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"Descant is amazingly beautiful, stunningly edited, and will make you feel glad to be human." - Leon Rooke
"Descant provides an overview of the best, and certainly the most interesting contemporary writing around. If you are not reading Descant, you're missing out." - Barbara Gowdy

"It remains one of the most provocative, unpredictable and, imaginative literary journals in North America." - Susan Swan


Now in its fifth decade, Descant is a quarterly journal publishing new and established contemporary writers and visual artists from Canada and around the world. Begun in 1970 as a mimeograph, Descant has evolved into an exquisitely produced journal of international acclaim. Over the years many ground-breaking special editions of Descant have been published, including issues focusing on single artists such as Dennis Lee, Michael Ondaatje and R. Murray Schafer, theme issues such as Male Desire, Romantic Love, Anatomy and Music, and issues exploring the culture of countries such as India, Australia/New Zealand, China, the former Yugoslavia and Japan.

Descant is devoted to the discovery and development of new writers, and to placing their work in the company of celebrated writers. The standards are high – all of the many submissions received are carefully read, but only a few are accepted. Many emerging writers have launched their careers at Descant, some have gone on to become prominent players in the literary community. Renowned authors such as Anne Michaels, Timothy Findley, Evelyn Lau, Margaret Atwood, Isabel Allende, Tom McGuane and Jane Urquhart have all published new work on the pages of Descant. Share in the discovery of great writers such as these. Be stimulated by the ideas, moved by the visuals: read Descant today.

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