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News and Announcements


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December 2015

Saturday December 12, 2015
Songs in the key of Cree with Tomson Highway, Toronto

January 2016

Saturday January 9, 2016
Dr. Carl Peters speaks at the MLA convention

Tuesday January 19, 2016
Play: “Seeds” by Annabel Soutar in West Vancouver, BC

Tuesday January 26, 2016
Charlie Demers & Marcus Youssef’s “Leftovers” at PuSh Festival, Vancouver

February 2016

Thursday February 4, 2016
Play: “The (Post) Mistress” by Tomson Highway, Vancouver

Tuesday February 16, 2016
Play: “Winners and Losers” in Vancouver

March 2016

Wednesday March 2, 2016
Play: Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles-Soeurs in Saskatoon

Thursday March 10, 2016
Play: Chekhov’s “The Seagull”, translated by David French, in Mississauga, ON

April 2016

Friday April 1, 2016
Play: “Dead Metaphor” at the Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver

Thursday April 7, 2016
Play: “The Valley” by Joan MacLeod, Vancouver
Tuesday November 24, 2015 in News
Tonight! The Western Front in Vancouver launches its archives

Vancouver’s cultrual strongholds, the Western Front – recent host of Fred Wah’s Scree book launch – celebrates tonight its newly digitized Literary Archives.

The culmination of a year-long project, this event will feature a reading from the archive selected by poet Amy De’Ath, who will also contextualize this look back on the influence of the Literary scene at the Western Front. The event will also include a guest reading by Dorothy Trujillo Lusk and archival appearances by bill bissett, Gladys Hindmarch, Roy Kiyooka, Monica Holden Lawrence, Susan Musgrave, Jamie Reid, Anne Waldman and more.

Head to the Western Front’s Grande Luxe Hall tonight at 7:00 p.m. to join in the fun!

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Friday November 20, 2015 in News
BC Books Online website launched!

The 49th Shelf now hosts a micro-site called BC Books Online, which aggregates information about books published in British Columbia, written by British Columbians, and about British Columbia. The final kinks are still being worked out, but it’s a wonderful resource for readers, teachers, librarians, and booksellers. Discover, buy, read. Check it out!

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Wednesday November 18, 2015 in News
Today! Lunch Poems at SFU (downtown Vancouver) with Jónína Kirton & Clint Burnham

Today in downtown Vancouver, hear readings by two new Talon poets Clint Burnham – whose next collection of poetry will be published with Talonbooks in Spring 2016 – and Jónína Kirton, author of page as bone ~ ink as blood (2015).

Lunch Poems at SFU is a unique vibrant exchange of poetic ideas and cadence held the third Wednesday of every month, noon to 1 pm – including today, Wednesday, November 18, 2015 – in the Teck Gallery at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre Campus in Vancouver, BC.

More information is available on the SFU Lunch Poems website.

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Monday November 16, 2015 in News
Two reviews of Morse’s Prairie Harbour

Prairie Harbour, the latest collection of poetry by Garry Thomas Morse, is beginning to make sparks. Two reviews have been published in the last week, and both are worthy companions to the book.

Sarah Dowling, writing (really more of an essay than a review) for the Cordite Poetry Review, calls the book (or Morse himself?) “a complex contrarian of occasion.” The whole essay/review is worth a read, and Dowling concludes,

Of course, one of the best-known difficulties of the long poem is how to end it, and I think that Morse’s provision of a safe and quiet harbor for the mind is especially apt. With his intense examination of what the prairie harbors – including much ugliness and substantial racism – some shelter is needed, especially if the mind is expected to go on producing, or to go on at all. … His use of collage and deep engagement with place are clearly indebted to second-wave modernist poetics, and like many second-wave modernist works, they do much to complicate and enliven the place they represent. … Even as Prairie Harbour concludes, it demonstrates that there is enough drama in suburbia’s little boxes to keep us all going for a good, long while.

The blog Eclectic Ruckus published a review last week that calls Prairie Harbour “a whoppingly huge act of synthetic imagination,” and

an exciting example of the modernist (& post-) collage long poem. … What Morse has done in both his earlier Discovery Passages & Prairie Harbour is to radically complicate both the representations of & his readers’ responses to that history while also offering a fascinating reading experience to any willing to give these poems a go. … Prairie Harbour offers readers an engagement they will not soon forget.

