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News, Events, and Announcements

news | Tuesday December 22, 2020

January 28 Zoom Launch!

We are very excited to be launching four wonderful new books, on Thursday, January 28, at 5:30 p.m. PT, via Zoom! Cecily Nicholson will introduce the following wonderful Talon authors:

Fred Wah reading from Music at the Heart of Thinking
Colin Browne reading from Here
Junie Desil reading from eat salt | gaze at the ocean
Taryn Hubbard reading from Desire Path

Thursday, January 28
5:30 p.m. PT
The reading is free, but you need to register in advance through Zoom.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the reading.

news | Thursday January 7, 2021

In remembrance of Taran Kootenhayoo

Talonbooks is deeply saddened to hear of the recent death of Taran Kootenhayoo. This gifted young actor, playwright, and poet performed in several plays we’ve published, and more than once kindly gave us permission to include his image in our books. Taran was integral to Vancouver film and theatre and will truly be missed. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and to his communities.

Link to CBC Article
Link to fundraiser for Taran’s Family

news | Monday December 21, 2020

Pause and Repeat: A Christmassy story from M.A.C. Farrant's The World Afloat

We’re happy to be sharing another Christmassy tale from M.A.C. Farrant this almost-Christmas! Talon’s offices will be closed from December 24th, reopening the morning of January 4th. Happy holidays, everyone!


We look forward to the comatose reverence that comes with Christmas.

The season begins in early November when time starts giving off a creaking sound. It’s going through its annual process of hardening. Our shoulders roll inward then and our heads collapse onto our chests as if in avoidance or prayer. Some of us make slow, grimacing smiles, stretching our mouths as wide as we can, repeating this motion several times, and then pausing.

During the lead-up to Christmas we no longer suffer from lost English reserve and everyone tries to be quiet. Once achieved, we bring our lips together and forward as though kissing a baby and flutter our eyelashes as fast as we can. This signals the arrival of the cart filled with tinsel. It’s drawn by Lula the Malamute wearing a hat of reindeer horns.

Her arrival completes the seasonal outline, the one that is meant to endure. And Jimmy in the red suit on the roof blowing his nose. 

From The World Afloat, 2014

news | Thursday December 17, 2020

Talonbooks Fall 2020 Launch!

We are having a zoom reading event on December 17th at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Mercedes Eng will read from my yt mama.

Margaret Christakos will read from charger.

Arleen Paré will read from Earle Street.

Laiwan will read from TENDER.

Gladys Maria Hindmarch will read from Wanting Everything.

Introductions by Cecily Nicholson. Hosted by Sean Cranbury.

Talonbooks Fall 2020 Launch
Thursday, December 17
at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/93994779836
Email kevin@talonbooks.com for the event password.

news | Monday December 7, 2020

We honour the passing of Talon founder David Robinson, January 5, 1947 to November 24, 2020

Covers of early Talonbooks books

David Robinson founded Talon alongside a few other fellow poets in 1963 while he was a high school student at University Hill Secondary School in Vancouver. At that time, it was a magazine run out of David’s parent’s garage. David published Talon’s first book, fireweed by Ken Belford, in 1967, while he was attending the University of British Columbia. David grew the Talonbooks press until 1984, when he left to join his wife Zonda Nellis at Zonda Nellis Design Inc.

While David published poetry, fiction, and drama at Talon, many will also remember him as a pioneer of Vancouver cookbook publishing, with his bestselling Susan Mendelson and Umberto Menghi titles.

Many of the books David published at Talon are still in print on the Talonbooks list. We remember him often, handling the books he published and admiring the design and savoir faire of an old catalogue.

Fifty-seven years after David initially founded Talon, we are very proud to continue the work he started, and hope this icon of Canadian publishing, Talonbooks, serves as memorial to David Robinson for many decades to come.

Read David’s obituary at dignitymemorial.com.

news | Tuesday November 17, 2020

Fa la la la la la la literature!

Holiday banner featuring Cottagers & Indians, I Saw Three Ships, Kamloopa, and Orwell in Cuba

Talonbooks is having a Holiday Sale!

We’re offering 25% off all titles from November 17 to December 16.

So deck the halls with books & holly, give us some fiction pudding, and pick up some prezzies for your friends and loved ones!

Books make great gifts.

news | Tuesday November 10, 2020

Marking Remembrance Day with Iron Peggy

On Wednesday, November 11, 2020, we mark Remembrance Day.

This year, we at Talon would like to recognize the particular contribution of Indigenous soldiers to World War I by recommending Iron Peggy, written by award-winning, international Métis performer and playwright Marie Clements.

Iron Peggy was commissioned by the Vancouver International Children’s Festival and premiered at Vancouver’s Waterfront Theatre in 2019.

The story centres on Peg, who is struggling for survival at her boarding school. Three über-cool “it” girls take aim at Peg and make her life utterly miserable. Then, when her beloved Grandmother dies, she just wants to disappear.

But an unexpected gift arrives; inside it, Peg finds three cast-iron soldiers. In despair, she throws them against the floor. How can they help her? They are so small, and the girls’ shadow is so big. But, miraculously, the toys come to life as Indigenous snipers from World War I, just in time to wage an epic battle against the girls.

A powerful play that will appeal to audiences both young and old, Iron Peggy uses a creative and ever-surprising blend of voices and sceneries to tell this moving story. With 2018 marking the 100th-year anniversary of WWI, Iron Peggy is an excellent introduction to its history and a touching testimony that not only celebrates the First Nation participation in the war effort but also a young girl’s personal victory.

news | Monday November 9, 2020

Kuroko has arrived!

Cover of Kuroko.

From Governor General’s Award Finalist Tetsuro Shigematsu, author of the award-winning plays Empire of the Son and 1 Hour Photo, comes Kuroko, a story about a family worlds apart, separated by pain, alone and unsure of the way back home.

Maya is a hikikomori, an extreme recluse who hasn’t left her bedroom in five years, spending all her time in virtual reality. Her father hires an actor from a “family rental agency” to befriend her online and entice her back into reality. How? By venturing to the scariest place on earth: Aokigahara, a.k.a. Suicide Forest.

Asking what might happen if we stop running from the phantoms that haunt us and return their gaze, Kuroko is a story about finding something real in the places we least expect it, of building bridges where healing seems impossible, and saving others as a way of saving ourselves.

Pick up your copy of Kuroko today!

news | Thursday November 5, 2020

Excerpt from Orwell in Cuba up at the Walrus

The Walrus has excerpted Orwell in Cuba: How 1984 Came to Be Published in Castro’s Twilight, by Frédérick Lavoie and translated by Donald Winkler.

In the French, Orwell in Cuba won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction.

Read the excerpt from this award-winning book today.

news | Friday October 23, 2020

PoemTalk discusses Daphne’s poem “Arriving”

Daphne Marlatt, Fred Wah, and Meredith Quartermain join Al Filreis at Lucy Oh and Dick Cook’s residence in Vancouver, BC to discuss Daphne’s poem “Arriving,” which is published in Intertidal: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1968–2008.

From jacket2.org : “Arriving” was [originally] published in 1981 in the book titled Here & There. It seems to have been written during – and in any case is about – a summertime gathering of artist friends and others in the Kootenays in July 1980. Here & There is dedicated to “my fellow swimmers.” And “Arriving,” the first poem in the group, bears a dedication reading “for Fred & Pauline,” and they would be Fred Wah and Pauline Butling, her hosts those summers – both present at Lucy and Richard’s home. The poem records Daphne’s nine-and-half-hour journey from the city of Vancouver to that remote haven in a steep mountain valley, and in its lines we sense a body in motion, the rushing occurrence of the environment, an “ambushing” of the natural, and a sense of being seemingly always on the way, or a towardness.

news | Saturday October 17, 2020

Oana Avasilichioaei’s Eight Track is a finalist for the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry!

We are so pleased to announce that Oana Avasilichioaei’s Eight Track is a finalist for the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry.

Of Eight Track, the jury writes: “Conceptually provocative, this work works across the possibilities of genre… Often declarative and collective, it does not set out to narrate events but to disrupt or reinterpret narrative so as to represent the dislocation of a central self. It evokes and interrogates in fragments, as echo, so that the disarray is the array – an aural tracing, provocative in thought and sensation using gesture of interrogation, declaration, visual arrangement.”

Congratulations, Oana!

Pick up your copy of Eight Track today!

Featured Books

Asking For It
and What I Call Her
By Ellie Moon

224 pages | Drama

$19.95

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Fado
The Saddest Music in the World
By Elaine Ávila

112 pages | Drama

$16.95

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Here
Poems
By Colin Browne

208 pages | Poetry

$19.95

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Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer
A Satirical Land Claim Fable
By Kevin Loring

96 pages | Drama

$16.95

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Music at the Heart of Thinking
Improvisations 1–170
By Fred Wah

272 pages | Poetry

$24.95

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One Good Thing
A Living Memoir
By M.A.C. Farrant

200 pages | Non-Fiction

$19.95

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Painting Time
By Maylis de Kerangal
Translated by Jessica Moore

240 pages | Fiction

$19.95

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still
By Anahita Jamali Rad

128 pages | Poetry

$16.95

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Taking Measures
Selected Serial Poems
By George Bowering
Edited by Stephen Collis

656 pages | Poetry

$29.95

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The Diary of Dukesang Wong
A Voice from Gold Mountain
By Dukesang Wong
Edited by David McIlwraith
Translated by Wanda Joy Hoe

144 pages | Non-Fiction

$18.95

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Then Now
By Daphne Marlatt

112 pages | Poetry

$16.95

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They Write Their Dream on the Rock Forever
Rock Writings in the Stein River Valley of British Columbia
By Annie York & Richard Daly & Chris Arnett

200 pages | Non-Fiction

$24.95

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Un/inhabited
By Jordan Abel
Contributions by Kathleen Ritter & Tracy Stefanucci

240 pages | Poetry

$24.95

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