Drew Hayden Taylor’s Cottagers and Indians is the first of our Spring 2019 books to arrive in-office!
In Cottagers and Indians, an Anishnawbe man, Arthur Copper, decides to repopulate the lakes of his home Territory with manoomin, or wild rice – much to the disapproval of the local non-Indigenous cottagers, in particular the formidable Maureen Poole. Based on real-life events in Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes region, Cottagers and Indians infuses contemporary conflicts between Indigenous and non-Indigenous sensibilities with Drew Hayden Taylor’s characteristic warmth and humour.
“When I was growing up, the English language had an awesome power over my parents’ lives and my own life, and the internment process … was made possible through the power of discourse, and the power to name people out of existence.”
‘Tis the season! We have a tradition here at Talon to release a seasonally appropriate M.A.C. Farrant short story every year around this time. This story, “Happy New Year,” will appear in M.A.C.‘s forthcoming book, The Great Happiness, which will be available in Spring 2019.
Roy Miki’s Flow: Poems Collected and New, edited by Michael Barnholden, is now flowing toward a bookstore near you. We were very excited to launch the book, the newest addition to our Collected Poetry Series, earlier this month; the launch brought together many of Vancouver’s poets and poetry lovers, and featured readings by Michael Barnholden, Jacqueline Turner, Fred Wah, Hiromi Goto, Daphne Marlatt, George Bowering, Tiziana La Melia, Mark Nakada, Larissa Lai, Scott McFarlane, and Louis Cabri.
Flow collects all of Governor General’s Award winner Roy Miki’s books of poetry – saving face, random access file, Surrender, There, and Mannequin Rising – with a substantial new, previously unpublished work, Cloudy and Clear, and numerous full-colour photographs and photocollages. This definitive edition of Miki’s poetic work includes a foreword by poet and critic Louis Cabri, an interview by the collection’s editor, Michael Barnholden, and an extensive bibliography.
We are wishing a warm welcome to Rebecca Wigod’s He Speaks Volumes: A Biography of George Bowering.
George Bowering has read, written about, and corresponded with them all, from influential mid-century writers such as Sheila Watson, Earle Birney, and Al Purdy, through a veritable Who’s Who of the Canadian literary avant-garde, including bpNichol, Daphne Marlatt, and Fred Wah, to literary superstars such as Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood. This biography of the two-time Governor General’s Award winner and inaugural Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada illuminates the intimate, intellectual, and artistic life of one of Canada’s greatest literary ambassadors. Based on exhaustive research, including access to decades of Bowering’s diaries, He Speaks Volumes is an indispensable guide to the life, work, and community of this multi-faceted writer.
Author Rebecca Wigod’s career in journalism spanned three decades. She wrote arts features, did medical reporting, and even composed editorials, but her favourite gig was being the editor of the Vancouver Sun’s books pages from 2000 to 2010.
Note: The credit line on page xv should read: “Margaret Atwood’s foreword was originally commissioned by The Capilano Review for the “Bowering’s Books” issue, TCR 3.24. Reproduced with permission from Curtis Brown Group, Ltd, London, on behalf of Margaret Atwood. Copyright ©️ O.W. Toad 2014. Thanks to The Capilano Review for their kind assistance.”
Talonbooks’ Fall Poetry Launch was held at Pyatt Hall in Vancouver, on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ Lands, this past Thursday. Our gratitude goes out to Irvin Waskewitch, who opened the evening with a Cree prayer, and to the over 130 launch attendees, for whom the cold fall rain was no match!
Talonbooks’ Fall Poetry Launch will feature readings by Fred Wah and Rita Wong (from beholden), Wanda John-Kehewin (from Seven Sacred Truths), Ted Byrne (from Duets), Tiziana La Melia (from The Eyelash and the Monochrome), and Christine Stewart (from Treaty 6 Deixis).
Tuesday, November 13
Doors at 7:30 p.m., readings at 8 p.m.
843 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 3L4
Anyone who read our November newsletter very closely may have noticed that we erroneously included Stephen Collis in our Fall Poetry Launch line-up. He won’t be reading then, but no fear – he has his very own launch for Almost Islands coming up this Friday, November 9, at Massy Books in Vancouver.
