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 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
One year ago today, poet Judith Fitzgerald passed away. Her last collection, Impeccable Regret, had been published just weeks before her death. Recently Canada and the world lost another literary and musical luminary, Leonard Cohen. Cohen and Fitzgerald had a friendship of many years and occasionally collaborated. On Meta-Talon, enjoy two poems from Impeccable Regret collection, in fond remembrance of both Cohen and Fitzgerald.Thursday November 17, 2016 in Meta-Talon
Annabel Soutar’s latest documentary play, The Watershed, follows an artist and her family in the struggle to chart a sustainable course between economic prosperity and environmental stewardship. The Watershed is now on stage at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal and just finished a run at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, and the play was published by Talonbooks earlier this year. Today on Meta-Talon, read a scene from The Watershed.Thursday September 22, 2016 in Meta-Talon
A delight to read, U Girl is the meta-fictional, feminist story of Frances Nelson, a first-year university student who wants to write a novel. This nostalgic novel is set in Vancouver in the early 1970s, but its characters and conflicts ring just as true today.
One of the most memorable – and perhaps character-defining – scenes of the novel takes place in Chapter 6, when Frances attends a poetry reading with her friend Dagmar, who will be reading (for the first time). Read the scene on Meta-Talon today.Thursday September 8, 2016 in Meta-Talon
It’s back-to-school time! For some, a happy haze of nostalgia sets in. For others, the supplies are bought and the outfits arranged in honour of that first week: you can be a new you. Maybe this year.
In honour of the back-to-school season, we’ve gathered a list of our favourite school-related Talonbooks. As though your fall reading list isn’t long enough already.
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.