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DESCANT Fall Issue Launch!

Reminder to those of you in Toronto to come join us and celebrate the launch of our fall issue (D150) — the first of our special 40th anniversary year!


Make sure to RSVP to the Facebook event.

Celebrating Descant’s 40th Anniversary Year!


Way back in 1970, Descant launched its very first issue as a staple-bound, limited-edition mimeograph. Since then, we have grown to become an internationally recognized quarterly journal, well known for publishing new and established contemporary writers and visual artists from Canada and around the world. This coming fall will mark 40 years in print for Descant!

Beginning this fall with Descant 150: Writers in Prison, each subsequent issue will be branded with a unique logo (seen above) on the lower right of the cover and elsewhere throughout the issue. The year-in-print will include 151: Miscellany, 152: Ghosts and The Uncanny — and we’ll close this celebrative year with Descant 153, a special commemorative 40th anniversary issue! It will feature new work from past talented contributors and a chance to peek into the workings of the magazine and Descant’s unique culture. Join us throughout our anniversary year as we reflect on the past and look into the future by subscribing today.

Looking way forward, if you are located in the Toronto area, be sure to save the following date: come celebrate with us when we host an exciting launch party for the 40th anniversary issue on June 29th at Harbourfront next summer!

For a sneak peek of Descant 150: Writers in Prison, click here.

Descant Submissions Call: Bosnia


Descant is seeking submissions of fiction, poetry, essays and visual art for our forthcoming themed issue: Bosnia, between Loss and Recovery.

The deadline for submissions to this themed issue is March 15, 2011. The issue will be released in the fall of 2012 as Descant 158, under the guidance of our wonderful guest editor, Amila Buturovic.

Read on for more information!


Since the end of the war in 1995, Bosnia & Herzegovina has been places / countries / territories in transition, torn between narrow nationalist narratives and expansive possibilities; suspended loss and recovery, pain and longing. Janus-faced, Bosnia still haunts our memories, raises our concerns about the future, but also intrigues and inspires us in the present. What does Bosnia evoke and epitomize for you? What do you see in Bosnia, and what do you not see? How does the language of image, poetry, and prose capture the complexities of Bosnia, from within and without? Descant is soliciting memories, concerns and present realities in submissions of unpublished fiction, poetry, essays, photography and previously unpublished works of translation.


Don’t forget to review our guidelines before submitting!

Any questions regarding submissions may be directed to:

BLAKE IN OUR TIME: A Symposium Celebrating the Future of Blake Studies & the Legacy of G.E. Bentley Jr.


Saturday, August 28th, 2010
Victoria University in the University of Toronto

Speakers Include:
Robert N. Essick
Joseph Viscomi
Mary Lynn Johnson
Angus Whitehead

Our very own Editor-in-Chief, Karen Mulhallen, will be holding a symposium this month celebrating the future of Blake studies and the legacy of G.E Bentley Jr. The sessions will be held at the Victoria University in the University of Toronto, whose library houses the Northrop Frye papers and the G.E. Bentley Jr. collection of nearly three thousand works by and about William Blake and his contemporaries.

G.E. Bentley Jr. is a noted literary scholar, and his legacy revolves around the specialization in the career and works of William Blake. The sessions will feature short illustrated papers and panel presentations and the proceedings of the symposium will be published in a special Blake issue of the University of Toronto Quarterly in 2012.

There is no charge for the symposium but registration is required. For registration and information, click here.

Descant D149 Summer Launch — July 14!


Wednesday, capsule July 14, 2010 / 7:30pm
Bar Italia
(582 College Street, Toronto)

Come celebrate with us at the launch of our exciting summer issue, Descant 149: Summer and Smoke: The Search for Values. Held at the Bar Italia, the night will be filled with food and drink, as well as readings from our D149 contributors: Roxanna Bennett, Lauren Carter, Glenn Hayes, David Mason and Douglas Rodger.

Summer and Smoke: The Search for Values explores travel and investigation of place and self. The issue features a diverse range of local and international writers that invite you to engage with them in a journey around the world — from Douglas Rodger’s rich and vibrant travel log from his trip to Hanoi to Leslie Palleson’s compelling portrait of a couple during an ill-fated trip through Peru. You will also get a chance to read an introspective essay by Alberto Manguel, which will transport you to his home city of Buenos Aires. You’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of this special issue featuring many other talented artists and writers who will entice you to travel!

Don’t miss this important night! Make sure to RSVP to the Facebook event.

You can catch a sneak preview of D149: Summer and Smoke: The Search for Values, on our website.

DESCANT at Toronto Small Press Book Fair, June 19, 11am-5pm


Toronto Small Press Book Fair
Saturday June 19, 11am-5pm
1087 Queen Street West (Directions: Queen Street West & Dovercourt Road. Some street parking. Public Transit: TTC Queen Streetcar).