Prairie Harbour is available for $18.95.

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Thursday November 12, 2015 in News
“When the Emperor arrived among us, it was as if we had been expecting him.”

Tales of the Emperor, Jack Winter’s new novel, has been in the works for more than a decade – and it’s now available!

Tales of the Emperor is an oriental cabinet of curios based on the life of Qin Shi Huang (circa 260–210 BCE), the “First Emperor” – he who unified China, gave it his name, built the Great Wall, and entombed an army of terra cotta soldiers. Birth to death, Tales of the Emperor tells the story of its central figure in a thematic rather than a chronologic narrative. In a mosaic of separate tales, poems, and songs – some no more than fragments, others chapter-length – intersecting characters are presented, entwined, relinquished, among them a failed assassin, a wily adviser, an ironic architect, a castrated historian, an entire tribe of grave builders, and, of course, the wry, conflicted, everyday tyrant himself.

Order your copy today ($19.95).

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Tuesday November 10, 2015 in News
UNBC welcomes Janet Rogers as Writer in Residence

Janet Rogers is UNBC’s newest Writer in Residence (Photo: UNBC)

The University of Northern British Columbia has welcomed poet Janet Rogers this year as its writer in residence, from September 2015 until January 2016. From the press release:

Award-winning author and former Poet Laureate for the City of Victoria Janet Rogers is the latest Writer in Residence at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Rogers, Mohawk/Tuscarora poet and performer, has authored four collections of poetry, performed on three poetry CDs, and produced two radio documentaries. Both of her documentaries won awards at the imagineNative Film and Media Festival. …

During her time at UNBC Rogers will hold readings and talks at the UNBC Prince George campus and at regional campuses. She will also be available for consultations with UNBC students, faculty, staff, and community members. In addition, Rogers will devote time to writing her first radio play which will inform the public and celebrate the unique history of Indigenous presence on the airwaves.

Meet Rogers at UNBC, and look for her latest collection of poetry, Peace in Duress, at the UNBC bookstore.

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Friday November 6, 2015 in News
Scree is launched! Watch the video, see the photos

An audience of about 80 people assembled in Vancouver a week ago, on October 29, wine and cheese in hand, for the launch of Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1962—1991 by Fred Wah, which collects 13 out-of-print or rare books and chapbooks by this former Poet Laureate of Canada. The hardcover edition of Scree is now available ($49.95). The softcover edition will be available in Fall 2016.

Click on “Go to story…” to see photos, and watch the full-length footage of the evening below.

Wednesday November 4, 2015 in News
New arrival! Moss Park & Tough! by George F. Walker

Canada’s top playwright takes on teen pregnancy in two comic dramas for young people. Moss Park and Tough! collects two plays by George F. Walker – the iconic Tough!, which first premiered more than twenty years ago, and its sequel, Moss Park, which picks up two years after the first left off.

Bobby and Tina are the young, on-again-off-again couple dealing with their first pregnancy. Jill is Tina’s stalwart and fearsome friend. The three meet in a city park one evening to go over their options. (In fact, Moss Park is one of Toronto’s toughest inner-city neighbourhoods – historically working-class – and it’s where Walker himself grew up.) Both plays are funny and charming, but bitingly realistic and disarming. Both plays are about young people but for everyone. And both plays seethe with righteous anger about the gap between the wealthy and the poor.

Now, both plays are available in one volume for 19.95.

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Monday November 2, 2015 in News
Film screening: “Other Losses” by James Bacque in Kitchener, ON

Above: U.S. army prison camp at Sinzig-Remagen on the Rhine, which held around 200,000 prisoners at capacity, June 1945. Many thousands died there from dehydration, starvation, and exposure while the U.S. army refused to supply shelter and food, though it was readily available. Photo: U.S. Army Signal Corps (courtesy of James Bacque)

All are invited to the November 12 screening of the director’s cut of James Bacque’s new 60-minute documentary film, “Other Losses,” based on his Talonbook Other Losses, which provoked a world-wide reaction. More than 250,000 copies have been sold since the book was first published in 1989, Talon has just reprinted the second edition in 2015, and it has been translated into 13 languages.

The book and the film expose allied mistreatment of Germans after the end of World War II, in 1945; more than 9 million people died of enforced starvation in Germany. The film features gruesome archival footage and touching modern interviews with survivors. The eminent British historian Richard Overy, who publishes with Oxford University Press, calls the film “interesting and serious.” The screening will be held at the Alpine Club in Kitchener, Ontario at 7:00 PM on Thursday, November 12, 2015. Director and author James Bacque will be present to answer questions.

