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News, Events, and Announcements

news | Tuesday November 17, 2020

Fa la la la la la la literature!

Holiday banner featuring Cottagers & Indians, I Saw Three Ships, Kamloopa, and Orwell in Cuba

Talonbooks is having a Holiday Sale!

We’re offering 25% off all titles from November 17 to December 16.

So deck the halls with books & holly, give us some fiction pudding, and pick up some prezzies for your friends and loved ones!

Books make great gifts.

news | Tuesday November 10, 2020

Marking Remembrance Day with Iron Peggy

On Wednesday, November 11, 2020, we mark Remembrance Day.

This year, we at Talon would like to recognize the particular contribution of Indigenous soldiers to World War I by recommending Iron Peggy, written by award-winning, international Métis performer and playwright Marie Clements.

Iron Peggy was commissioned by the Vancouver International Children’s Festival and premiered at Vancouver’s Waterfront Theatre in 2019.

The story centres on Peg, who is struggling for survival at her boarding school. Three über-cool “it” girls take aim at Peg and make her life utterly miserable. Then, when her beloved Grandmother dies, she just wants to disappear.

But an unexpected gift arrives; inside it, Peg finds three cast-iron soldiers. In despair, she throws them against the floor. How can they help her? They are so small, and the girls’ shadow is so big. But, miraculously, the toys come to life as Indigenous snipers from World War I, just in time to wage an epic battle against the girls.

A powerful play that will appeal to audiences both young and old, Iron Peggy uses a creative and ever-surprising blend of voices and sceneries to tell this moving story. With 2018 marking the 100th-year anniversary of WWI, Iron Peggy is an excellent introduction to its history and a touching testimony that not only celebrates the First Nation participation in the war effort but also a young girl’s personal victory.

news | Monday November 9, 2020

Kuroko has arrived!

Cover of Kuroko.

From Governor General’s Award Finalist Tetsuro Shigematsu, author of the award-winning plays Empire of the Son and 1 Hour Photo, comes Kuroko, a story about a family worlds apart, separated by pain, alone and unsure of the way back home.

Maya is a hikikomori, an extreme recluse who hasn’t left her bedroom in five years, spending all her time in virtual reality. Her father hires an actor from a “family rental agency” to befriend her online and entice her back into reality. How? By venturing to the scariest place on earth: Aokigahara, a.k.a. Suicide Forest.

Asking what might happen if we stop running from the phantoms that haunt us and return their gaze, Kuroko is a story about finding something real in the places we least expect it, of building bridges where healing seems impossible, and saving others as a way of saving ourselves.

Pick up your copy of Kuroko today!

news | Thursday November 5, 2020

Excerpt from Orwell in Cuba up at the Walrus

The Walrus has excerpted Orwell in Cuba: How 1984 Came to Be Published in Castro’s Twilight, by Frédérick Lavoie and translated by Donald Winkler.

In the French, Orwell in Cuba won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction.

Read the excerpt from this award-winning book today.

news | Friday October 23, 2020

PoemTalk discusses Daphne’s poem “Arriving”

Daphne Marlatt, Fred Wah, and Meredith Quartermain join Al Filreis at Lucy Oh and Dick Cook’s residence in Vancouver, BC to discuss Daphne’s poem “Arriving,” which is published in Intertidal: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1968–2008.

From jacket2.org : “Arriving” was [originally] published in 1981 in the book titled Here & There. It seems to have been written during – and in any case is about – a summertime gathering of artist friends and others in the Kootenays in July 1980. Here & There is dedicated to “my fellow swimmers.” And “Arriving,” the first poem in the group, bears a dedication reading “for Fred & Pauline,” and they would be Fred Wah and Pauline Butling, her hosts those summers – both present at Lucy and Richard’s home. The poem records Daphne’s nine-and-half-hour journey from the city of Vancouver to that remote haven in a steep mountain valley, and in its lines we sense a body in motion, the rushing occurrence of the environment, an “ambushing” of the natural, and a sense of being seemingly always on the way, or a towardness.

news | Saturday October 17, 2020

Oana Avasilichioaei’s Eight Track is a finalist for the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry!

We are so pleased to announce that Oana Avasilichioaei’s Eight Track is a finalist for the A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry.

Of Eight Track, the jury writes: “Conceptually provocative, this work works across the possibilities of genre… Often declarative and collective, it does not set out to narrate events but to disrupt or reinterpret narrative so as to represent the dislocation of a central self. It evokes and interrogates in fragments, as echo, so that the disarray is the array – an aural tracing, provocative in thought and sensation using gesture of interrogation, declaration, visual arrangement.”

Congratulations, Oana!

Pick up your copy of Eight Track today!

news | Thursday October 15, 2020

Carmen Aguirre shortlisted for the Siminovitch Prize

Siminovitch Prize awards.

