Telephone: 604 444-4889
Outside Vancouver: 1 888 445-4176
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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
From 1988 until the end of 2016, Salt-Water Moon was in print with its original yellow cover, which featured now-outdated type design and a production still from one of the original productions of this sweet play. Now, as the play experiences something of a revival, and as the book goes into its eighth printing, we are pleased to show off the newly redesigned cover of Salt-Water Moon.Thursday February 2, 2017 in Meta-Talon
By Carl Peters
On Meta-Talon today, please enjoy the full text of the presentation given by Carl Peters, recently the author of Studies in Description, to an audience of about 100 attendees at the Modern Languages Association convention in Philadelphia, PA, on January 7, 2017.
Look, I realize that my abstract is more than an abstract but what follows is just a small part of what I could do. I’m going to talk around Hemingway’s greatest achievement, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” presenting my comments as a Cubist meditation on the Modern Condition (with reference to Duchamp and some others)…Thursday January 19, 2017 in Meta-Talon
Empire of the Son is the story of two generations of CBC broadcasters and the radio silence between them. It premiered in Vancouver in 2016 and was nominated for six Jessie Richardson Awards, and Tetsuro Shigematsu is currently touring Empire of the Son across Canada. Empire of the Son is also the first Talon book to be published in the Spring 2017 season – it’s now available! – and we invite you to read brief but tantalizing excerpts on Meta-Talon.Sunday January 1, 2017 in Meta-Talon
Happy (Gregorian) New Year! On this occasion, while you are perhaps nursing a hangover or traveling or making resolutions, please enjoy a very short story from M.A.C. Farrant’s book The Days: Forecasts, Warnings, Advice.
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.