Category Archives: News and Notes

Special Offer for Canadian Readers!

Happy Holidays ‘zine fans!

DESCANT is pleased to pair up with Magazines Canada and publishers from across the country to bring you a fabulous subscription deal in time for the gift-giving season.

This is your chance to triple your Canadian content consumption: subscribe to any three of the featured magazines for the price of two! Even better? If you sign up online, the taxes are paid for you!

With more than 190 Canadian publications participating, this exciting initiative caters to the tastes of print-culture vultures of every stripe. That’s right: you can keep things decidedly literary or mix and match a DESCANT subscription with your favourites in other categories.

Head to the Magazines Canada site for full offer details and to check out the list of feature publications.

DESCANT Recommends: The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2009


The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2009 Toronto Launch:

@ Revival (783 College St, ph: 416.535.7888)

Wed, Nov 11, 2009 > 7 – 11pm

Hosted by: Myna Wallin

DESCANT is proud to announce the appearance of three of our poets in The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2009 (Tightrope Books). This year’s anthology was edited by A. F. Moritz and Series Editor Molly Peacock; it collects the fifty best Canadian poems published in 2008. Congratulations to Margaret Atwood (for “Ice Palace” from D142), P.K. Page (for “A Triple Glosa” from D140) and Cora Siré (for “Before Leaving Hué” from D141), for making the critical cut. Congratulations also go out to Betsy Struthers, who was long-listed for “Harvest Moon: September” (D141).

The anthology will hold its launch at Revival on November 11, 2009 with readings by several featured poets and the musical stylings of The Pining. The event begins at 7pm, and is free to attend. You can RSVP to the Facebook event HERE. Continue reading

DESCANT Recommends… CANZINE 2009!


Sunday, November 1, 2009 / 1-7pm
The Gladstone Hotel
(1214 Queen St. W., ph: 416.531.4635)
$5.00 admission, including Broken Pencil’s Olympic Issue

On November 1, 2009, the Gladstone Hotel will play host to Canada’s largest Zine Fair and Festival of Alternative Culture! Though DESCANT will not be present at the festival, we recommend you spend this Sunday perusing work from more than 150 indie print and online publishers from across the country. In keeping with this year’s Olympic theme, interactive events will abound along with new “Can’tLit” readings!

Visit Canzine 2009 and Broken Pencil online for details.

Descant Contributors Doing Great Things

A number of Descant‘s former contributors are continuing to make a splash in the arts world.

Arnaud Maggs, who provided the cover image and a portfolio of images of Paris hotel signs for Descant 142: Hotels, has a number of photographs from the same project on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) as part of the “Beautiful Fictions: Photography” collection. His work will be on display until January 17th, 2010.

In addition, Balint Zsako, who provided the cover image and a portfolio of artwork for Descant 136: A Trompe L’Oeil Calendar, has a new exhibition called Old Master Paintings on at the Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects gallery (1082 Queen Street West). The exhibition, which is a series of collages assembled from reproductions of old master paintings, is showing until October 18th, 2009.

One of Descant‘s contributing editors, Mark Kingwell, is releasing a new book, Glenn Gould, with Penguin Group Canada as part of their Extraordinary Canadians series. Kingwell discusses Gould, one of Canada’s most talent artists and renowned classical musicians of the 20th Century, from the perspective of a philosopher.

Two Excellent Book Fairs, Back-to-Back

Descant will be present in full force at two prominent book fairs on the next two Sundays — the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and Toronto’s Word On The Street festival. The Eden Mills Writer’s Festival is this weekend on September 20th, from noon to 6 p.m., and the Word On The Street festival is the following Sunday, September the 27th, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Descant will be present at the publisher’s way at Eden Mills and the exhibitor marketplace at Word On The Street.

While you’re there, check out the amazing authors participating in Eden Mills and Word On The Street. We hope to see you there.

Save the Date: DESCANT Fall 09 Issue Launch!

On Wednesday, story September 30, visit 2009 at 7:30pm at the Olga Korper Gallery (17 Morrow Ave, there Toronto), we will be launching Descant 146: Immanence/Transcendence with a celebration of art and song. The issue invites festivity, with a slate of new poets and captivating artist portfolios by Kent Monkman and Robert Fones. Descant Contributing Editor, Mark Kingwell, considers the basis of this issue’s larger themes and, as always, artfully plays out their meaning. Calvin White provides an interview with Beat generation poet and editor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. In the pages between these wresting contributions, the fall issue presents an homage to poetry’s venerable form at the hands of its newest transcending practitioners.

The Olga Korper Gallery, one of Toronto’s top exhibition spaces, will host this special event in tandem with a show of work by renowned sculptor John McEwen, a three-time Descant cover artist. The inimitable cellist Anna Jarvis is performing with pianist Jonah Humphrey, and some of our favourite poets (Mark Kingwell, Michael Lista, Jim Johnstone and Helen Guri) will read from their most recent work.

Copies of Descant 146 will be available for purchase at this free event, as well as assorted back issues featuring artwork by Olga Korper Gallery artists.

The evening promises the supreme themes of art and song, and good company to shut out unfriendly night. Please join us for our fall issue launch and celebration!


Descant 146: Immanence/Transcendence is on newsstands now!

Preview the issue here

30th Anniversary Tribute for This Ain’t The Rosedale Library

On Wednesday, September 16th This Ain’t The Rosedale Library, Toronto’s bastion of indie bookselling (voted one of the top ten independent bookstores in the world by the Guardian), is celebrating three decades of peddling poetry and prose and everyone’s invited!

From 7:30-9:00 p.m. at the York Quay Centre: Brigantine Room (235 Queens Quay West) they will be celebrating this milestone anniversary with  readings by bill bissett, Lee Ann Brown, Eileen Myles, Stuart Ross; the Six String Nation guitar will be on display with Jowi Taylor; and all this will be followed by an after party at Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue) in the store’s new home neighbourhood of Kensington Market.

Tickets to this fantastic event are $8, and can be purchased through the box office (call 416.973.4000 or visit the website).

For more information about the event and the readers, visit This Ain’t The Rosedale Library’s website, and we’ll see you there!

Descant at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival

Descant will be one of the many presses, publishers, and magazines participating in the Publishers’ Way at this year’s Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. Issues of Descant — including the new Fall 2009 edition, #146, Immanence/Transcendence — will be available for purchase from noon – 6 pm on Sunday, September 20th. This is the same time a variety of authors will be reading their work.

The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival was founded in 1989, and has been an annual event since then. The first installment was created by Governor-General Award Winner and former Descant contributor Leon Rooke.

We hope to see you there.

RIP Pages

Pages Books & Magazines, an independent Toronto bookstore established in 1979, closed its doors for the final time yesterday. The Queen Street West store spent 30 years as a major participant in Toronto’s cultural and arts communities, and as a big supporter of small press literature.

Although Pages is now shut down, one of its offspring, This Is Not A Reading Series, will continue to run. Please check their website for updates.

Everyone here at Descant wishes Pages a fond farewell.

Descant Garage Sale Upcoming

The charity that brings you Descant magazine, the Descant Arts & Letters Foundation, will be holding its sixth annual Garage Sale fundraiser on Saturday, August 29th (with a Sunday, August 30th rain date) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Garage Sale will be held at 245 Markham Street, near the corner of Bathurst and College. Items for sale will include:

– houseware

– antiques

– pottery

– clothing

– vinyl

– books

– and much, much more!

We hope you’ll join us, support Descant, and go home with some treasures.