Descant is inviting you to join us at this year’s Spring Toronto Small Press Book Fair. From 11am to 5pm on June 19, publishers, writers, fans and friends of Canada’s smaller presses/publishers/publications will gather at the Great Hall (please note the venue change as the Toronto Reference Library is under construction).

Small to medium-sized presses will offer all kinds of books for sale, including chapbooks, graphic novels, audio books, magazines and comics, arts & crafts that offer different perspectives and opportunities to enjoy alternative literary experiences. The Fair is also offering readings from some of Toronto’s better known and emerging writing talents. As well there will be door prizes to be won and every opportunity to mingle. The Toronto Small Press Book Fair offers family-friendly fare, too.

Descant will be offering a special gift to purchasers of 2 or more issues! (while quantities and supplies last)

Hope to see you there!

For more information on Toronto Small Press Book Fair and link to their website, click here.

DESCANT Fiction wins Silver at the 2010 National Magazine Awards!


We are happy to announce that Adam Lindsay Honsinger‘s short story, “Silence,” has earned a Silver award in the Fiction category at the 33rd annual National Magazine Awards — held last Friday at the Carlu in Toronto.

Steven Heighton’s “Shared Room on Union” won the Gold prize for Fiddlehead journal, while Honsinger’s “Silence” earned a respectable Silver position, beating out other nominated entries from Event, Malahat Review, Matrix Magazine, Prairie Fire and Vancouver Review (you can preview all the nominated works, including “Silence,” here).

“Silence” first appeared in Descant 145: Private Worlds, Public Exigencies, our Summer 2009 issue, an exploration of the boundary between the self and the other. To order a copy of D145, visit our website here.

To download a pdf file of all the 2010 winners and nominations given by the National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF), click here.

You’ve heard us talk about NOW HEAR THIS!, more about the literacy outreach program administered by the Descant Arts & Letters Foundation, before. The program connects professional authors with community groups, students and aspiring writers in order to promote Canadian literature and encourage self-expression, critical thinking and empowerment through literacy education.

All throughout the fourth year of the S.W.A.T. (Students, Writers and Teachers) Creative Residencies Program (which has been running in TCDSB classrooms from February to May), NHT! has been interviewing their writers-in-residence team to give us a chance to get to know their talented writers.

Below, we’ve pulled the interview links from the NHT! blog to share with you here: just click on the names to read up on the inspirations and events that led these writers to NHT! today:

Devon Code

Desi Di Nardo

Colin Frizzell

Larry Frolick

Adrienne Gruber

Nic Labriola

Elisabeth de Mariaffi

Rebecca Rosenblum

Angela Szczepaniak

Julia Tausch

Aaron Tucker

Natalie Zina Walschots

To find out more information on Now Hear This! The official website is linked here —

DESCANT Fiction nominated for 2010 National Magazine Award!


Congratulations to author Adam Lindsay Honsinger, viagra 60mg whose short story, Silence, has just been nominated in the 2010 National Magazine Award’s “Fiction” category.

Silence first appeared in Descant 145: Private Worlds, Public Exigencies, our Summer 2009 issue: an exploration of the boundary between the self and the other.

Adam Lindsay Honsinger has had fiction and reviews published in a number of publications, including Exile, The Malahat Review, Other Voices, paperplates, Pottersfield Portfolio, PRISM international and SubTerrain.

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is dedicated to the recognition of excellence in Canadian Magazines through its yearly awards program. This year’s Awards Gala is set to take place on June 4, 2010, at the Carlu in Toronto.

Congratulations, Adam, and good luck!

To order a copy of Descant 145, visit our website at here

To view the full list of categories and nominations, go here

Reminder: Sicily Submissions deadline, June 1, 2010!


Attention writers: the deadline for our upcoming Sicily themed issue is June 1, 2010 (packages postmarked on or before June 1 will be accepted for review). We are requesting submissions of unpublished fiction, poetry, essays, photography and previously unpublished works of translation from the Sicilian! This is an open call for all who have been influenced by Sicily to write. You may be of Sicilian descent or simply have been touched and inspired by Sicily in some way! Our D155 issue will be released next winter 2011 what better way to pass the cold winter than with beautiful images and stories from the island?

Under the guidance of our talented guest editors Michelle Alfano and Venera Fazio, our Sicily issue is going to be one to remember! Sicily has always conjured up vivid images of beautiful landscapes, blue waters and enticing foods. It isn’t a surprise that the island has become an inspiration and muse for many writers. Descant would like to hear what Sicily is to you. How has it changed over the years? What about Sicily today? Sicily is now a thriving metropolitan of sacred traditions and an influx of modern influences. Tell us your story, whether it be past down from generations or relevant to current times today.

My grandfather was a chef for a Baron in Sicily before he came to America. I grew up with him. I used to do my homework at one end of the kitchen table while he cooked at the other end.  – Vincent Schiavelli

We look forward to seeing and reading your work!

For submissions guidelines, check out:

Any questions about submissions can be directed to: