Recent News and Announcements

news | Wednesday February 7, 2024

You're Invited to the Talonbooks Spring 2024 Launch!

Save the date! Join us on April 24 at Pyatt Hall for Talonbooks’s spring 2024 launch. We can’t wait to introduce you to this season’s new titles.

Here’s what’s launching:

Eric Schmaltz will be reading from his introduction to Another Order.
Daniel Zomparelli will be launching his new poetry collection Jump Scare.
Tiziana La Melia will be launching her new poetry book lettuce lettuce please go bad.
Leanne Dunic will be launching her new collection Wet.
Dina Del Bucchia will be launching her new poetry collection You’re Gonna Love This.

The launch will be hosted by Samantha Nock, author of A Family of Dreamers.

Help us welcome these fabulous books to the world! Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; readings begin at 7:30 p.m.

Pyatt Hall is wheelchair and scooter accessible. Snacks and drinks will be served. A live stream will be available on the Talonbooks YouTube channel, so tune in remotely if you can’t attend in-person. We hope to see you there!

news | Tuesday April 23, 2024

You're Invited to the Launch of Gaman – Perseverance by Art Miki!

May 1! Join us in the Heritage Lounge of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre to celebrate the launch of Gaman – Perseverance: Japanese Canadians’ Journey to Justice, the new memoir by Art Miki!

Gaman – Perseverance is an in-depth memoir detailing the intense negotiations that took place in the 1980s between the Government of Canada and the NAJC – negotiations which finally resulted in the historic Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement of September 1988 and the acknowledgment by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney that Canada had wronged its own citizens. In Gaman – Perseverance, Art Miki recollects his past experiences and family history, revealing the beliefs and attitudes that shaped his life’s journey as a youth in British Columbia, an educator in Manitoba, and a community leader across Canada.

Enjoy a reading from Gaman – Perseverance, an introduction from Mohammed Hashim, executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and a conversation between Art Miki and Lynn Deutscher Kobayashi, president of the Toronto chapter of the National Association of Japanese Canadians.

The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is fully wheelchair and scooter accessible.

Attendance is free! Seating is first-come, first-served. Light refreshments will be available. We can’t wait to see you there!

Gaman – Perseverance Launch
Heritage Lounge – Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
Toronto, ON
May 1, 2024
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the event begins at 7:00 p.m.

Our gratitude to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation for making this event possible.

news | Friday April 19, 2024

Kevin Loring to Receive an Honourary Doctorate

Playwright Kevin Loring, author of Governor General’s Literary Award–winning play Where the Blood Mixes and Jessie Award-winning play Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer, will be receiving an honourary doctorate degree from Thompson Rivers University.

Read about it here in Kamloops Now. Congratulations, Kevin!

news | Thursday April 18, 2024

April 23 is BC Book Day!

April 23 is BC Book Day, a day to celebrate the incredible books, magazines, and literary works that come out of our province. We are grateful for the community of creatives in BC, and for all of the amazing authors, illustrators, publishers, and literary events that make our creative landscape so rich and varied. If you’re also feeling appreciation for our incredible literary community, on BC Book Day especially, we encourage you to show some love to your favourite local library, book store, author, illustrator, or publisher. Happy BC Book Day!

news | Monday April 15, 2024

Song & Dread in the Tyee

The Tyee recently put out an article about poetry books written by award-winning poets that contend meaningfully with grief, and use the written word to reflect, process, and reveal their experiences with it. The collections featured are Song & Dread by Otoniya J. Okot Bitek, Midway by Kayla Czaga, Teeth by Dallas Hunt, and Talking to Strangers by Rhea Tregebov.

Read the article here to learn more about these titles and to read excerpts from each collection.

news | Monday April 15, 2024

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day!

April 27 is Independent Bookstore Day! Independent bookstores are such important spaces in our cities. Ask any independent publishers or local authors and they’ll tell you: independent bookstores are an incredible and irreplaceable part of our creative ecosystems. More than mere retail spaces, inthey’re hubs of community and connection. We’re fortunate in Vancouver to have so many unique and remarkable independent bookstores to visit. We hope you celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on the 27 by stopping by your local favourite bookshop. We’ll see you there!

news | Sunday April 14, 2024

Sage Birchwater Reviews Lha yudit'ih We Always Find A Way

Sage Birchwater reviewed Lha yudit’ih We Always Find A Way by Lorraine Weir with Chief Roger William.

From the review:

“That’s what Lha yudit’ih: We Always Find A Way is all about.

It’s the story of resistance and the string of remarkable victories against all odds that the Xeni Gwet’in and Tsilhqot’in people have been able to celebrate time after time. It contains stories of mythology and spiritual belief.”

Read the complete review here in the British Columbia Review.

news | Friday April 12, 2024

Tonight! Join us for the Launch of Gaman – Perseverance by Art Miki!

