Hey, do you like to read? I’m assuming, based on absolutely nothing except the fact that you are reading this sentence that you do, in fact, like to read. Or at least that you can read. Personally, I read everything in my path. Books, cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, instruction manuals (just kidding about that last one, no one needs those). If you’re looking to expand your intellectual horizons this summer, and want to settle in by the lake on your weekend at the cottage (take me to your cottage) with some great Canadian literature (I will bring some for you if you take me to your cottage), look no more. Below are some awesome Canadian literary publications that you will love!
This magazine has been around since 1977, and was led by Michael Ondaatje for more than 25 years. The name dropping that goes along with the history of this publication should be enough to motivate any self-respecting lover of Canadian literature to go out and pick up an issue. Also, guys, Alice Munro loves it. Who’s going to question Canada’s Nobel prize-winning sweetheart? I’M NOT.
This relative newbie to the independent literary scene was founded in 2012 and is published twice yearly. It features awesome short stories, poetry, photography and visual art. Very looking forward to seeing what this magazine evolves into as the years progress. To find out for yourself, subscribe here!
Published semi-annually, Taddle Creek refers to itself as a “general interest literary magazine.” Between the pages of this mag that coyly refuses to define itself with a specific mandate, you will find short stories, photo essays, poetry, comics, features, and illustrations. If you’re looking for a decent introduction to independent publications, you found it. This magazine has a taste of everything you’re looking for.
This quarterly magazine has been reviewing underground zine-culture for almost 20 years. Established in 1995 (when I think basically everything cool was “underground”), Broken Pencil is the place to look for extensive commentary on the independent art scene. You’ll also find awesome new fiction, visual art, and provocative articles on everything that has nothing to do with the mainstream.
A grandfather among literary magazines, Descant has been around for nearly 45 years. An established magazine with very high standards, this publication is internationally renowned. Expect to find a delicate balance of established, acclaimed writers and artists, with bright new emerging talent keeping pace. Lovers of quality, look no further.
Maisonneuve is a quarterly publication committed to cross-cultural artistic endeavours. Publishing original short fiction, art, and personal opinion essays, this magazine produces sharply written stories and articles that satisfy both academic and good old fashioned story lovers alike. Plus right now you can subscribe to both Maisy (as it’s affectionately known… and we do feel affectionately, our Haley is its Ed-in-Chief!) and the above-mentioned Little Brother for an ENTIRE YEAR for just $30. I mean, really.
This quarterly online magazine publishes short stories, essays, poetry, and visual art. The mandate of The Puritan is to choose work that pushes artistic limits. Referring to themselves as a magazine that seeks “pioneering literature,” The Puritan will reprogram your literary expectations by exposing its reader to unchartered artistic territory.
Spend some time this summer getting to know your local writers! Not only will you expose yourself to stuff that Oprah’s Book Club probably doesn’t even know about, you’ll be doing a good thing for your brain, Canadian artists, and your street cred. Plus, reading makes you smarter. So what are you waiting for? Subscribe already!