Caught up belatedly with a new online literary publication called The Toronto Review of Books, which launched in September with little fanfare. It's the work of a team of volunteers led by editor Jessica Duffin Wolfe (who was for several years the reviews editor of Spacing magazine.) It is doing a good deal of interesting work already with a very Toronto sensibility (but not exclusively Toronto).
" The conversation about the value of reading is happening in the street. We’ll be there from Toronto, scattering what confetti we can in this international thoroughfare," Wolfe says in her first editorial.
The inaugural quarterly issue contains a review of Twitter in Toronto by Shawn Micallef, a review of reviewing by sociologist Phillipa Chong, and poetry by Damian Rogers and Birgitta Jónsdóttir, the Icelandic MP and former leader in Wikileaks whose subpoenaed Twitter account made headlines last winter.
It has an urban outlook that reflects its name and is launching its own speakers series called City WIDEN (Workshops for Interest, Discussion, Exchange and Novelty). It in turn is built upon the already existing WIDEN series started by Wolfe and which already runs at several Toronto universities and colleges: each event gathers three people from different fields to give short talks on a common theme.
For each City WIDEN, the magazine plans to partner with like-minded organizations and institutions to explore new spaces and ideas.It also is offering podcasts, hosted by CBC Radio’s David Michael Lamb, to bring listeners recordings of public lectures and panels in Toronto.