Cannery Row Magazine

A Literary Journal ... with Benefits

Next Issue July 17, 2021









from the


  & Music


Visual Arts










Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, "whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody.    

Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, "Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men," and he would have meant the same  thing.

-John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

  Born in Kingston - Made in Canada



John Jantunen          ~             Tanja Rabe

                      Writer/Editor              Managing Editor/Design

                  Communications                     Submissions  


A Canadian Biopsy

"You live like gypsies," my mother complains frequently over the phone, "are you ever going to settle down?"

      There may well be a remnant of the Old World gypsy left in us to blame for our nomadic ways, yet moving around while scraping by on the creative fringe has filled our lives with intriguing people and places, an abundance of stories and few regrets.

From the weed infused grunge culture of Vancouver in the 90's and  Montreal's delightfully seedy East Side, to Guysborough, Nova Scotia, where maritime hospitality clashed with a de facto segregation reminiscent of the Southern States.

      Back to our home province of Ontario. Muskoka to catch up with family, then Guelph to raise our sons while John wrote and published his first books with ECW Press.

    A decade later northwards to Capreol, a CN rail hub at the edge of the wilderness teeming with characters to stock John's next book "Savage Gerry" (Spring 2021), followed by North Bay where drug dealers, addicts, the mentally ill and the homeless have taken center stage in its downtown streets to the score of sirens heralding a new age (To be revisited in "Mason's Jar").

    Fed up with slumlords and northern winters, a retreat back south to Kingston amidst a global pandemic, potential socio-economic collapse and a world on fire; an apocalyptic cocktail served up with a slice of willful ignorance by our country's mainstream Media.


The Canada we've lived in over the past few decades stands in stark contrast to the publicly endorsed myth of Canada the Good, a strategy devised to encourage the exploitation of this country's resources, real estate, industry and labour by the already obscenely rich. Its biased agenda not only trades off basic human rights (water, air, shelter, food etc.) in favour of short term profits, sentencing Canadians, that are deemed economically insignificant or disposable, to a life that fosters despair, mental and physical disabilities, drug addiction, homelessness and, increasingly, suicide. It also conspires to whitewash Canada's past and present social traumas by suppressing and silencing dissenting voices to the point where renowned advocates, authors and journalists act as brand managers, compromising their integrity by censuring themselves in fear of reprisals, professional ruin and/or oblivion. 


We are launching this magazine to provide an inclusive space for the marginalized stories in our communities. For all those tired of the stigma and abuse suffered by an escalating number of Canadians trapped within a system of relentless poverty and racial discrimination. A system that profiteers from the destruction of the very people and land it has pledged to "serve and protect", abandoning them to the ambitions of power and greed. 

       A system that rewards nothing we ever learned in Kindergarten.

       Please give generously of your voice so others will know they are not alone.

Kindness has no dollar sign attached to it; it is of no worth to the wealthy,           yet flourishes like weeds in the streets of the poor. 


'My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.

                                                      -Louis Riel, 1885


Cannery Row Magazine wants you to raise your voice.

We are looking for creative and investigative storytelling in the form of word, music and graphic media (i.e. cartoons, photography, paintings). Submissions can be personal, political, social, environmental - humorous, dramatic, factual, caustic, nature. Share what is really going on, in your life, in our communities, our cities, our country and beyond our borders with well-crafted stories and images that illuminate our true past, our present struggles and the road ahead . 


"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."     -Albert Camus










Tell it like it is


Say you'll never close your eyes or pretend that it's a rosy world,

Say you'll never paint what is rotten with a sugarcoat,

Say you'll talk about the horrors you've seen and the torment you know

And tell it like it is.


Say it say it say it so no one can forget

What breaks your heart what keeps you awake at night

What makes you want to break the ties that silence and bind

And tell it like it is


Say you'll never cover your ears and close your mouth

And live in a silent world

Say you'll only run as fast and as far as you need to be secure

Say that then you'll tell the truth when a lie could cross your lips

And tell it like it is.


 Tracy Chapman, Album "New Beginnings"

The more things change...

Submissions Guidelines:

Since Cannery Row Press is a free and not for profit start up publication, we regret not being able to offer monetary or other compensation for submitted and published materials at this time. This may be subject to change depending on funding through grants and contributions as we grow. In this context, we appreciate all content providers for their understanding and for sharing freely of their work. Submissions to CRP may be published elsewhere at any time and it is solely at the content provider's discretion to assure compliance with other publishers' terms and conditions.


Requirements for submitted works are as follows: Prose up to 5000 words (limit two stories for consideration) - poetry up to five pieces of 'reasonable' length (content considered before style) - Music limit of three songs incl. spoken word (attach text) - Visual Arts (Gallery) up to 10 images (photography, paintings) and cartoons limit of three. If submitting images to accompany text, please attach separately and provide detailed instructions on integration and layout in relation to written content. View the website and issues of Cannery Row Magazine as a guide to recommended submissions content.


CRP reserves to right to copy edit submitted content prior to publication for general design, structural, flow and accuracy purposes. Content may be submitted and/or published under a pseudonym for personal or professional reasons. Due to the nature of this publication and in response to the elitist climate of "Canadian Literary Culture", CRP shall intentionally omit educational and socio-economic credentials of its content providers at its own discretion unless relevant for context (i.e. content relates to general occupation as in author/social worker/lawyer/scientist etc.) and publication shall be based solely on content merit.



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And everywhere people asked him why he was walking through the country. Because he loved true things, he tried to explain. He said he was nervous and besides he wanted to see the country, smell the ground and look at grass and birds and trees, to savor the country, and there was no other way to do it save on foot. And people didn't like him for telling the truth. They scowled, or shook and tapped their heads, they laughed as though they knew it was a lie and they appreciated a liar. And some, afraid for their daughters or pigs, told him to move on, to get going, just not to stop near their place if he knew what was good for him.


And so he stopped telling the truth. He said he was doing it on a bet - that he stood to win a hundred dollars. Everyone liked him then and believed him.”

― John Steinbeck, Cannery Row



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