Category Archives: Launches

DESCANT 151/Winter Reader Launch — February 8


Come join us for the Descant 151/Winter Reader Launch!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011/ 7:30pm


268 Augusta Ave., Toronto

Descant is proud to announce the arrival of its winter 2010 issue, Descant 151/ Winter Reader, an eclectic ensemble of intriguing memoirs, a discerning essay, witty poetry, captivating fiction, and amazing artwork from some new and established talent in and outside of Canada.  Held at Supermarket in Kensington Market, the night will be filled with food and drink, as well as readings from our D151 contributors:  Giovanna Riccio, Linda Woolven, R. Brian Rigg and Elisabeth de Mariaffi.

Winter is a mixed season. Themes tend to vary from happy holidays with the warmth of loved ones gathered and fires roaring, to snow and ice, short days and long nights, and death. Poems like “Christmas Cacti” by Joan Crate and “Night” by Linda Woolven explore the various colours of winter, from the grays and silvers outside to the reds and golds inside. This season is also a time to reflect. With the lack of sunlight and warmth, it is only natural we are reminded of death. Touching memoirs by Brian Fawcett and William Kaplan reflect on Decembers past, the people they have lost, and what those people meant to them. But not all is dark and dreary: the approaching New Year brings hope for the future and the feeling of a fresh start. In this issue of Descant, we are reminded that it is just as important to look back as it is to look forward.

Don’t miss this important event!

You can catch a sneak preview of D151: Winter Reader, on our website.

DESCANT Recommends: Pilot Project Book 7 Launch

Descant would like to recommend Pilot Pocket Book 7. The launch will take place at Toronto’s Tequila Bookworm, on Sunday Nov 7 at 6pm. There will be live performances, readings and an art auction. It’s set to be a great night for all!

By the way, Descant’s own Managing Editor Mark Laliberte has a project in Pilot 7, so don’t forget to pick up a copy.
If you want to know more about The Pilot Project then head over to their website by clicking here 

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.

Descant D149 Summer Launch — July 14!


Wednesday, 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.

Myna Wallin launches her new book on Wednesday, June 23!

WHAT: The launch of Confessions of a Reluctant Cougar by Myna Wallin
WHEN: Wednesday, June 23 at 8:00 pm
WHERE: Proof Vodka Bar, 220 Bloor Street West

This Wednesday, join Myna Wallin in celebrating the launch of her new book!

Confessions of a Reluctant Cougar is a boisterous collection of short stories that puts a hilarious, postmodern twist on our ideas of sex and relationships. It’s been called “frank, rollicking Sex and the City adventures told in prose that reads like a memoir” — and it’s definitely an entertaining work that is not to be missed!

When not working in prose, Myna is also an accomplished poet who achieved an honourable mention in Descant‘s 2009 Winston Collins Poetry Prize. The judges called Myna’s poem, “Death, Wildlife and Taxes,” “a poignant incantatory poem that draws together the speaker’s worries, weaving a spell around her fears.” The work will be appearing in Descant’s upcoming issue, D149: Summer and Smoke (click here to preview the issue now!).

The launch will be taking place this Wednesday, June 23 at 8:00 PM, at Proof Vodka Bar on 220 Bloor Street West. Come out for food, drink, excellent prose — and to hear jazz singer Fern Lindzon!

Naturally, cougar attire is recommended.

BookThug Spring 2010 Launch – Featuring DESCANT’S Managing Editor!

BookThug, Toronto publisher of the innovative and the experimental, is launching its Spring 2010 line-up next week!

On Thursday May 27 starting at 6 PM come and celebrate BookThug’s fantastic new line at the Supermarket (268 Augusta Ave in Kensington Market). The launch will feature a number of readings by a variety of talented BookThug writers: Cara Benson, Jason Dickson, Mark Goldstein, Andrew Hughes and Mark Laliberte Descant’s own Managing Editor, who somehow found the time to write a book (sort of) while keeping the magazine together. Well played, Mark!

With work that ranges from imaginative lyrics to experimental constructions — and from crafted sensation to verbal transmutation — it’s bound to be an interesting night. Don’t miss it!

Read BookThug’s own announcement about this event …

To see the full list of BookThug Spring 2010 titles, click here …

Save the Date: DESCANT 148 Launch!


Descant 148: The Search for Happiness / Descant Spring Issue Launch

Monday, April 19, 2010 / 7:30pm
The Victory Cafe (581 Markham Street, 2nd Floor)

It’s that time again, literary ladies and gents! Descant is launching its 2010 spring reader at The Victory Cafe, featuring readings by contributors Emi Benn, Roo Borson, David Day, Larry Frolick and Alex Pugsley.