Tonight! Join us in the Ellipse Lobby at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre to celebrate the launch of Gaman – Perseverance: Japanese Canadians’ Journey to Justice by Art Miki! Enjoy a reading from Gaman – Perseverance as well as a conversation between Art Miki and Lisa Uyeda, Collections Manager at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre.

Gaman – Perseverance is an in-depth memoir detailing the intense negotiations that took place in the 1980s between the Government of Canada and the NAJC – negotiations which finally resulted in the historic Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement of September 1988 and the acknowledgment by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney that Canada had wronged its own citizens. In Gaman – Perseverance, Art Miki recollects his past experiences and family history, revealing the beliefs and attitudes that shaped his life’s journey as a youth in British Columbia, an educator in Manitoba, and a community leader across Canada.

Mr. Art Miki is an active leader in the Japanese Canadian community, having served as president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians from 1984 to 1992. He led the negotiations to achieve a just redress settlement for Japanese Canadians interned during World War II. For his efforts nationally, provincially, and locally, he has received this country’s highest recognition, the Order of Canada, the Order of Manitoba, and recently, the Order of the Rising Sun from the government of Japan. He is past-president of the Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba and the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba. Art is a former teacher and principal, a Canadian Citizenship Judge, and a lecturer at the University of Winnipeg.

Attendance is free! Seating is first-come, first-served. Light refreshments will be available. We can’t wait to see you there!

The Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre is wheelchair and scooter accessible.

Gaman – Perseverance Launch
Ellipse Lobby, Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre
6688 Southoaks Crescent
Burnaby, BC
April 12, 2024
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the event begins at 7:00 p.m.

This event is made possible by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Thank you to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and our venue partner, Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre.

news | Friday April 12, 2024

Wet Reviewed in Cha

Marsha McDonald reviewed Wet, the latest collection of poetry and photography from Leanne Dunic, in Cha!

From the article:

Wet is a poem epic in length, powerfully cautionary, a hybrid blend of fantasy, fiction, memoir, lyric, and street photography.”

Read the complete review here.

news | Friday April 12, 2024

A Family of Dreamers Named a Finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

We are delighted that Samantha Nock’s debut book A Family of Dreamers was named a finalist for the 2024 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize! A Family of Dreamers weaves together threads of fat liberation, desirability politics, and heartbreak while working through her existence as a young Indigenous woman coming of age in the city. The result is a love song to northern cuzzins, dive bars, and growing up.

Our most heartfelt congratulations, Samantha!

news | Wednesday April 10, 2024

Three Talonbooks Authors on League of Canadian Poets Prize Longlists

We are so pleased to see three Talonbooks authors make the longlists for the League of Canadian Poets Prizes!

A Family of Dreamers by Samantha Nock and No Town Called We by Nikki Reimer have been longlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award!

No Town Called We by Nikki Reimer and Spells, Wishes, and the Talking Dead:ᒪᒪᐦᑖᐃᐧᓯᐃᐧᐣ ᐸᑯᓭᔨᒧᐤ ᓂᑭᐦᒋ ᐋᓂᐢᑯᑖᐹᐣ mamahtâwisiwin, pakosêyimow, nikihci-âniskotâpân by Wanda John-Kehewin have been longlisted for the Raymond Souster Award!

These three collections are works of poetic excellence and we are delighted to see them on these longlists. A huge congratulations to Samantha, Nikki, and Wanda, and to all of the long-listed authors! View the complete lists here.

news | Wednesday April 10, 2024

Lha yudit’ih We Always Find A Way Reviewed in the Vancouver Sun

Tom Sandborn reviewed the community oral history Lha yudit’ih We Always Find A Way by Lorraine Weir with Chief Roger William in the Vancouver Sun.

From the review:

“This splendid book belongs in every school library in Canada, and on the bookshelves of anyone interested in the truth and reconciliation process.”

Read the complete article here.

news | Tuesday April 9, 2024

A Taste of Empire Reviewed

[cover of A Taste of Empire]

Jovanni Sy’s amazing play A Taste of Empire was reviewed on Canadiancookbooks.ca! In A Taste of Empire, delectable samples from a real-time cooking demonstration offer food for thought about colonialism and the ethics of modern-day food systems.

From the review:

“Sy’s vivid descriptions of dishes, flavors, and cooking techniques create a sensory experience that immerses the audience in the world of the play. The use of food as a narrative device is not only innovative but also adds a layer of accessibility that resonates with a diverse audience.”

Check out the complete review here.

news | Thursday April 4, 2024

An Interview between Samantha Nock and Rob Taylor

For National Poetry Month, Rob Taylor interviewed Samantha Nock about her new collection A Family of Dreamers. The pair talk poetic influences, grief, and going home again.

