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
Drew Hayden Taylor
Playwright and humourist Drew Hayden Taylor has published, in this week’s issue of NOW magazine, a defense of his new children’s play (“Spirit Horse”) and an exploration of the political and social correctness or incorrectness of using racial epithets. Today on Meta-Talon, a few brief extracts from an article well worth reading.Tuesday May 12, 2015 in Meta-Talon
The Keeper’s Daughter is a new novel by French-Canadian first-time author Jean-François Caron, now translated into English by W. Donald Wilson for Talonbooks.
Structured as a series of short cinematic “takes,” this novel about recovering both personal and shared histories is told in a polyphony of voices. Châtelaine called it a “sheer joy to read,” and we think you’ll agree – which is why we’ve published an excerpt from the book on Meta-Talon today. Dip into The Keeper’s Daughter: Rose and the Archipelago of Shifting Memories; the water’s warm!Thursday May 7, 2015 in Meta-Talon
In today’s Meta-Talon installment, Sandra Huber and Garry Thomas Morse discuss their recent works, Assembling the Morrow and Minor Expectations (respectively) – as well as the intertexts and writing processes involved – in a conversation that touches on dreams, metonymy, “sleeping through history,” Ada Lovelace, Guy Maddin, and film, among other delights . . .Thursday April 30, 2015 in Meta-Talon
Celebrate the last day of National Poetry Month with us! In case you missed anything this past month, we’ve gathered on Meta-Talon all the good stuff from National Poetry Month 2015 – poems, reviews, photos from events, poetic advice for your love life, and podcasts.
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.