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News, Events, and Announcements

news | Tuesday May 10, 2022

Hot Off The Press

New at Talonbooks is Unfuckable Lardass, the sixth and latest title from Catriona Strang. This poetry collection is lively, wonderfully recalcitrant, and leveled against patriarchy.

Musical and feminist, Unfuckable Lardass shapeshifts. Whether it’s using brevity like a boxing glove, borrowing floral language from gardening books, defining types of tears, or weaving incantatory spells against oppressive and imposed limitations, the voice in this collection sings. From “Lake Lac”:

“I grew it
I tended
it I harvested
dried and
stored it
I knocked
it over and
smashed
it”

Rebellious and attentive, Unfuckable Lardass is a call to personal power and agency, even when exhausted, doubtful, pain-ridden, and marginalized. From “The Amalgam”, part 12 of the titular poem “Unfuckable Lardass”:

“I am contending factions. Even in times of great
dispute and intense social trauma, an amalgam
of functions does not represent…

I become over-mapped. It’s my tradition to pick
it till it bleeds.”

Unfuckable Lardass is an homage to the overlooked labours and ways of being that patriarchy doesn’t glorify. Catriona Strang refuses the objectifying gaze and ushers us towards embodying our whole selves, anger and all. To this end, Unfuckable Lardass culminates in a collective poem, each line stated like fact, the contributing authors’ voices cast together in protest.

We can’t wait for you to revel in this wry and unshakable collection. Grab your copy here.

news | Tuesday May 10, 2022

New at Talonbooks

Hot off the presses comes Un, the inaugural poetry collection of longtime activist, writer, and community organizer Ivan Drury. Un is a cry against imperialist violence past and present. From Afghanistan to Iraq, Cuba to Congo, suburban neighbourhoods to blacksites, Un challenges conventional Western narratives of global events, shining light on injustice and the individuals disappeared in empires’ pursuits of their own political interests.

Ivan Drury explores global power dynamics, powerfully juxtaposing scenes from sites of stability to sites of conflict. From “Enter the Municipality of Blacksite (A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone)”:

“the mayoral candidates
all wear “Homes Now!” buttons
all engage earnestly
on the side of the debate
to ban plastic shopping bags…

where I grew up
families fell normally apart.”

Deeply sensory, Drury employs the auditory to underscore the unsettling sensation of violence becoming quotidian. From “Noise and the Stacking”:

“vehicle noise
refrigerator noise
machine noise
the noise of streetlights…

overhead

an F16

and on the baby monitor:
he’s crying something’s woken him”

The theme of having been undone, unmade, and rewritten is sown throughout the pages of this collection. Drury pulls from sources such as the U.S. Armed Forces Survival Manual, The New York Times, and Al Jazeera to contextualize and recontextualize impersonal and dehumanizing narratives.

Un is a big-voiced collection that asks us how we might forge a more humane and just future. Pick up your copy here.

news | Friday May 6, 2022

New Title Arrival

New from Jónína Kirton comes Standing In a River of Time. Part poetry collection part memoir, Standing In a River of Time chronicles the effects of colonization on a Métis family, the violence of patriarchy on the narrator and the women of her family, and the inextricable link between the two.

From “Erasure”:

“my great-great-great grandfather’s
census records go from
Native, Catholic, 1 married man”
to ‘Catholic, 1 married man’
his Métis wife unnamed”

Kirton intercuts sections of prose and lyric poetry to create the effect of watching, then reflecting on, a moment from the speaker’s past. From “Beside a Well: Walking with Women”:

“I had watched my mother wait on my father, ironing his clothes, warming the car up for him, making sure dinner was on the table at the time he designated. I did not see these things as acts of love, but rather as subservience, and I was allergic to subservience.”

A resolute exploration of intersectionality, Standing In a River of Time examines what can and cannot be effaced; which forces of history linger. Spirited, vulnerable, and achingly tender, Kirton journeys through memory to illuminate the many ways one can scrap, barrier by barrier, towards the ever-moving goalpost of healing.

We are so excited for you to wade into Jónína Kirton’s Standing In a River of Time. Pick up your copy here.

news | Friday May 6, 2022

Hot Off The Press

Fresh off the press comes its th sailors life / still in treetment from legendary poet bill bissett. In this latest collection, bissett deepens his tradition of experimenting with form and sound. In addition to playing with the spatial and the sonic, its th sailors life / still in treetment features over forty illustrations from the author, opening a complementary extralinguistic channel of communication with readers.

bissett’s poems are both timeless and timely. Happy to compromise the conventions of grammar but never compromising on feeling, bissett explores grief, love, and loss in his inimitable style, reshaping language anew.

its th sailors life / still in treetment is abundant with bissett’s trademark brand of charming, blunt observation and humor. From “did i evr tell yu abt th time i swam with a vampire”:

“say what
yu want i realize
life is xcellent not
peopuls behavyurs
uv kours not alwayze
but life itself is xcellent”

We can’t wait for you to dive in to this weird, whimsical world of bissett. Pick up your copy here.

news | Tuesday March 15, 2022

Cover Art Creates a Hummingbird Highway

We recently put up the cover artwork for annie ross’s Pots and Other Living Beings in our editorial office.

Almost immediately, its brilliant red blanket began to attract hummingbirds. We soon put up a little feeder, and since then Talonbooks has enjoyed a near-constant stream of hummingbirds. We’re on the hummingbird highway!

via GIPHY

Keep your eye out for annie ross’s forthcoming book of poetry, Some People Fall in the Lodge and Then Eat Berries All Winter. Who knows what animal visits it will prompt?

news | Tuesday March 8, 2022

International Women's Day

Happy International Women’s Day from Talonbooks! Over the years we have cultivated countless titles by incredible women writers. Check out this list of our women authors who we’ve published in the last few years.

