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 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
Tuesday December 9, 2014 in Meta-Talon
Daniel Canty, author of Wigrum (2013) and Les États-unis du vent (_to be published in English by Talonbooks in 2015), is completing a six-month residency at the Studio du Québec, in London, England. In this series of dispatches, Canty shares his reflections on some of the city’s foggy history and the sometimes foggy process of writing. Here is his fourth letter.Thursday November 27, 2014 in Meta-Talon
By Daniel Canty
Today on Meta-Talon, read the third dispatch from author Daniel Canty, who is completing a six-month residency at the Studio du Québec in London, England. In this series, Canty shares his reflections on some of the city’s foggy history and the sometimes foggy process of writing.Tuesday November 25, 2014 in Meta-Talon
Between 1965 and 1974 members of the English Department of Sir George Williams University (SGWU, now Concordia University) in Montreal hosted a series of poetry readings, the recordings of which have now become accessible online. Today on Meta-Talon, listen to Phyllis Webb’s 1966 reading.
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.