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Six excellent new books launched last evening to an audience of about 110 people at Pyatt Hall in Vancouver’s downtown School of Music. What a perfect way to celebrate National Poetry Month! “Go to story” to see our photos.
Wednesday April 22, 2015 in News
Top: the audience mingles in Pyatt Hall; Bottom, L–R: Kevin Williams, Sachiko Murakami, Jordan Abel, and a projection by Oana Avasilichioaei
Phyllis Webb, treasure of Canadian literature, reads from Peacock Blue _ (April 15, 2015). All photos by Lorraine Gane_
On Wednesday evening last week, April 15, Saltspring Island locals Phyllis Webb and Brian Brett read poetry together for the first time in more than ten years at the Salt Spring Island Public Library in British Columbia. Today, we share the photos!Monday April 20, 2015 in News
In the latest issue of the Malahat Review, reviewer Phil Hall concludes that,
Surely, Peacock Blue is the literary event of the year. Reading this life-in-words, it is obvious that Al Purdy is not now our reigning voice – Phyllis Webb is. She has engendered her full scope – by silences – by retreats – unto a woman’s lyric authority.
Transmotion, a new academic journal with a Native American and First Nations focus, has published in its first issue (Vol. 1, No. 1) a review of Janet Rogers’s latest collection of poetry, Peace in Duress (Talon, 2014). Patricia Killelea of the University of California, Davis authored the review. Read extracts from Rogers’s poems in the full review online, and enjoy the below quoted portions of the review:
… hers is a powerful, edgy voice that simultaneously thunders and soothes, aggravates and celebrates – sometimes in the very same breath. Hers is a voice that thunders as it demands political change … Whether she is taking aim at attacks on the land and tribal sovereignty, or rejoicing in a kiss or other act of human kindness, Peace in Duress is overflowing with the spirit of resistance to confining notions of both poetry and indigeneity. … Rogers is a poet-warrior writing from the trenches, bearing witness to the epidemic of disappeared First Nations women … But Peace in Duress is far more than a catalogue of violence against peoples and the earth, for … these are also pages filled with sensuality and love. … a collection centered on (re)balancing and forging connections even in the midst of so much disruption and disconnection. … Rogers as an artist is a master of echoes, both on the page and in performance, where her poems talk back to the listener/reader as well as to each other, and necessary visions retrace their steps, audibly stumbling into one another again and again.
In these ways, Janet Rogers’s Peace in Duress and her accompanying spoken performances on SoundCloud come together to form a sonic tour-de-force of contemporary indigenous resistance. They will appeal to readers and listeners interested in works that are both experimental and at the same time accessible, as well as audiences eager to engage narratives of survival, resistance, and strength from an unwavering voice that isn’t afraid to speak the truth no matter the cost.
Room Magazine has published an interview with Cecily Nicholson, author of Triage (2011) and From The Poplars (2014). In it, Nicholson reflects on her perspectives, poetics, and the purpose of her writing. Read the full interview online (and enjoy the below teaser).
ROOM: … how would you describe your place within current poetic movements? Basically, what are you trying to do with your work?
CECILY: One of the central imperatives in From The Poplars, which is deliberately understated, is the idea of sensitizing. I see a crisis in people’s capacity to feel. So many of us are completely turned off to what’s happening around us. Those of us who are turned on at worst are killing themselves, grinding themselves to the bone to create change. People need to step up, and they need to feel the reasons. I hold to the possibility of liberation for folks in my historic and diasporic communities, for my local and Indigenous networks, and for myself. I experience this as something joyful.
Muskrat Magazine published a review of Janet Rogers’s latest collection of poetry, Peace in Duress (Talon, 2014). Read extracts from her poems in the full review online, and enjoy the below quoted portion of the review:
Peace in Duress is a statement on the nature of the Two-Row Wampum treaty agreement between the Haudenosaunee or Six Nations peoples and the Canadian State, as Rogers sees it. Rogers’ poems attest that the agreement does not fare well, that there are many troubles brewing under the surface, it is these things that she brings to light through her powerful words. … Her words inspire pictures of the west at sundown, a fierce land where even more tenacious people thrive on the beauty of the land. How some take these relationships for granted, and how others have tried to claim that beauty in the name of nationalism. … through her poetry and performances, people will begin to understand that ‘Peace’ with Indigenous Peoples of these lands was indeed wrought under duress. Read and revel in the poetry of Janet Rogers and you will see that she offers an idea that now is the time to renegotiate the terms for ‘Peace.’