Searching for Sam by Sophie Bienvenu and translated by Rhonda Mullins.

Wanting Everything: The Collected Works by Gladys Hindmarch and edited by both Deanna Fong and Karis Shearer.

my yt mama by Mercedes Eng.

charger by Margaret Christakos.

Earle Street by Arleen Paré.

TENDER by Laiwan.

Iron Peggy by Marie Clements.

Mégantic: A Deadly Mix of Oil, Race, and Avarice by Anne-Marie Saint-Cerny and translated by W. Donald Wilson.

Desire Path by Taryn Hubbard.

eat salt | gaze at the ocean by Junie Désil.

Asking For It and What I Call Her by Ellie Moon.

One Good Thing: A Living Memoir by M.A.C. Farrant.

Painting Time by Maylis de Kerangal and translated by Jessica Moore.

One and Half of You by Leanne Dunic.

Then Now by Daphne Marlatt.

Fado: The Saddest Music in the World by Elaine Ávila.

Anywhere but Here by Carmen Aguirre.

The City That Is Leaving Forever by Rahat Kurd and Sumayya Syed.

OЯACULE by Nicole Raziya Fong.

A Future Perfect by Razielle Aigen.

Standing in a River of Time by Jónína Kirton.

Unfuckable Lardass by Catriona Strang.

Still • Falling and The Code: Two Plays for Teens by Rachel Aberle.

The Piano Teacher: A Healing Key by Dorothy Dittrich.

These are only a few of our talented female writers. We’re so proud of you all!

news | Monday March 7, 2022

In Memoriam Brian Fawcett

In memoriam Brian Fawcett
May 13, 1944 – February 27, 2022

Brian Fawcett was a prize-winning poet, critical thinker, and cultural analyst whose writing and publishing activities were as broad as his intellectual inquiries. He published over twenty books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, four of them with Talonbooks: My Career with the Leafs & Other Stories (1982), Capital Tales (1984), The Secret Journal of Alexander Mackenzie (1985), and Cambodia: A Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow (1986). Cambodia received widespread recognition and remains an influential title. He leaves behind his partner, Fran Piccaluga, and children Jesse, Hartlea, and Max. Talonbooks extends our condolences to them and to all his family and friends. We picture Brian sitting with a good book and an even better glass of wine thinking about his last at bat.

news | Sunday March 6, 2022

The Scales Project: Conversation 67 – Plastic Parts to Help with Life by M.A.C. Farrant

The Scales Project is a conversation amongst artists about the ecological collapse of our world and our place within it. Talon writer M.A.C. Farrant joins the dialogue with her “Plastic Parts to Help with Life.”

news | Thursday February 24, 2022

Recently Arrived in Office

Look what arrived at our office! Twists of Fate: If by Chance & Destination Paradise by Michel Tremblay and translated by Linda Gaboriau. This is the combined sixth and seventh novels of the critically acclaimed Desrosiers Diaspora series.

In If by Chance, the great Ti-Lou, the famous She-Wolf of Ottawa, returns to Montréal after a fruitful career in the royal suite at the Château Laurier, where she welcomed diplomats, men of the world, politicians, and ministers of worship. But in 1925 she packs up and sneaks off, her suitcases replete with savings. When she arrives at Windsor station, five possible fates await her, each with their share of risks and opportunities, of good and less good fortune. But in each of these lives, Ti-Lou will have to deal with more than mere chance; waiting for her at the crossroads are the blade of loneliness and, worse still, the fear of allowing herself to be loved.

In Destination Paradise, set in 1930, we enter the Paradise Club, one of the few places that caters to “confirmed bachelors,” where Édouard makes his entry into the “big world.” Precocious despite his young age, he is carried away by his double, La Duchesse de Langeais, whose story he has just read in Balzac’s eponymous novel. Of course we already know that Édouard will become the undisputed queen of the Montréal drag scene, but we knew less about Édouard’s beginning in life, the childhood of his stage character: Destination Paradise tenderly narrates Édouard’s rite of passage.

We’re so excited for you to read this latest title by Michel Tremblay. Pick up your copy here.

news | Monday February 14, 2022

Happy Valentine's Day

Author photo of Junie Désil.

For this year’s love day, Vancouver’s poet laureate, Fiona Tinwei Lam, curated three poems for the Tyee by local Black writers, including our very own Junie Désil. Désil uses a quote by Dr. Cornel West to inspire her poem: “Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” Click here to read Désil’s “Love (An Imperfect Sestina)” as well as the two other poems by Tolu Oloruntoba and Chantal Gibson. Happy Valentine’s Day from Talonbooks!

Featured Books

Inheritance
a pick-the-path experience
By Daniel Arnold & Darrell Dennis & Medina Hahn

256 pages | Drama

$19.95

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its th sailors life / still in treetment
meditaysyuns from gold mountain
By bill bissett

290 pages | Poetry

$24.95

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Moving the Centre
Two Plays: Small Axe & Freedom Singer
By Andrew Kushnir & Khari Wendell McClelland

160 pages | Drama

$16.95

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Still • Falling and The Code
Two Plays for Teens
By Rachel Aberle

160 pages | Drama

$18.95

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The Piano Teacher
A Healing Key
By Dorothy Dittrich

96 pages | Drama

$16.95

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Twists of Fate
If by Chance & Destination Paradise
By Michel Tremblay
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

272 pages | Fiction

$19.95

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Un
By Ivan Drury

128 pages | Poetry

$16.95

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Untimely Passages
Dossiers from the Other Shore
By Jerry Zaslove

576 pages | Non-Fiction

$29.95

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