Posted by Emily Webb, Managing Editor for 1.2
After four months of grueling CSS coding & multiple web facelifts, Gandy Dancer’s first official issue is now live! As a way to revel in the fruits of our labor, the GD team invited contributors and readers alike to celebrate the new issue last Friday at our first annual launch party.
To kick off the festivities, Faculty Advisor & Creative Writing Professor Rachel Hall welcomed guests with a sweet prelude, congratulating her staff for their tireless work in building Gandy Dancer to fruition & expressing her hopes for the journal’s future. Professor Hall even shared some fan mail from one of the founding editors, Suraj Uttamchandani, who kept in touch with the GD team via email during his recent semester in Budapest. “I write to send you my heartiest congratulations,” Professor Hall relayed Suraj’s wishes to the audience. “Like the gandy dancers and the metro builders, your time and energy has helped create something that I hope will move many people.”
Next to a slideshow of artwork featured in the journal, several contributors showcased their work from the past two issues with a bevy of readings. When reading her personal essay, “Pretty in Blue,” GD Editor Christina Montellaro received warm, empathetic laughter as she conveyed that ubiquitous feeling of gawkiness when it came time for her high school dance. Poets Yael Massen, Emily Withers, Jeff Handy, Lara Elmayan, Jim Ryan, Bibi Lewis, Daniel O’Brien & Kyle Skovira weaved potent images in reading their respective works. In the genre of fiction, Geneseo student Christa Lubanski shared the original short story, “Flitting Hope,” followed by GD Editor Stephon Lawrence, who read her incendiary prose in “February Burning.”
Aside from local authors presenting their selected works, PhD candidate Trisha Cowen traveled miles from Binghamton University to read an excerpt of her fiction story, “Raising Sasquatch, ” which can be found in our current issue. “I am grateful to be featured in Gandy Dancer because I think the mission of the magazine is noteworthy,” Trisha said. “I can’t think of a better way to connect the SUNY campuses than by connecting them through story.”
Mingling with fellow writers & bibliophiles, guests enjoyed plenty of refreshments – including a large cake decorated with sugary railroad tracks & ‘Congratulations’ christened in icing – and helped themselves to some GDswag. With such a grand turnout at the launch of its inaugural issue, Gandy Dancer will need to gear up for its leap into literary esteem.
You think you have what it takes to contribute to Gandy Dancer? Well, you’re in luck! We are now accepting submissions for our next issue until October 1st. Check out our submission guidelines atwww.gandydancer.org/submissions & send us your best works of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, drama or visual art. While we may have officially launched our online journal, the GD team is still striving to reach other SUNY campuses & fortify our growing network of student writers. So don’t be shy, New York – go ahead & woo us!