Almost Islands is a powerfully introspective memoir of the author’s friendship with legendary Canadian poet Phyllis Webb – now in her nineties and long enveloped in silence – and his regular trips to see her. It is an extended meditation on literary ambition and failure, poetry and politics, choice and chance, location, colonization, and climate change – the struggle that is writing, and the end of writing.
Join Stephen for the launch of Almost Islands:
Friday, November 9, 2018
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
229 E. Georgia Street
beholden: a poem as long as the river, by Fred Wah & Rita Wong, is comprised of two lines of poetic text flowing along a 114-foot-long map of the Columbia River. This powerful image-poem presents language yearning to understand the consequences of our hydroelectric manipulation of one of North America’s largest river systems.
beholden “reads” the geographic, historical, political, and social dimensions of the Columbia River, literally and figuratively, proposing two contrasting kinds of attention. As both a stand-alone poem and an accompanying piece to the visual installation exhibited at various galleries, beholden represents a vital contribution to a larger dialogue around the river through visual art, writing, and public engagement.
Curious about the mysterious The Mystery Play but not located close to Halifax or Dartmouth? Order your copy online today.
From the award-winning Canadian playwright, performer, and radio broadcaster Tetsuro Shigematsu comes 1 Hour Photo. 1 Hour Photo tells the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the twentieth century. From growing up in a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River in British Columbia, to being confined at a Japanese Canadian internment camp during the Second World War, to helping build the Distant Early Warning Line in the Canadian Arctic during the height of the Cold War, 1 Hour Photo’s Mas Yamamoto is a grand theatrical persona, his life saturated with the most vivid colours of our times.
Thanks for Giving, from Governor General’s Literary Award winner Kevin Loring, the first ever Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre of Canada, is set around the family dinner table at Nan’s home at Thanksgiving. Old wounds and new realities collide, and sibling rivalry is stoked, but the enduring spirit that guides this family charges on, ever fierce. This intimate and restorative new play is about legacy – the legacy of our personal and collective histories, and a family’s legacy as it moves into an age where the assumptions of the old ways surrender to new possibilities.
We are pleased to announce that an excerpt from Michel Tremblay’s The Heart Laid Bare, translated by Sheila Fischman, will soon become a Bookmark on the CanLit Trail.
We are so incredibly pleased to announce that Cecily Nicholson’s complex, sensitive book Wayside Sang has won the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-Language Poetry! Huge congratulations to Cecily!
Of Wayside Sang, the judges said “In this hypnotic suite of long poems, Cecily Nicholson makes room, offering glimpses and echoes of the Canadian landscape as she explores ideas of borders, identity, industry and travel. She offers a catalogue of impressions, a collage of the ephemeral, held together by image and the pulsing phrase that stays with you long after the journey’s over.”
Congratulations as well to the other English poetry nominees: Billy-Ray Belcourt, Dionne Brand, Joshua Mensch, and Jason Stefanik! Thank you to the judges, Garry Gottfriedson, Sachiko Murakami, and Patrick Warner, the book’s editor, Stephen Collis, and the poetry community at large.
Talonbooks is committed to equity, diversity, fairness, and inclusion, and we support Indigenous writers and voices. We have been made aware of an unfortunate incident that occurred recently at a Vancouver Writer’s Festival event involving a local publisher we regularly work with; we will be investigating further and taking appropriate actions as necessary.
A risky and profoundly unsettling work of “auto-cartography,” Mercenary English is a long poem that documents the author’s lived experience of the survival sex trade in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in the 1990s, using her time in the trade as a subversionary critical lens for exploring the physical, structural, and discursive violence of colonialism against Indigenous women and women of colour in its various instantiations.
Bobby Rabbit, Sir John A’s irked, Anishinaabe main character, in a fit of anger and revenge, convinces his friend Hugh to accompany him on a “sojourn of justice”: to dig up Sir John A. Macdonald’s bones and hold them for ransom.
Deni Ellis Béchard’s White is a riveting novel that explores whiteness, modern humanitarianism, and the lies of American exceptionalism and white supremacy.
Join us for tea and baked goods as we launch Finding Mr. Wong by Susan Crean tomorrow with special guest Betsy Warland!