Photo: Horses Records
Indie music fans of Vancouver who may also be interested in indie Canadian poetry, hark! Let us recommend that you visit Horses Records on East Hastings (at Nanaimo St.) in Vancouver, BC. In the spirit of National Poetry Month (and beyond), Horses Records now carries Talon poetry titles, from Jordan Abel’s new Un/inhabited to Nikki Reimer’s recent DOWNVERSE, and other favourites. Look for a designated Talon shelf as you browse the vinyl.
Winners and Losers is a staged conversation that embraces the ruthless logic of modern-day capitalism, and tests its impact on our closest personal relationships. Theatre artists and long-time friends, Marcus Youssef and James Long, sit at a table and play a game they made up called “winners and losers,” in which they name things and people — Pamela Anderson, microwave ovens, Goldman Sachs, their fathers — and debate whether, from their perspective, these things are winners or losers. As the conversation unfolds, the competition quickly begins to have an unanticipated cost.
Winners and Losers has toured in Canada (Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto) and Europe (Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Italy and Iceland). It opens April 9 in Edmonton, AB and runs until April 18 at The Club Cabaret. Tickets start at $27. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Citadel Theatre website.
Look for the print edition of Winners and Losers in May!
Save the date! Talon’s annual spring poetry nights are nigh. The Vancouver launch will be held at Pyatt Hall (Vancouver School of Music) on Thursday, April 23, and the Toronto launch will be held at the Victory Cafe on Tuesday, April 28.
All are welcome to come hear readings by Talon’s new (and returning) poets!
Expect a diversity of refined poetry hailing from a variety of poetic traditions and poetics. Refreshments and good company will be in order. See our event listings for more information. We hope to see you in April!
Talonbooks is proud to announce the signing of a new and unique author for its 2016 spring season!
Coming in 2016! Mocha’s tell-all memoir
First-time author Mochaccino Latte, known to her friends and family as Mocha, is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever with a story to tell. Born and raised on the west coast of Canada, this pup – nine years young on St. Patrick’s Day this year – has seen and done it all, from getting her paws muddy in the Jericho Beach flats to barking at select Canada Post workers while leaving others perfectly well alone. Mocha is an occasional columnist for Modern Dog magazine and is currently reading Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis (Mocha enthusiastically insists that we mention Coach House’s adopt-a-dog publicity efforts).
Mocha has been a long-time staff member at Talonbooks, working a steady three days per week, and napping for much of the rest of the time. She enthusiastically performs her main duty: alerting other staff members to intruders after the doorbell rings and they have already been admitted through the front door. A rigorous enforcer of routine, Mocha keeps the post-lunch leftovers train on track while readying us for her afternoon outing. She now makes her transition to authorship and, while some might see her dual position at Talon as a conflict of interest, she has assured us that, given the fact that she can’t speak, our trade secrets are safe with her.
For an advance of just a few Alpo biscuits – a price Talon’s publisher Kevin Williams felt was well worth it – Mocha has agreed to publish her tell-all memoir with Talonbooks. Look for My Favourite Words: Lunch, Biscuit, Walk on April 1, 2016.
Today on Meta-Talon we share a poem from Sachiko Murakami’s forthcoming collection of poetry, Get Me Out of Here – available next week! Murakami will read from this collection at Talon’s annual spring poetry launches in Vancouver on April 23 and Toronto on April 28, 2015.Thursday April 9, 2015 in Meta-Talon
Today on Meta-Talon we share a poem from Jónína Kirton’s new collection of poetry, page as bone – ink as blood, which is newly available. Kirton will read from this collection at Talon’s annual spring poetry launch in Vancouver on April 23, 2015.Thursday April 2, 2015 in Meta-Talon
Photo by Daniel Canty
Daniel Canty, author of Wigrum (2013) and Les États-unis du vent (_to be published in English by Talonbooks in Fall 2015), recently completed a six-month residency at the Studio du Québec, in London, England. In this series of dispatches, Canty shares his reflections on some of that city’s foggy history and the sometimes foggy process of writing.Thursday March 26, 2015 in Meta-Talon
Limbinal is a new collection of poetry by Oana Avasilichioaei. As its hybrid title suggests, speaks in the porous space between a limb’s articulations and a liminal border. Formally diverse, the pieces in Limbinal intersect prose fragments with incantatory dialogues, poetic footnotes with photographic phrases, rebellious translations with liquid transpositions. “All Aboard!” appears on page 41 of this book.
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