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News, Events, and Announcements

news | Monday February 22, 2021

Pink Shirt Day Is This Wednesday

This Wednesday, February 24 is Pink Shirt Day.

Pink Shirt Day raises awareness about bullying, and raises funds for anti-bullying initiatives.

We’re getting ready for Pink Shirt Day – are you?

news | Wednesday February 17, 2021

Impurity in Geist

An excerpt from Larry Tremblay’s Impurity, translated by Sheila Fischman, has been published in Geist!

“Something is choking him. He touches his face. It’s not his. The violent beating of his heart drives him out of bed. Then, all at once, it all comes back. He fell asleep with his wife’s herbal mask on his face. He showers. Greenish water runs off his face and disappears, swirling down the bathtub drain.”

Read more

news | Wednesday February 10, 2021

Good Thing: One Good Thing Has Arrived!

The most recent book from M.A.C. Farrant, who the Ottawa Citizen has called “One of the best humourists in the land,” has arrived!

One Good Thing is a charming collision of memoir with the living, exuberant, and vulnerable natural world. Written in sixty-four short epistolary chapters, Farrant’s latest offering represents a search for hope and appeasement in a rapidly changing and often perplexing society. One Good Thing is also an homage to gardening columnist extraordinaire Helen Chesnut of Victoria’s Times Colonist, each section of the book focusing and expanding on one of her gardening columns.

Using a familiar “Dear Helen” structure, almost every piece in One Good Thing intimately and playfully relates to the gardening article that gave rise to it while simultaneously ranging into myriad other topics, including the author’s creative practice, personal and familial details, and comic riffs on a number of close-to-the-heart themes. With a mindful persistence that’s often hilarious, the book strives to find personal “calm abidance” through the practice of gardening as mediated by the universal and personal practice of writing.

Pick up your copy of One Good Thing today!

news | Tuesday February 9, 2021

Painting Time Is Hot Off the Presses!

We are so pleased to welcome Painting Time, by Maylis de Kerengal and translated by Jessica Moore.

In 2007, Paula Karst begins her studies at the famous Institut de Peinture in Brussels. There she meets two friends, both enigmatic, resourceful, impulsive, and gifted. Together, the three weave a complex relationship that mirrors the interconnectedness of their artistic materials. Replicating the grain of wood, the wear of marble, or the protrusion on a tortoiseshell requires method, technique, talent … but also something else. Paula strives to understand what she’s painting, the “micro” that she is and the “macro” that she contemplates in art history. She chooses the painstaking demands of craftmanship over the abstraction of high art.

Paula’s apprenticeship is punctuated by hard work, sleepless nights, sore muscles, and saturnalian evenings. After completing her studies at the Institute, she continues to practise her art in Paris, in Moscow, and then in Italy at Cinécittà, on the sets of great films – dream factories! – as if rehearsing for the grand finale: Lascaux IV, a life-sized replica of the world’s most famous paleolithic cave art and a zenith of human cultural expression.

This exquisite and highly aesthetic coming-of-age novel by the author of Birth of a Bridge and Mend the Living uses a succession of trompe-l’oeil techniques to explore a young woman’s art apprenticeship. Maylis de Kerangal, expertly translated by Jessica Moore, offers the key to the enchanted materialism of her writing.

“Kerangal balances the gloriously sensuous with the deeply reflective in an exquisite and omniscient streaming narration … resplendently evocative and exhilarating.”

Pick up your copy of Painting Time today!

news | Thursday February 4, 2021

We're hiring!

Talonbooks is seeking an Ebooks and Production Editor for a four-day-a-week position. (There may be an opportunity to expand this role to five days.)

As an Ebooks and Production Editor, you’ll work closely with Talon’s editors and design team to produce and distribute ebooks, manage ONIX and Coresource records, solicit printer quotes, and shepherd the production of print books through the printing process. The position requires high attention to detail, strong verbal and written communication skills, and excellent time-management and administrative skills. It also requires the ability to complete self-directed, individual work as well as collaborate and contribute to the team effort.

Responsibilities include:

  • pre-press checks (quality assurance) of design files
  • liaising with printing plants (sourcing and adjusting print job estimates, checking and signing off on printers’ proofs)
  • overseeing all reprints through the press
  • typesetting, designing and coding ebooks
  • working with PDFs (preparing digital ARCs; optimizing texts for students with special accessibility needs; creating and distributing search-and-discovery/look-inside PDFs; etc.)
  • monitoring metadata and submitting data changes to distributors
  • working closely with the art director, editors, and publisher on all aspects of the publishing process
  • attending meetings as necessary, with Talon staff and/or authors
  • co-managing Talon’s archive of production files


  • 3+ years’ experience in ebook and print production
  • strong knowledge of Adobe InDesign, Adobe Acrobat, and Microsoft Office
  • strong knowledge of HTML, CSS, and EPUB coding and current standards
  • working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Google Drive, and QuarkXPress
  • design ability (layout, cover design) an asset

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (for the right candidate remote work may be possible)
Start date: Negotiable
Compensation: Negotiable

Interested candidates should submit a cover note and résumé/CV as soon as possible, care of Les Smith, at les@talonbooks.com. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, and we thank all applicants for their interest. Owing to time constraints, however, only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

news | Thursday January 7, 2021

In remembrance of Taran Kootenhayoo

Talonbooks is deeply saddened to hear of the recent death of Taran Kootenhayoo. This gifted young actor, playwright, and poet performed in several plays we’ve published, and more than once kindly gave us permission to include his image in our books. Taran was integral to Vancouver film and theatre and will truly be missed. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and to his communities.