The video of Bacque’s 2013 lecture to Senior College at the University of Toronto is available on this website. Bacque also gave the Barton Lecture at his old high school, Upper Canada College, in 2013. Bacque’s related book, Dear Enemy, has been translated into German for publication by Kyffhaueser Verlag in 2016.

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Friday October 30, 2015 in News
bill bissett is a Chemical Brother

bill bissett, long-time member of the Canadian avant-garde and lunaria ex-pat, is on the new Chemical Brothers album! Born in the Echoes was released in July 2015, and its fifth track, “I’ll See You There,” features recordings by bill bissett from the late 1960s …

The future, I’ll see you there
The future, I’ll see you there
The future, I’ll see you there
The future, I’ll see you there

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Thursday November 26, 2015 in Meta-Talon

“One may reach the First Emperor upon the highway of the mind.”

Today on Meta-Talon, read excerpts from Jack Winter’s new novel, Tales of the Emperor.

Here, then, is my first advice. Collect tales! National ballads, political songs, odes of lamentation by the wearied and the slandered, festive hymns on fixed occasions, murderous anecdotes and tomes, imprecations, work cries, gossip, curses … Collect them, and command their collection, and prefer those by whom they are collected! Is it not by attending their tales that one locates the pulse of the people? …
Friday November 13, 2015 in Meta-Talon

Read the opening scene from Moss Park by George F. Walker

Canada’s top playwright takes on teen pregnancy in two comic dramas for young people. Moss Park and Tough! collects two plays by George F. Walker – the iconic Tough!, which first premiered more than twenty years ago, and its sequel, Moss Park, which picks up two years after the first left off. On Meta-Talon today, read part of the opening scene from Moss Park.

Thursday November 5, 2015 in Meta-Talon

Contours of Thinking Skin: Two Poems from Impeccable Regret by Judith Fitzgerald

Almost two decades since her last book of poetry, Judith Fitzgerald returns with the publication of Impeccable Regret, a collection that jostles the truth of experience, shaping intimate loss into a lucent beauty that expiates sorrow. In Impeccable Regret, language hurtles into itself, embodying a negative capability that revives the coupling of amor and mort. On Meta-Talon today, enjoy two poems from this collection.

Tuesday November 3, 2015 in Meta-Talon

“It’s called a hijab.” “Oh. Do you wear it all the time?” (A Scene from Jabber)

Like many outgoing young women, Fatima feels rebellious against parents she sees as strict. It just so happens that she is Egyptian-born and wears a hijab. When anti-Muslim graffiti appears on the walls of her school, Fatima transfers to a new school. The guidance counsellor there, Mr. E., does his best to help Fatima fit in, but despite his advice she starts an unlikely friendship with Jorah, who has a reputation for anger issues. Maybe, just maybe, Fatima and Jorah start to, like, like each other …

On Meta-Talon today, read part of the scene from Marcus Youssef’s Jabber in which Fatima and Jorah meet for the first time.


There are no specials at this time.

Current Catalogues

[image: Fall 2015 catalogue] [image: Talonbooks 2015-2016 First Nations catalogue]


Canada: A New Tax Haven cover
Canada: A New Tax Haven

Alain Deneault
Translated by Catherine Browne

Cerulean Blue

Drew Hayden Taylor


Rahat Kurd

Ebooks (Full List)


Impeccable Regret

Judith Fitzgerald
Introduction by Thomas Dilworth


Marcus Youssef

Moss Park and Tough!

George F. Walker

Peacock Blue [softcover]

Phyllis Webb
Edited by John F. Hulcoop

Prairie Harbour

Garry Thomas Morse

Rom Com

Dina Del Bucchia & Daniel Zomparelli


Fred Wah
Edited by Jeff Derksen
Introduction by Jeff Derksen


Chantal Bilodeau

Studies in Description cover
Studies in Description

Carl Peters

Tales of the Emperor

Jack Winter

The Divine

Michel Marc Bouchard
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

The United States of Wind

Daniel Canty
Translated by Oana Avasilichioaei

Writing the Okanagan

George Bowering

Copyright Talonbooks 1963-2015



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.

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