An excerpt from their conversation:

You write about “working hard in high school because i’m a / cliché of wanting to leave my small town,” and being warned that “you can never come back.” You’ve lived in Vancouver for some time now: have you been able to return to the region? Is this book a return of sorts to both the region and the rivers that sustain it?

SN: This is a very beautiful question. I return home often. In recent years I’ve been trying to return at least twice a year (in the summer and in the winter). Growing up in the north wasn’t easy and along with the deep, deep love I have for it, there is a lot of hurt and grief there. I feel like in a lot of ways this book is an ode to the BC Peace Region, because it really did raise me. But it’s also a way for me to say goodbye to a complicated childhood and teen years so I can let go and discover a new part of myself. There is grief in this, too, and I feel like that comes out in a lot of the poems I write.”

Read the complete interview here.

news | Thursday April 4, 2024

"Jump Scare" Has Arrived!

Another great title has arrived in time for National Poetry Month: Jump Scare by Daniel Zomparelli is here! At once raw and skillful, painful and funny, personal and pervasive, the poems in Jump Scare dig deep into mental health, neurodivergence, grief, dreams, monstrosity, sexuality, pop culture, queer consumer culture, and the commodification of identity. Jump Scare tackles isolation and loss head-on and thinks hard and with wry humour about how to position ourselves in our lonely, scary, compelling lives.

An excerpt from “How to Get Washboard Abs – Fast!”:

“stanley tucci and colin firth have had more gay sex than me. I want to
repackage queer trauma.
queer trauma is straight now.

love, simon, have you heard of her? call me by your name? actually, I
can’t call anyone / my iphone broke.

I’m goop’ed and gagged and bound by the terms of this agreement.

I wonder how much queer trauma you can cash in on / because I’m
still in queer debt.”

Pick up your copy here!

news | Wednesday April 3, 2024

"Wet" Featured on CBC

Wet by Leanne Dunic was named as one of CBC’s 37 poetry collections to read this spring! In Wet, a transient Chinese American model working in Singapore thirsts for the unattainable: fair labour rights, the extinguishing of nearby forest fires, breathable air, healthy habitats for animals, human connection. In photographs and language shot through with empathy and desire, Wet unravels complexities of social stratification, sexual privation, and environmental catastrophe.

Check out all of their great recommendations here.

news | Tuesday April 2, 2024

Hot Off the Press! "Wet" Is Here!

New poetry alert! Wet by Leanne Dunic has arrived and is ready for your bookshelves. In Wet, a transient Chinese American model working in Singapore thirsts for the unattainable: fair labour rights, the extinguishing of nearby forest fires, breathable air, healthy habitats for animals, human connection. She navigates place and placelessness while observing other migrant workers toiling outdoors despite the hazardous conditions. In photographs and language shot through with empathy and desire, Wet unravels complexities of social stratification, sexual privation, and environmental catastrophe.⁠

An excerpt from Wet:

“Train station at dusk. Hundreds of birds in trees. This urban space in
their migratory path. A mania.

No rain, but thousands of litres of high-pressured water clean these
roads each night.”

Pick up your copy of Wet here!

news | Sunday March 31, 2024

You're Gonna Love This Has Landed!

Hold onto your hats, folks, the aptly-titled You’re Gonna Love This by Dina Del Bucchia has landed! You’re Gonna Love This tracks the narrator’s entwined relationships with her spouse, her television, and herself. Displaying Del Bucchia’s trademark nuanced media literacy, this distinctly working-class long poem unravels how media culture’s around-the-clock presence impacts our connection to the world. Recapping episodes in her experience of caregiving, she also addresses her own mental-health journey with dark humour, wry cultural references, and a flair for making the deeply personal especially relatable.

An excerpt from You’re Gonna Love This:

“You can call it nostalgia but it’s not,
really, not every time. Every rerun is not exploratory
fodder for your therapist. Not that
I would know. I’ve never been to therapy.
I rewatch TV instead. It’s therapeutic.”

Order your copy here!

news | Thursday March 28, 2024

Do you mind if I sit here? Has Arrived!

Hot off the press! The innovative new multimedia play from James Long and Marcus Youssef has arrived at Talonbooks! Do you mind if I sit here? is set in Vancouver thirty years from now. Three social planners visit Vancouver’s Russian Hall, long abandoned due to earthquakes and flooding, with a seemingly straightforward task: repurpose the hall for common use. But the trio soon discover the project won’t be an easy fix. An eccentric squatter, armed with a trove of Soviet industrial films on 16 mm stock, has made the damaged hall their home … and they’re not leaving.

An excerpt from Do you mind if I sit here?:

A
Scarcity.

C
Scarcity.

A
This is a scarce time.

B
For all of us.
It is important for us to say it. To be allowed to say it. …
Because of –
the weather.

Pause.

A low sound enters the space.

