Canadian literary journal features Latvians

The spring issue of Descant, a literary quarterly published in Toronto, Canada, features the work of several Latvian writers and photographers.

Writers Pauls Bankovskis, Nora Ikstena and Knuts Skujenieks traveled to Canada to participate in an April 15 ceremony launching the issue, says the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The journal is showcasing several different styles across several generations of Latvian writers. Translation and coordination of the project was the work of Margita Gailīte.

Others featured in the journal, according to the daily newspaper Diena and Descant, are poets and writers Amanda Aizpuriete, Vizma Belševica, Gunta Berele, Uldis Bērziņš, Modris Ekšteins, Jānis Elsbergs, Klāvs Elsbergs, Diana Kiesners, Juris Kronbergs, Liāna Langa, Laima Muktupāvela, Andra Neiburga, Aleksandrs Pelēcis, Edvīns Raupa, Gundega Repše, Māra Zālīte and Mārtiņš Zelmenis, as well as photographs by Inta Ruka and Zelmenis.

Publication of the Latvian issue of Descant was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Travel to Canada for the three writers was supported by Latvijas Kultūrkapitāla fonds, Latvijas Literatūras centrs, the Latvian National Association in Canada and the Latvian Embassy in Ottawa.

Bankovskis, Ikstena and Skujenieks also will meet with writers and members of the Latvian communities in Ottawa and Montreal, the foreign ministry said.

Further information about the journal is available by visiting

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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