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Colin Browne is the author of Abraham (Brick Books, 1987); the critically acclaimed collection of poetry Ground Water (Talonbooks, 2002), which was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award and a Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; and The Shovel (Talonbooks, 2007), shortlisted for the 2008 ReLit Award. He was an editor of Writing magazine and co-founder of the Kootenay School of Writing, the Praxis
Centre for Screenwriters and the Art of Documentary workshops.
Browne’s films include Linton Garner: I Never Said Goodbye (2003), Father and Son (1992) and White Lake (1989), which was nominated for a Genie for Best Feature Length Documentary. He is currently working on texts for new operas. His recent work explores the history and legacy of the Surrealist fascination with the art of the Northwest Coast and Alaska, and includes the essay “Scavengers of Paradise.” Browne has recently retired from teaching production, screenwriting, and film history at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.
December 2017 : Daphne Marlatt’s collected earlier poems have come ashore
November 2017 : Here’s to fifty more years of Talonbooks!
March 2017 : Thank you, poetry lovers of the eastern US!
March 2017 : All-Star Talon poets on tour in the eastern U.S.
January 2017 : Enter Time with Colin Browne and Charles Edenshaw
July 2016 : Fall 2016 previews!
January 2016 : Best of 2015
November 2015 : Scree is launched! Watch the video, see the photos
September 2015 : Book tour! This fall, George Bowering will bring the Okanagan to you
January 2015 : Announcement: New Books for Spring 2015!
September 2013 : Tens of Thousands Participate in Vancouver Reconciliation Walk
BOOK AWARDSThe Properties
Finalist for the 2013 Ethel Wilson Poetry Prize
BOOK AWARDSThe Shovel
Finalist for the 2008 ReLit Award for Poetry
BOOK AWARDSGround Water
Finalist for the 2002 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry
Finalist for the 2003 BC Book Prize: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize”
QUOTES OF NOTEEntering Time
“[Browne] is to be congratulated on treating Edenshaw’s work not as a separate ‘ethnographic’ art but as modernist hybrid work that mirrored what was going on in the Haida world in late nineteenth and early twentieth century B.C. Browne’s detailed discussion of Charles Edenshaw’s platters – and the political, social, and economic environment in which that creation took place – is informed by his dependence on the knowledge and insight of contemporary Haida scholars and artists and also by his extensive reference to academic discussion. … A delight to read and an accessible and lively introduction to the twists and turns of Haida mythology.”
—The Ormsby Review
“Colin Browne’s closely argued and sensitive appreciation of some of the major works of Haida artist Da.a Xiigang, who is also known by his baptismal name of Charles Edenshaw, benefits in some ways from a strong political perspective … Browne has further burnished Edenshaw’s reputation as a leading First Nations artist and taken pains to show how Edenshaw inspired whole generations of Haida artists who followed him. … [W]e should welcome Colin Browne’s sensitive evocation of Haida mythology and its expression in their artwork of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries…”
“Colin Browne provides a thoughtful, provocative analysis of Charles Edenshaw’s depictions of Raven’s journey to help fulfill women, and in doing so, contemplates humanity’s existence.”—Gid7ahl-Gudsllaay, Lalaxaaygans, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson
“Entering Time explores family, crucial episodes in the development of art, the brutalities of colonial history, the origins of gender, and the creative cunning of Raven. Colin Browne finds in Fungus Man the spirit of resistance. This was vital to the Haida; nothing could now be more important to all of us.”—Hugh Brody, author of Maps and Dream
“With a passion that is contagious, Colin Browne leads readers across the realms of epic poem, oral narrative, science, art, and detective story as he pursues Raven and his helmsman – the mysterious Fungus Man – on an enthralling journey into time and history.”—Karen Duffek, co-author of The Transforming Image”
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Hatch
“It is time that the film-maker/poet Colin Browne from BC got celebrated for the work he has done through four books now, all published by Talonbooks: Ground Water (2002), The Shovel (2007), The Properties (2012), and this latest one, The Hatch. … Browne’s eclectic and wide-ranging ear invites company, conversations … exhilarating. … This poet can apparently do anything … The diversity and dexterity are dazzling, the images stick, the phrasing causes slaps or shivers. … If you haven’t read Colin Browne, I urge you to.”
– The Bull Calf
"a composition “utilizing history, personal information, mythology, narrative fragments and collage, and a respect for and repeated homages towards forebears, whether personal or literary, as well as a deep awareness of their natural environment … there is as much heart as documentary here.”
– rob mclennan’s blog
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Properties
"Colin Browne’s books can delight you in all ways. He is erudite and he is a slangster. Again in this big new volume we happily find an alarming cohabitation of learnedness and tomfoolery. He will quote from Plato and Frank Loesser on the same page. And there is so much there … Reading silently anywhere in the book, you can feel the words on your lips, he is so attentive to them. And once you sink into reading you know that you could be here forevermore."
"From rhythm sticks of phrases and words, cross-cultural as well as deeply familial, Colin Browne musics together a powerful series of poems, a mnemonic for ‘lighting up the routes between worlds.’ Recurrent war thrums in the ‘lyre’ strings of the local, even in the cables of Vancouver’s soaring bridge. These poems light up like accurate stars the “dark bight” we constantly ‘skiff’ across. The Properties is a major work from a poet writing at the peak of both outrage and love."
"In their wide-ranging, restless yet nevertheless focused reach, Colin Browne’s poems are packed with the unexpected detail only an alert mind can record, and in their refusal to explain themselves exhilarate the reader to connect, in his or her own surprised wonder, the seen with the unseen, the familiar with the strange; generating that invisible world always behind and in words. ‘Here there’s only now,’ says one poem, ‘beyond knowing.’ There’s a pedagogy here, and celebration—love, delight and thought their properties."
"An environment of modulations, of feelings that don’t reveal themselves as nameable, sellable. Not aesthetic properties. Nothing redeeming in the destruction of cities. Not more musical to bomb an opera house than to bomb a factory. Hence: Stravinsky, Igor. Each tonal anchor only a pretext to swim into another key. Hence: Strauss, Richard. Such terrible accidents. Intersections not revelations. So much out, everything in. Crossings not consummations. What music exactly envies. Erudition
without knowingness, quality of always. Always of something discovered not told."
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Shovel
“The skill and intense ardor of the mind at work … is delightful.”
“The epic sweep of pieces is impressive, at times rapturous. They are worth digging for.”
—Quill & Quire
"The Shovel is a major work, confirmation of Colin Browne’s exacting artistry, his ability to bring such a wide range of materials into a single, epic (in the sense that Pound gave to that term), and devastatingly concentrated unity of purpose. One of those necessary books, it earns and deserves our closest attention.”
QUOTES OF NOTEGround Water
"Browne fosters in Ground Water not only polyvocality but a ranging polyformality of spacious collage, tight lists, knotted rambunctious densities of word and sentence, sonic wordplay, narrative and lyric." — Publishers Weekly
"You are different after you have read this book." — The Georgia Straight
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.