Welcome to Talonbooks

Canadian distribution for Talonbooks is now through the University of Toronto Press Distribution. Returns also go through the University of Toronto. Sign up for our monthly newsletter here, peruse our list of upcoming events here, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


News, Events, and Announcements

news | Monday January 14, 2019

Talonbooks welcomes UTP as our new distributor.

Canadian distribution for Talonbooks is now through the University of Toronto Press Distribution.

news | Thursday December 27, 2018

"Happy New Year": A Story from M.A.C. Farrant's forthcoming book, The Great Happiness

Cover image of The Great Happiness by M.A.C. Farrant

‘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.

news | Monday December 17, 2018

Flow flowing out to a bookstore near you!

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poetry – saving face, random access file, Surrender, There, and Mannequin Rising – with a substantial new, previously unpublished work, Cloudy and Clear, and numerous full-colour photographs and photocollages.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.

Find a copy of Flow in a bookstore near you, or pick up your copy online today.

news | Friday December 7, 2018

A new addition to our library: He Speaks Volumes

Photo of Rebecca Wigod's He Speaks Volumes, set against the background of the Talonbooks library.

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.

Pick up your copy of He Speaks Volumes today!

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.”

news | Thursday November 15, 2018

Fall Launch a Resounding Success!

Rita Wong and Fred Wah read from beholden: a poem as long as the river.

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! 

news | Tuesday November 13, 2018

Talonbooks Fall Poetry Launch is Tonight!

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.
Pyatt Hall
843 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 3L4

news | Wednesday November 7, 2018

Stephen Collis launches Almost Islands in Vancouver!

Book cover: Almost Islands by Stephen Collis.

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.
Massy Books
229 E. Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC

news | Wednesday November 7, 2018

beholden arrives on Talon's shores

A photo of an open spread of beholden: a poem as long as the river.

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.

Pick up your copy of beholden today!

news | Tuesday November 6, 2018

The Mystery Play in the Wild!

Four photos of author Josh Macdonald with his book, The Mystery Play, at various bookstores

Author Josh Macdonald visited his new book, The Mystery Play, at The Bookmark II in downtown Halifax, and at Chapters in Dartmouth, NS.

Curious about the mysterious The Mystery Play but not located close to Halifax or Dartmouth? Order your copy online today.

news | Monday November 5, 2018

Fall Drama Has Arrived: 1 Hour Photo and Thanks for Giving!

Photo of two books, 1 Hour Photo and Thanks for Giving, at False Creek in Vancouver.

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.

Pick up your copies of Thanks for Giving and 1 Hour Photo today!

news | Friday November 2, 2018

The Heart Laid Bare gets a Bookmark on the CanLit Trail

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.

Featured Books

Around Her
By Sophie Bienvenu
Translated by Rhonda Mullins

160 pages | Fiction

$19.95

More Info

beholden
By Fred Wah & Rita Wong

160 pages | Poetry

$24.95

More Info

Duets
By Edward Byrne

112 pages | Poetry

$16.95

More Info

Flow
By Roy Miki
Edited by Michael Barnholden

640 pages | Poetry

$49.95

More Info

Nine Dragons
By Jovanni Sy

192 pages | Drama

$19.95

More Info

White
By Deni Ellis Béchard

304 pages | Fiction

$19.95

More Info