They stop and listen to it before continuing. This

does not just function as an underscore but also

as an event and foreshadow of the same sound

that comes at the end of act one as a much more

substantial sound event.

A
And the consequences.”

Order your copy here!

news | Monday March 25, 2024

Celebrate World Theatre Day!

March 27 is World Theatre Day! To celebrate, we’d like to share some of the phenomenal plays we’ve had the honour of publishing in recent years.

1. Antigone In Spring by Nathalie Boisvert and translated by Hugh Hazelton

Inspired by the classic play by Sophocles, Antigone in Spring takes us to a fictional Québec rife with political upheaval against a government led by the autocratic Creon. Siblings Antigone, Polynices, and Eteocles learn a shocking family truth and become tangled up in the revolution sweeping the city.

2. No More Harveys by Chantal Bilodeau

No More Harveys is the third play of the Arctic Cycle, a series of eight plays that looks at the social and environmental impacts of the climate crisis on the eight Arctic states. In No More Harveys, our protagonist flees her abusive husband and heads for Alaska to reunite with friends – and instead encounters the wonder of whales. This play presents a world dominated by colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy where the problems that plague our communities, be we women or whales, share the same gnarled roots.

3. Do you mind if I sit here? by James Long and Marcus Youssef

Thirty years from now, three social planners visit Vancouver’s Russian Hall, long abandoned due to earthquakes and flooding, with a seemingly straightforward task: repurpose the hall for common use. But the trio soon discover the project won’t be an easy fix. An eccentric squatter, armed with a trove of Soviet industrial films on 16 mm stock, has made the damaged hall their home … and they’re not leaving.

4. The Piano Teacher by Dorothy Dittrich

In this Governor General’s Literary Award–winning play, classical pianist Erin experiences the loss of the life she knew and finds herself dealing with the departure of her own musical expression as well. Navigating her way through this change, she meets an unconventional piano teacher who gives her new hope for the future. As Elaine gently reacquaints Erin with her instrument, other life changes naturally follow – not just for Erin but for Elaine as well.

5. Kisses Deep by Michel Marc Bouchard and translated by Linda Gaboriau

Consumed by fantasies of opulent fabrics and women’s high fashion, a young man desperately tries to restore his mother’s tarnished reputation. Channeling Yves Saint Laurent, his idol and muse, Hugo sets out to right the widespread rumours about his mother, Béatrice, by designing the perfect outfit for her court appearance.

6. Moving the Centre by Andrew Kushnir and Khari Wendell McClelland

Moving the Centre explores the work of two theatre artists who dare, fumble, and persist in bringing audiences into a space where we can all listen differently. The two plays it includes — Small Axe and Freedom Singer — lean into the problems and possibilities of verbatim theatre to engage questions of justice and identity and the complex history all around us. Originally developed and produced by Toronto’s socially engaged theatre company Project: Humanity, these plays explore the power of recorded “real-life” encounters as a way for artists and the public to re-examine our defining narratives.

7. Shadow Catch by Daphne Marlatt

The Noh-influenced libretto of Shadow Catch recounts the dreams – or are they dreams? – of the Runaway, a teenage boy who ends up one night in Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Here four troubled spirits from the park’s past appear to him: the Spirit of the Maple Tree from K’emk’emeláy̓ whose grove was decimated by loggers, a member of the brilliant Asahi baseball team whose players were sent off to Japanese internment camps, the keeper of a 1920s brothel who is haunted by the tragic death of one of “her” women, and a roughneck policeman from the 1930s who gave in to corruption.

8. The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin & Kitimat by Elaine Ávila

Discover how Canada got the eight-hour workday! Visit the first town to vote on Big Oil! The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin recreates the events surrounding the mysterious death of Albert “Ginger” Goodwin, who led a strike at a Canadian zinc smelter in Trail, BC, that brought the WW I British war machine to a halt. In Kitimat, residents of an industry town in the glorious BC wilderness struggle to decide between economic prosperity and environmental protection when they must vote yes or no to a proposed oil pipeline.

9. Inheritance by Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn

An urban couple are on a getaway to visit her father at his vast rural estate. But when they arrive, they find him missing and a local Indigenous man staying there instead. They ask him to leave … and with an anonymous click of your remote, you choose what happens next.

When it’s revealed that the colonial rights to this entire property are actually up for grabs, you must continue to decide how the story unfolds, ultimately determining how the land will be stewarded, and by whom.

We are grateful to work with so many sharp, insightful writers who explore and then share the world through theatre. Happy World Theatre Day!

news | Tuesday March 19, 2024

All Lit Up on One Good Thing

Lovely to see One Good Thing by M.A.C. Farrant on All Lit Up’s list of 10 Books in Bloom to read this vernal equinox. From the article:

“The letters frequently start with gardening questions but divert into meditations on creativity, writing, and family, all delivered with Farrant’s signature sense of humour.”

Check out all of their recommendations here