Take a break from finals or grading to read the new issue of Gandy Dancer, the SUNY-wide literary journal published by Rachel Hall’s Editing and Production workshop (ENGL 426) in conjunction with Fraser Hall Library.
The journal’s name comes from the slang term for the railroad workers who laid and maintained the railroad tracks before the advent of machines to do this work. Most theories suggest that this term arose from the dance-like movements of the workers, as they pounded and lifted to keep tracks aligned.
The editors add, “Like the gandy dancers, writers and artists arrange and rearrange, adjust and polish to create something that allows others passage. We invite submissions that forge connections between people and places and, like the railroad, bring news of the world.”
This issue is the seventeenth published by the class, and all issues are available online at the journal’s website, gandydancer.org. The featured student work represents nine different SUNY schools. The editors of the current issue, Rebecca Williamson’21 and Sara Devoe ‘21, summarize this semester’s work in this way: “This issue examines various themes—from body image, to gender identity, to connection and misconnection.”
In addition to work by current SUNY students, the issue highlights work by SUNY alumni in the section “Postscript,” and a review of a recently published book alongside an interview with the author. This issue features Geneseo’s own Albert Abonado and his book of poetry, JAW.
Gandy Dancer is the result of the hard work of an entire class which comes together to learn about the history of literary journals, acquisitions, the editorial process, and the production process of putting together a publication.