Telephone: 604 444-4889
Outside Vancouver: 1 888 445-4176
Fax: 604 444-4119
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 close to 500 titles that 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 (Sticks & Stones) of Canada’s first Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Bowering, 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
By Karl Siegler
April 10, 1941–June 25, 2015
Within our generation, one person deserves to be immortalized as a tireless, articulate and unwavering champion of liberty, equality and fraternity; a beacon anchored against the always seductively raging deep of the politically correct: Jamie Reid.Thursday July 2, 2015 in Meta-Talon
Wow, the new Pacific Poetries issue of The Capilano Review is a Talon showcase!Thursday June 25, 2015 in Meta-Talon
… Sometimes it is theatre’s inconsequence, its lousy pay, it’s marginality, its invisibility, it’s loserishness, that – kind of paradoxically – makes it a winner. Because when there’s not much money at stake, that’s when you you’re allowed to speak from your heart. To take risks.
Because the margins are where you can get away with saying and doing things that are forbidden in the centre. …Tuesday June 23, 2015 in Meta-Talon
Published this week on Bookanista was a high-flying, beam-balancing, river-straddling review of Jessica Moore’s translation of Birth of a Bridge, a riveting novel by Maylis de Kerangal. Reviewer Mika Provata-Carlone calls it “a strikingly original contemporary myth and a thrilling investigation of post-modernity.” Read highlights from this review on Meta-Talon, or read the full review online – but beware, it includes spoilers!
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.