A quick glance at where former Gandy Dancer contributors are now is all that is necessary to confirm that the literary journal acts as a spring board which propels emerging writers into the writing trajectory Poet Yael Massen, who just finished her MFA at Indiana University is currently working on a poetry manuscript, which she says is “emotionally exhausting.” Her poems can be found in Gandy Dancer’s inaugural issue. Since, she has been published in several literary journals including Columbia Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, Southern Indiana Review, The Journal, and has a couple of poems forthcoming in print issues of Colorado Review and Fifth Wednesday Journal. She has also begun working on contemporary Hebrew poem translations—two of which have been published in Waxwing. Continue reading
Tag Archives: issue 4.2
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.
Posted by Alexandra Ciarcia, fiction reader for issue 4.2Amidst 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.
Posted by Caitlin O’Brien, Poetry Editor for issue 4.2
As the frenzied period of submissions review winds to a close, I find myself growing a little tired of white space. White space is almost invariably inescapable when putting together a literary magazine, and perhaps even more so when dealing with poetry, yet I’ve noticed a recurring aesthetic trend of white space in many of the submissions we read. From both a literary and an aesthetic standpoint, I can’t help but find this trend in poetry to oftentimes border on excessive. This is not coming from a staunch poetry elitist who refuses to read anything written after the 1800s—I love seeing poetry as a written art form interface with the visual, as well as with the spoken, and other modes of communication.
What gives me pause when I encounter a poem that makes ample use of white space is the intentionality behind its form. In the case of some submissions, the poets submitting to Gandy have made wonderful use of white space—we’ve received calligrams in clever shapes, as well as poems that can be read in multiple ways due to the way the words and stanzas are arranged. In the case of other submissions, though, the poetry team has often used the deliberative construction of the poem’s form as a strong measure of the poem’s overall purpose. Reading a poem aloud, the white space does not always inform the flow, so much as it makes the poem seem as though the poet was possessed of a hyperactive space bar. The most common aural effect of a form that relies on white space is a pause, yet these pauses do not create a rhythm that comes across as calculated. As one reader in the poetry section said, “if we have to guess whether or not the poet meant to do something, it’s not effective.” Similarly, the primary visual effect of non-traditional spacing is to set apart important words or allow the reader to focus in on a particular image or concept, rather than jamming the space bar an arbitrary number of times in order to make a poem look modern and minimalist.
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
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!