Telephone: 604 444-4889
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To publish work of the highest literary merit by world class authors from the mainstream and the margins of Canada’s three founding nations, as well as from both visible and invisible minorities within Canada’s cultural mosaic, and to work with all of our authors to build their national and international literary careers throughout their active writing lives.
We have more than 500 titles in print, which have received well over 300 awards. We have built and continue to keep in print one of the finest and most diverse literary lists in Canada.
Role in Canadian Publishing
Talon’s dedication to the publication of over four decades of excellent Canadian literary work, created through an unbroken line of internal mentorship and succession of ownership in the company, has earned our publishing house the privilege of being one of the pre-eminent independent Anglophone literary presses in Canada. We are the only one of the pioneering “first generation” of Canadian literary publishers of the 1960s to have consistently maintained our success and independence over the past 45 years. We are Canada’s largest independent publisher of drama; do more translations from Québec than anyone else; and publish more Native voices than any other Canadian publisher with the exception of First Nations publisher Theytus Books.
Talon was first established as a poetry magazine with an editorial collective based at Magee High School in Vancouver in 1963, which moved to UBC in 1965. By 1967, the magazine had published so many young writers, Talon decided to become a book publisher for its authors.
Starting out with poetry, including the first books of Canada’s first Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Bowering (Sticks & Stones), and Ken Belford’s Post Electric Cave Man respectively; the press diversified into drama with Beverley Simons’ Crabdance, George Ryga’s The Ecstasy of Rita Joe and James Reaney’s Colours in the Dark in 1969; into fiction with Jane Rule’s Desert of the Heart and Audrey Thomas’ Songs My Mother Taught Me in 1973; into Québec literature in translation with Robert Gurik’s The Trial of Jean Baptiste M. and Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles Soeurs in 1975; and into non-fiction with the collected works of ethnographer Charles Hill-Tout, The Salish People, Volumes I-IV, in 1979.
In the early 1980s, the press experimented with publishing highly successful commercial titles. However, we found that these not only took too much time away from our new literary work but also threatened, by putting at too great a risk, the company’s solid literary backlist. For these reasons, the press returned to its original, exclusively literary mandate in 1985.
Over the past decade, Talon has diversified its literary non-fiction list to include works on global flash-points in the Middle East and the Balkans, and on Canadian issues and politics.
Talon is a member of the following organizations:
The Literary Press Group
The Association of Book Publishers of B.C.
Canadian Booksellers Association
The Canadian Conference of the Arts
The Association of Canadian Publishers
The Puritan magazine has published an intriguing interview by Erín Moure with Talon poet Oana Avasilichioaei, author of Limbinal, which was published this past spring. Read the full interview online in Issue 30 of The Puritan.Thursday September 24, 2015 in Meta-Talon
In advance of the publication of their co-authored collection of poetry, Rom Com, Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli provide lexy, sexy responses to a variety of questions related to life and love on their tumblr, Ask Dina and Daniel. On Meta-Talon, read just one tantalizing sample.Thursday September 17, 2015 in Meta-Talon
In a series of eight plays that have together come to be called The Arctic Cycle, playwright Chantal Bilodeau explores the effects of climate change on the eight countries in the Arctic Circle. The cycle of plays begins in northern Canada with Sila, which will be published this fall.
In anticipation of the publication of Sila, we asked: what does “sila” mean? And why is it the right title for this play?
English-Inuktitut translator Janet Tamalik McGrath has provided the answers. She shared with us an article she co-wrote recently with other Canadian scholars which explains the significance of the term and poses questions about the nature of climate change discourse in Canada – a purpose shared by the play Sila.Thursday September 3, 2015 in Meta-Talon
“The Kropotkin Poems” is a book or sequence of poems about the Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin that the Canadian poet Phyllis Webb did not write; they exist only as a 1967 grant proposal and several fragmentary poems (some titled “Poems of Failure”) that lie in the long gap between Webb’s 1965 Naked Poems and 1980’s Wilson’s Bowl.
In this blog by poet and professor Stephen Collis, read about a recent meeting of the minds: himself and Webb, discussing Kropotkin and poetry.
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.