, Thursday, February 29th, to give a reading from her book, This Angel on My Chest. Channeling the intimate, personal experience of losing her first husband at the age thirty-seven, Pietrzyk greeted us with humor, sadness, hope, and creativity, reading one of her sixteen short stories. Not only were we lucky enough to hear her read from her marvelous collection, she conducted a workshop (which I was lucky to participate in), and attended classes on campus. I envy students participating in the Converse low residency MFA program where she’s a member of the core fiction faculty, and John Hopkins University’s MA Program in Writing where she teaches because of their chance to learn from and work with her so closely.
Listening to Leslie Pietrzyk’s reading of “A Quiz” from her collection of stories, This Angel on My Chest, was inspiring. She captivated the audience while reading a story about a young widow. The quiz format of her short story is innovative and strangely funny as it reveals how her narrator handled certain social situations after her husband’s death. The repetition of the cause of the husband’s death and his age also convey the obsessive nature of grief. Continue reading
Posted by Kate Collis, Creative Nonfiction Reader for Issue 4.2
It’s that time again—the cut-off date for submissions to Gandy Dancer for 4.2 has come and gone and we’re happily reading away. As always, a new semester means a new set of editors who have fresh outlooks. In light of this, I’ve spoken to all four section heads to give readers a chance to get to know them and their ideas about their genre.
Shayna Nenni, Fiction Editor
Kate Collis: What constitutes a good short story?
Shayna Nenni: A good story will be grounded in a particular place, a place that readers can connect to. Along with that, well-developed characters and compelling situations that illustrate their relationships to each other, to their past, and themselves. I think it’s important to understand where our main character and secondary characters stand with themselves.
KC: What would set a story apart from the rest and make it publishable to you?
SN: I love a good plot. As simple as that sounds, there is nothing more thrilling to me than reading a good piece, skimming ahead because I’m so excited to see what comes next that I literally can’t wait to get to the next line. That, or really connecting with a character. Not necessarily the main character, but any character. To physically feel a connection from reading a piece, that is what sets one apart.
Gandy Dancer’s newest readers and editors are here and ready to do some reading! We’re all so excited to see everyone’s submissions and can’t wait for work to get started. (Psst: Need a refresher on our submission guidelines? Click here to find out more!)
Check out our new masthead to get to know everyone individually. Here’s to a great new issue!
Have no fear, your new managing editors are here! As the spring semester murmurs to life and the windy Geneseo weather welcomes us all back it’s time for your new managing editors, Courtney and Christy (C2), to sit down with some coffee and ask each other the questions that matter:
Let’s get this party started:
The Dream Team: Ready for Action!
How did you first get involved with Gandy Dancer?
Courtney: One of my friends recommended the class to me, actually. I was looking at courses for junior year and wanted to know more about it. My friend was in the class at the time and told me about how it was a really hands-on class where you got to put together a literary magazine full of prose, poetry, and visual art from students all across the SUNY system. The publishing industry is so multifaceted and is something that has always intrigued me as well so I decided to give it a go. I’m so glad I did though because I fell in love with everything about Gandy Dancer (GD) and kept coming back to it. As an avid reader and writer, being involved in this class has exposed me to so many fascinating aspects of the literary world that I never knew about before GD.
Christy: In the middle of my junior year I was perusing the course list on KnightWeb in a sleep-deprived-registration-is-tomorrow-morning-frenzy when I happened upon this gem of a class. I, somewhat nervously mostly excitedly, decided to sign up and I’m so glad that I did because it ended up being an incredible experience. At the start of the class I knew virtually nothing about literary magazines, literary magazine culture, or how they functioned and survived. It was, not to quote Aladdin, a whole new world! Not only did it widen my horizons within the creative writing/literary universe but also getting to read through and edit submissions from other young writers really helped me to grow as a writer and as a poet. I’m so excited to be back! Continue reading