Phoenix Rising, 1980-1990.
This brave Canadian magazine was born in a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto, fueled by the determination of psychiatric survivors and activists Carla McKague and Don Weitz. Over it’s decade of existence, the resolutely political publication focused a critical eye on a shifting spectrum of mad issues: homelessness, pharmacology, policy, sexuality, electroshock, prisons, poverty, medical experimentation, the place of children and the elderly in the mental health system. Phoenix Rising also celebrated the agency and talents of mad Canadians. Indeed, its very name symbolized the potential of psychiatric survivors coming together in support, acknowledgement, and action. The pages of Phoenix Rising are full of mad voices – in personal stories, book reviews, cartoons and, perhaps most powerfully, in published letters sent in from across the country and beyond.
When Phoenix folded in 1990, founding editor Don Weitz wrote “Phoenix Rising: Its Birth and Death” for Border/Lines which tells the story of the magazine.
You can find a complete set of the 30 issues Phoenix Rising published by clicking on the links in the right hand menu.