Tag Archives: SUNY Geneseo

Fearing the Unknown: Let Your Characters Guide the Way

Posted by RebeccaWilliamson, GD Fiction Editor for  8.1


Road at night

I could barely see a few feet in front of me. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but the streetlights provided little light as my friend and I walked down Main Street. The chilly air wrapped around me like a blanket, and I shivered when the dark shadows moved to my left. I told my friend I was scared of the dark, but quickly retracted my statement. I wasn’t scared of the dark; I feared what could be lurking in it. I feared the unknown.

That’s how I felt that night walking down Main Street waiting for something to jump out at me. That’s how I feel when I’m lying in bed at night and I hear a loud bang and wonder if someone is in the house. Mostly, I’ve realized that’s how I feel about my writing.

How could a person fear their own writing? Continue reading

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Sami Lambert

Sami Lambert graduated from SUNY Geneseo in Winter 2015 and majored in Communication with a minor in Sociology. She lives and works in Budapest, Hungary.

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Britina Cheng

Britina Cheng is a New York based writer and illustrator. She self-published a graphic memoir, re:bound, in March 2018.

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Shauna Ricketts

Shauna Ricketts is a recipient of a 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award and operates as an English Teaching Assistant in Pravets, Bulgaria. She is in the process of organizing the first annual Pravets Film Festival for students across Bulgaria to participate in. Her recent ethnographic work and photography will be featured in ungleich magazin. She served as Founder/Director of the CHROMATIC Digital-Visual Arts Collective at SUNY Geneseo, where she graduated in 2017.

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Catherine McWilliams

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Catherine McWilliams is an aspiring artist and senior English (creative writing) major at SUNY Geneseo. As a life-long nap enthusiast, Catherine commonly falls asleep while reading next to a piping hot jar of tea. When she isn’t napping, Catherine spends her time taking photographs, studying art, drawing strangers and leisurely reading.

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Lara Elmayan

Last Prayer To Mack Wolford

And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.
– Mark 16:17-18.

It’s a book, jackass.
– Lane Smith

You said the snake that bit your father had my eyes. You remembered his
reflected like new moons or bottoms of whiskey bottles through the nose,
so you could see in them for one holy moment the Appalachian stretch sinking
into the hot faultline of America. The snake’s, I mean,

not your father’s. Not the eyes of the man whose be alive in the Lord drenched your skin
even when we were grafting into the fake leather of your car’s back seat. The dead
are disruptive. You balanced a kerosene coke bottle on your throat in memory and spit

flame: praise the Lord and pass the rattlesnakes, brother, but that rattlesnake passed
you right by as if it never heard you sing the Gospel. What a casual fuck you,
no drama, no fuss; how enviable, unaware of its own forced story. What shine it left in its path
into the woods, where your wife’s animal cries echoed for so many miles that the dying

gathered to shake happy morphine heads at the hole in the sky. What a kindling of faith
that your blade-to-tongue sermon tremble could never conjure. We are setting up snake
as El in the ruins of the church where you said we could all be saved. Once you kidnapped

me in joy just to deny me in the weeds of your ancestral burial ground. Once you saw the Lord
and the strychnine reminded you of my mouth, asphyxia turning paralysis. Once you heard the blues
and understood, and had to spend a week on top of a mountain where Indian ghosts
ignored you and you could wait for the lightning crack of salvation. The dead were never

as disruptive as you wanted them to be. You must’ve watched your entire bloodline dissipate
into the haze of West Virginia, where history was already setting up its own noose. In dreams
I sense vaguely the heat of your thigh, and I open my mouth for prayer and a familiar taste
of dust.

Lara Elmayan graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2015 with a double major in English Literature and Journalism/Media. Since then, she’s been battling post-academia existential angst and working as a copywriter on the Global Creative team of M·A·C Cosmetics, where she leads social and store experience copy. She currently lives, brunches and avoids exercise in Astoria, Queens.

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Writing Outside Your Genre

Posted by Gabrielle Esposito, GD Fiction Editor for 7.1

I identify as a fiction writer because I’m too self-conscious to write nonfiction, and I can’t write poetry because I don’t know when to shut up. I’ve found in the writing community that writers have preferred genres, and once that preference is identified, all the other genres disappear. Most of a writer’s hesitation comes from the fact that the three genres are very different. Continue reading

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The Gandy Dancer Ball

Posted by Emily Sterns, GD Public Relations Manager for 6.2

This Valentine’s Day, Gandy Dancer and friends celebrated our love for the literary arts! This event, meant to call attention to our upcoming submission deadline, included readings from both students and faculty. Readings were done by English department faculty, former contributors and current staff members. Our production advisor, Allison Brown read some of her poetry. She has been an immense help to Gandy Dancer through the years as she has helped produce the journal and taught countless students how to use the InDesign program. Dr. Greenfield performed some songs on an acoustic guitar to wrap up the first ever Gandy Dancer Ball! There was also a swag table full of Gandy Dancer merch including beanie’s, T-shirts, past issues, and new additions including coffee mugs and stickers. An assortment of delicious treats was made by numerous students in the Editing and Production classes. Guests especially enjoyed the Valentine’s Day card making station.  Continue reading

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Grace Gilbert

eastern meadowlark, thirty-ninth mile of morning

i tire of the pounding. the

fogged windows, incessant

static of sleeves and stations,

the  hum  hum    hum

the rusted engine of a thing and of me.

to the left, i notice

dappled auburn under-

bellies among dirt clods & dry

grasses, gaping:

inserting  beaks into  soil,

sweet lazy whistles

from splintering  wood beams,

gentle hymns  for sunup

pull over. i rest

a moment after cracking the door,

watch the grassland

fledglings learn to nestle in

dips &  hollows

of the wintered stubble

field. when engine revs

  they flit & swoop, chaos

shrouded in smog

while i softly tap

  pinkies against

the wheel

At the viaduct, the Hudson in March, fourteen days since he fell under

I watch

    his Mama


a    lone




the   swollen



Grace Gilbert is currently studying creative writing and childhood education at SUNY Geneseo. Her hobbies include eating Manchego cheese, daydreaming about Sir Elton John, and whispering the word gazebo to herself until she dissociates from the English language.

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Isabel Owen


“Good to see you.” the blurring lights

of northern boulevard slinking in sleep

paralysis; the hills the valleys of a fringe

town whispering salt-mined promises

meanwhile: across millennia of trees and

interstate highway, the long island

mansions & green park and clean street fill

me clean empty-full like the nassau county

eyewitness news 7 and the hum of the

long island express-way the backnoise for

ponzi schem-atic villages their vibrating

anxiety and i love them, the way i love

friends who were never friends in a three-

story estate, should-have-gone there-

should-have-tried-harder; please, prove:

that i want the city because my friends say

i want it, “Complacent,” i say about the

upstate campus, sipping overpriced bub-

ble tea, in 48 hours i’ll be in a yellow valley,

still wondering what complacent means—

(wherever i am i always want to go home)

Isabel Owen is a sophomore English (creative writing) and history double major with a minor in Latin American studies at SUNY Geneseo. She likes to post poems in unexpected places and pretend that she didn’t do it, even though everyone knows that she did.

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