Talon author Carmen Aguirre has been shortlisted for the prestigious Siminovitch Prize.

Carmen’s most recent book with Talon is Chile Con Carne and Other Early Works, which gathers together, as the title suggests, early-career, groundbreaking plays: Chile Con Carne, ?QUE PASA with LA RAZA, eh?, and In a Land Called I Don’t Remember.

Forthcoming in Spring 2021 is Anywhere But Here, which the the Georgia Straight called “a time-defying meditation on essential journeys of the heart.”

Congratulations, Carmen!

news | Monday September 28, 2020

The paperback of Taking Measures is now available!

We are pleased to announce that Taking Measures is now available in paperback!

The first-ever collection of the major serial poems by Canada’s inaugural Parliamentory Poet Laureate, George Bowering, Taking Measures includes work from each of the last six decades, beginning with Bowering’s engagement with process-based long poems in the 1960s and 1970s and moving through his continued exploration of the form in recent decades. Containing well-known Bowering texts, including Allophanes, Autobiology, Delayed Mercy, Genève, and Kerrisdale Elegies, as well as Baseball, At War with the U.S., Irritable Reaching, Smoking Mirror, Do Sink, His Life, and Los Pájanos de Tenacatita, Taking Measures offers a new and revealing look at this acclaimed and prolific author’s poetic development and contribution to Canadian writing.

The serial poem is a hybrid genre, stitching short lyrics together into sequential, long (typically book-length) poems; Bowering’s innovative use of the form, always rooted in an engagement with place, with language, and with the intertwining of the two, shows him at his experimental and irreverent best, his trademark playful seriousness extended and expanded, producing poetry that remains compelling, complex, and exciting decades after its composition. Edited by the award-winning poet Stephen Collis, Taking Measures offers a career-spanning and revelatory sample of one of Canada’s best-known and most versatile writers.

Pick up your copy of Taking Measures today!

news | Friday September 25, 2020

eat salt | gaze at the ocean has arrived!

We are so pleased to welcome eat salt | gaze at the ocean by Junie Désil!

eat salt | gaze at the ocean explores the themes of Black sovereignty, Haitian sovereignty, and Black lives, using the original Haitian zombie as a metaphor for the condition and treatment of Black bodies. Interspersed with textual representations of zombies, Haitian society, and historical policies is the author’s personal narrative of growing up Black and Haitian of immigrant parents on stolen Indigenous Lands. Désil’s aesthetics uses a variety of documents – fictions, newspaper articles, dictionaries, judicial papers – to tease out, exploit, and dismantle the semantics of the zombie. The expression that lends its words and rhythm to the book’s title refers to the reputed “cure” for reversing the process of zombification.

Junie Désil is of Haitian ancestry. Born of immigrant parents on the Traditional Territories of the Kanien’kehá꞉ka on the island known as Tiohtià꞉ke (Montréal), raised in Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg). This is her début book.

Pick up your copy of eat salt | gaze at the ocean today!

news | Wednesday September 23, 2020

The Diary of Dukesang Wong has arrived!

We are so pleased to welcome The Diary of Dukesang Wong, by Dukesang Wong, translated by Wanda Joy Hoe, and edited and with commentary by David McIlwraith!

The Diary of Dukesang Wong restores a lost central voice to a foundational episode in Canadian history – one that changes our understanding of the history it recounts. Dukesang Wong’s remarkable diary tells of the appalling conditions, the punishing work, the camaraderie, the sickness and starvation, the encounters with Indigenous Peoples, and the shameful history of racism and exploitation he and his fellow Chinese workers endured while constructing the treacherous British Columbia section of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The Diary of Dukesang Wong also places this segment of Canadian history into context, as one part of Wong’s gradual, painful establishment of a new life in a new land. His diary traces the unfolding of that remarkable life, from his early years in an unstable China, to his decision to emigrate to “the Land of the Gold Mountains,” to becoming a tailor in New Westminster, and finally to the joys of family life. As Judy Fong Bates writes in her introduction, “His diaries give him back his humanity and his individuality … It is a heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful, voice that reaches out beyond the century.”

Pick up your copy of The Diary of Dukesang Wong today!

news | Wednesday September 23, 2020

Desire Path has arrived!

Cover of Desire Path.

We are so pleased to welcome Taryn Hubbard’s Desire Path!

Desire Path, Hubbard’s debut poetry collection, grows from the impulse to explore home in the suburb – in the intersections, overlaps, and gaps between urban and rural. In growing suburbs across the country, there is a push to urbanize, to rethink this sprawling space; urban renewal is foreshadowed all over contemporary suburbs, where vacant, single-family lots herald anticipation of redevelopment into something more, something better, something healthier. But before that happens, what do we make of the space as it sits, just as it is? What monuments anchor the suburb now?

Order your copy of Desire Path today!

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