Link to CBC Article
Link to fundraiser for Taran’s Family

news | Tuesday December 22, 2020

January 28 Zoom Launch!

We are very excited to be launching four wonderful new books, on Thursday, January 28, at 5:30 p.m. PT, via Zoom! Cecily Nicholson will introduce the following wonderful Talon authors:

Fred Wah reading from Music at the Heart of Thinking
Colin Browne reading from Here
Junie Desil reading from eat salt | gaze at the ocean
Taryn Hubbard reading from Desire Path

Thursday, January 28
5:30 p.m. PT
The reading is free, but you need to register in advance through Zoom.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the reading.

news | Monday December 21, 2020

Pause and Repeat: A Christmassy story from M.A.C. Farrant's The World Afloat

We’re happy to be sharing another Christmassy tale from M.A.C. Farrant this almost-Christmas! Talon’s offices will be closed from December 24th, reopening the morning of January 4th. Happy holidays, everyone!

We look forward to the comatose reverence that comes with Christmas.

The season begins in early November when time starts giving off a creaking sound. It’s going through its annual process of hardening. Our shoulders roll inward then and our heads collapse onto our chests as if in avoidance or prayer. Some of us make slow, grimacing smiles, stretching our mouths as wide as we can, repeating this motion several times, and then pausing.

During the lead-up to Christmas we no longer suffer from lost English reserve and everyone tries to be quiet. Once achieved, we bring our lips together and forward as though kissing a baby and flutter our eyelashes as fast as we can. This signals the arrival of the cart filled with tinsel. It’s drawn by Lula the Malamute wearing a hat of reindeer horns.

Her arrival completes the seasonal outline, the one that is meant to endure. And Jimmy in the red suit on the roof blowing his nose. 

From The World Afloat, 2014

news | Thursday December 17, 2020

Talonbooks Fall 2020 Launch!

We are having a zoom reading event on December 17th at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Mercedes Eng will read from my yt mama.

Margaret Christakos will read from charger.

Arleen Paré will read from Earle Street.

Laiwan will read from TENDER.

Gladys Maria Hindmarch will read from Wanting Everything.

Introductions by Cecily Nicholson. Hosted by Sean Cranbury.

Talonbooks Fall 2020 Launch
Thursday, December 17
at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/93994779836
Email kevin@talonbooks.com for the event password.

news | Monday December 7, 2020

We honour the passing of Talon founder David Robinson, January 5, 1947 to November 24, 2020

Covers of early Talonbooks books

David Robinson founded Talon alongside a few other fellow poets in 1963 while he was a high school student at University Hill Secondary School in Vancouver. At that time, it was a magazine run out of David’s parent’s garage. David published Talon’s first book, fireweed by Ken Belford, in 1967, while he was attending the University of British Columbia. David grew the Talonbooks press until 1984, when he left to join his wife Zonda Nellis at Zonda Nellis Design Inc.

While David published poetry, fiction, and drama at Talon, many will also remember him as a pioneer of Vancouver cookbook publishing, with his bestselling Susan Mendelson and Umberto Menghi titles.

Many of the books David published at Talon are still in print on the Talonbooks list. We remember him often, handling the books he published and admiring the design and savoir faire of an old catalogue.

Fifty-seven years after David initially founded Talon, we are very proud to continue the work he started, and hope this icon of Canadian publishing, Talonbooks, serves as memorial to David Robinson for many decades to come.

Read David’s obituary at dignitymemorial.com.

Featured Books

Asking For It
and What I Call Her
By Ellie Moon

224 pages | Drama


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Desire Path
By Taryn Hubbard

96 pages | Poetry

$16.95 | $16.95 | % off

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eat salt | gaze at the ocean
By Junie Désil

96 pages | Poetry

$17.95 | $17.95 | % off

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The Saddest Music in the World
By Elaine Ávila

112 pages | Drama


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By Colin Browne

208 pages | Poetry

$19.95 | $19.95 | % off

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Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer
A Trickster Land Claim Fable
By Kevin Loring

96 pages | Drama


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Music at the Heart of Thinking
Improvisations 1–170
By Fred Wah

272 pages | Poetry

$24.95 | $24.95 | % off

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One Good Thing
A Living Memoir
By M.A.C. Farrant

200 pages | Non-Fiction


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Painting Time
By Maylis de Kerangal
Translated by Jessica Moore

240 pages | Fiction


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By Anahita Jamali Rad

128 pages | Poetry


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Taking Measures
Selected Serial Poems
By George Bowering
Edited by Stephen Collis

656 pages | Poetry


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The Diary of Dukesang Wong
A Voice from Gold Mountain
By Dukesang Wong
Edited by David McIlwraith
Translated by Wanda Joy Hoe

144 pages | Non-Fiction


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Then Now
By Daphne Marlatt

112 pages | Poetry


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They Write Their Dream on the Rock Forever
Rock Writings in the Stein River Valley of British Columbia
By Annie York & Richard Daly & Chris Arnett

200 pages | Non-Fiction


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By Jordan Abel
Contributions by Kathleen Ritter & Tracy Stefanucci

240 pages | Poetry


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