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Descant magazine announces final issue

After 44 years in circulation, quarterly Canadian literary journal Descant magazine has announced that its winter 2014 issue, Descant 167: In A Cabinet of Curioisities, will be its last.

Editor-in-chief Karen Mulhallen posted a notice of the magazine’s shuttering on its website this morning, stating that the publication has been running a deficit for the last three years despite fundraising attempts this fall.

Descant is renowned for launching the careers of many Canadian and international writers and artists, and has featured work both by and about the likes of Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Anne Michaels, Isabel Allende, Jane Urquhart, and countless others. The journal has presented the annual Winston Collins/Descant prize for best Canadian poem, run literary workshops and reading series through its non-profit arm, and been a respected source of content and discourse in the Canadian (and international) literary scene.

From Mulhallen’s statement:

This has been a very hard decision to make. For the last three years Descant has been in a deficit position, and as head of the Descant foundation and Editor in Chief of the magazine, I carry all the debts.

I have personally searched for a solution, but have been unable to find either a patronage base or an editor (or editorial collective) to replace myself and take over the magazine, and be responsible for its publication and its foundation.

Mulhallen thanked readers and contributors for the “pleasure and privilege” to publish for so many decades. A goodbye celebration is planned for spring 2015.