Entitled The Search for Happiness, this issue tackles one of life’s greatest struggles for the unobtainable through poetry, fiction, memoirs and travel essays. Can a person ever obtain genuine satisfaction? Contributing editors Mark Kingwell and Rosemary Sullivan delve thoughtfully into the topic, while long-time Descant writer Larry Frolick offers up his memoir-in-progress, “Dark Side of the Moon.” Descant 148 also features portfolio and cover art from acclaimed artist Anitra Hamilton, and portfolios from American sculptor Jim Hake and Canadian media-artist John Massey.

Expect another bang-on event of delectable ideas and riveting readings! Don’t forget to RSVP to the Facebook event.

You can catch a sneak peek of our beautiful new issue on our website HERE.

NOW HEAR THIS! The Barracuda Launch


Wednesday, March 31, 2010 / 7-9pm
The Gardiner Museum, Terrace Room (111 Queen’s Park, Toronto)

Descant is excited to announce that our outreach program, NOW HEAR THIS!, will be launching it’s newest anthology, The Barracuda! This 2-colour, book-length anthology contains the best student writing from NHT!’s 2009 S.W.A.T. (Students, Writers & Teachers) creative writing workshops, which partner professional Toronto writers with youth around the city. The Barracuda showcases student written stories, poems and personal essays, along with creative pieces from S.W.A.T. Writers-in-Residence Andrew Daley, Desi Di Nardo, Larry Frolick, Rebecca Rosenblum, Jenny Sampirisi, Julia Tausch and Aaron Tucker. Gorgeous illustrations therein are provided by Toronto artist/cartoonist Marc Ngui.

This launch promises to be NHT!‘s biggest event of the year, featuring readings by students and S.W.A.T. Writers-in-Residence, food, and friends. Be sure you don’t miss it!

RSVP to the Facebook event HERE!

DESCANT 147 launch (Jan 28 @ 7:30pm)


Thursday, January 28, 2010 / 7:30pm
The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto
14 Elm Street, Toronto

DESCANT invites you to celebrate with us at the official launch of 147, our Dance-themed issue!

Join us on Thursday, January 28 at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto — one of the oldest arts venues in the country — for an event that promises to be as beautiful and aesthetically stimulating as the issue itself.

Blending muse and movement, the evening will feature a unique showcase of readings, film presentations and dance performances by our talented contributors, guest editors and friends.

Authors Vickie Fagan, Johanna Householder and Andrew Smith will share the stage with former dancers (and current DESCANT co-editors) Nadia Szilvassy, Alex Maeve Campbell and Mary Newberry, as well as Tom Brouillette. Special screenings of films by Danny Grossman and Vickie Fagan will also play throughout the evening.

ALSO! Be sure to listen for DESCANT 147: Dance guest editors Larissa Kostoff, Mary Newberry and Nadia Szilvassy on CIUT 89.5 FM on Sunday, January 24 at 9am. They’ll be special guests on the U of T’s campus radio program Evi-Dance, a weekly program dedicated to the wide, wide world of dance, to talk about our fabulous new issue and its forthcoming launch party. Check out for more.

From our editors’ mouths to your ears and beyond!

This is the first DESCANT event of 2010 — we look forward to seeing you there!

Descant Editor-in-Chief launches new book

On behalf of editor-in-chief KAREN MULHALLEN, we would like to invite you to the Toronto launch of ACQUAINTED WITH ABSENCE (Selected and Introduced by Douglas Glover, Published by Blaurock Press); this is Karen’s latest book of poetry.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 / 6-8pm
at Noce (875 Queen St W, 416-504-3463)


Karen Mulhallen is Editor-in-Chief of DESCANT. She has published numerous critical articles and twelve books of poetry, including ‘Sea Light’ (2003, Black Moss) and ‘Sea Horses’ (2007, Black Moss). She is a professor of English at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.
Please visit:

“Karen Mulhallen is a magnificent poet, prolific, protean and deeply, intensely, personal. She is a metaphysical poet, concerned with ends and existence, yet she grounds everything in the specific and the concrete. Reading and rereading her, one begins to notice, beyond the narratives of love and death and the concrete references to loved ones and beloved places, insistent recurrences – water, islands, plant lore, horses, seahorses – unfolding into myth, comedy, eros and personal anguish.”

Douglas Glover, from the Introduction to ‘Acquainted With Absence’