Susan Crean’s memoir Finding Mr. Wong chronicles her effort to piece together the life of the man she knew as Mr. Wong, cook and housekeeper to her Irish Canadian family for two generations. Join us for the Vancouver launch of her book.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
578 Carrall Street
Christine Stewart’s Treaty 6 Deixis is hot off the presses!
How might poetic practices undermine racist ideologies and colonialism, engendering ecological attentiveness, and anomalous and compassionate communities? Christine Stewart’s Treaty 6 Deixis takes up these timely and pressing questions as it investigates what it means to be a non-Indigenous inhabitant of Canada’s Treaty 6 territory, “in this city, on this land, in this country, on this planet, in a way that acknowledges and honours all my obligations and all my relations, the complex web of connective tissues that keep me here.” (Deixis is a word or phrase – like “this,” “that,” “ now,” “then” – that points to the time, place, or situation in which a speaker is speaking or a writer is writing.)
Pick up your copy of Treaty 6 Deixis today!
Talonbooks’ Fall Poetry Launch will feature readings by Fred Wah and Rita Wong (from beholden), Wanda John-Kehewin (from Seven Sacred Truths), Ted Byrne (from Duets), Tiziana La Melia (from The Eyelash and the Monochrome), Stephen Collis (from Almost Islands), and Christine Stewart (from Treaty 6 Deixis).
Tuesday, November 13
Doors at 7:30 p.m., readings at 8 p.m.
843 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 3L4
Drew Hayden Taylor’s Dead White Writer on the Floor and John MacLachlan Gray and Eric Peterson’s Billy Bishop Goes to War are hot off the presses, just in time for the school year. Dead White Writer on the Floor is now in its fourth printing, and Billy Bishop in its second edition, second printing.
The crisp air of fall is upon us here in Vancouver – and we’re very excited to announce that the first of our Fall books have arrived in house!
Almost Islands is a powerful memoir of Stephen Collis’s friendship with legendary Canadian poet, broadcaster, and painter Phyllis Webb – now in her nineties and long enveloped in silence. In a series of extended poetic, political, and philosophical digressions, the book meditates on literary ambition and failure, poetry and politics, choice and chance, location, colonization, and climate change – the struggle that is writing, and the end of writing.
Around Her, written by Sophie Bienvenu and translated by Rhonda Mullins, filters twenty years in the lives of Florence Gaudreault and her estranged son, Adrien, through the prism of twenty characters who have crossed their paths. Replete with emotional twists and turns, the book probes the failures and hopes of whole segements of society – the young, the old, families, couples, lonely souls – and reveals the proximity of past traumas, showing the bonds that unite us. Michel Tremblay calls it “absolutely wonderful.”
The Great Happiness, the third book in M.A.C. Farrant’s trilogy of miniatures is coming out next Spring with Talon. The second book in the trilogy, The Days, was a finalist for the 2017 ReLit Award for Poetry and the 2017 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize; the first, The World Afloat, won the 2014 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Farrant’s miniatures have been called “confidently left-field” and “as wild as colourful birthday helium balloons released into a hurricane.” The Great Happiness is a book you’re not going to want to miss.
Whet your appetite for The Great Happiness by moseying over to Geist’s website to read three miniatures from the collection – “Positive Impact,” “The Weather Channel,” and “Waiting Room.”
The Eyelash and the Monochrome by Tiziana La Melia arrived in-house today!
Combining visuals and text, this collection of poems travels through territories as varied as daily and domestic activities; social relationships; literature, cinema, and art; as well as dreams, as it moves between the page and the exhibition.
The Eyelash and the Monochrome and Other Poems asks: what happens when material becomes thought and thought becomes object? At once a book of poetry and an artist’s book, it gathers together poems, performance scripts, and parallel texts, illustrating the hybrid nature of these texts and trespassing upon the boundaries of genre. It is a book about enmeshment, about the potentiality of interplay. It is a conversation. It is not linear, but it interrogates and explores the line: lines of text, lines of dialogue, socio-economic lines drawn or crossed, lines that were the trails of snails … Everything is a signifier, meaning is elastic, and references are multifaceted. La Melia’s multivalent and generative practice lives in process; it thinks through materials (paint, objects, non-human forms) with violent sentimentality, excessive desire, naiveté, narrative construction, and an awareness of the body and memory.