Recent News and Announcements

news | Tuesday July 26, 2022

"Standing in a River of Time" reviewed in the Winnipeg Free Press!

Standing in a River of Time, the latest poetry collection from Jónína Kirton, was reviewed by Melanie Brannagan Frederiksen for the Winnipeg Free Press.

From the review: “Beginning with this death, Kirton travels backward and forward in her life, weaving poetry and lyric prose into a formally taut, spiritually expansive memoir of trauma, loss and survival.”

Read the complete review here.

news | Tuesday July 26, 2022

Joshua Whitehead Featured in Maclean's Magazine

Maclean’s Magazine released a feature about the phenomenal Joshua Whitehead prior to the release of his new book, Making Love With the Land.

An excerpt from the piece: “Whitehead himself was a born storyteller—his parents still keep a box of stories and poems he told them.”

Read the full feature in Maclean’s Magazine here!

news | Tuesday July 19, 2022

Razielle Aigen's "A Future Perfect" is Reviewed in Broken Pencil Magazine!

If you check out Issue 95 of Broken Pencil Magazine, you’ll find a review of A Future Perfect, the debut poetry collection of Razielle Aigen!

An excerpt from the review: “Falling somewhere between Deleuzean thought, tea leaf divination, and Demetri Martin’s stand-up comedy, Razielle Aigen’s poetry strives to collapse our distinction between surface and depth.”

Find the full review in Broken Pencil Magazine.

news | Tuesday July 12, 2022

Untimely Passages is Here!

The Talonbooks team is delighted to announce the arrival of the long-awaited Untimely Passages. This collection of essays by the late Jerry Zaslove is organized into “Dossiers”, providing a meticulous and in-depth examination of the crises of modernism that accompany the author’s reading of European literature as a world literature. Delving into the theories, works, and impact of several notable thinkers, Untimely Passages examines a lineage of thought that offers an alternative to some of the grimmest aspects of the present.

Tremendously insightful and remarkable in its breadth, Untimely Passages is born of many years of reading, writing, teaching, and learning. We couldn’t be more honoured to share this work with you.

For more information or to take home a copy today, click here.

news | Tuesday July 12, 2022

Hot Off the Press! The In-Between is Here!

The latest play from the amazing Marcus Youssef is here! Youssef deals in narratives that explore multilayered topics with an extraordinary balance of wit and gravitas. Readers will find nothing less in his latest play, The In-Between.

The In-Between follows high school student Lily as she navigates her passions, her relationships, and more complexly, her identity. Born in Vietnam but adopted by a white family and raised in Canada, Lily has always felt “in-between”. When conflict breaks out between her working-class, white best friend and her moneyed BIPOC boyfriend, Lily must confront where her allegiances lay in a maelstrom of social forces.

An excerpt from The In-Between:

LILY
My family is Canadian.

KARIM
You know what I mean.

LILY
No, they are. My parents are both white. I was adopted.

KARIM
Seriously?

LILY
From Vietnam. I lived in an orphanage there until I was six months old. Then my parents went there from Canada and adopted me.

KARIM
That’s intense.

LILY
Not really. For me, it’s normal.

Dealing deftly with prejudice, intersectionality, and identity, The In-Between is a poignant story of growing up and coming into one’s own.

Pick up your copy here!

news | Tuesday July 12, 2022

Falling Shadows has Landed at Talonbooks!

The wait is over! Falling Shadows, the third book in the arresting, post-apocalyptic series by Christian Guay-Poliquin has arrived at Talonbooks headquarters!

The forest is wild and full of hostile factions. Lost, pursued, and threatened by his environment, a lone man struggles through the woods towards the hunting cabin where his family has taken refuge. On the way he meets a mysterious twelve-year-old boy. The two must work together to survive in a landscape fraught with danger.

An excerpt from Falling Shadows:

“He evaluates the mountains and valleys and rivers. Then puts his finger on the X written in pencil.

What’s that?

My family’s camp.

That’s where you’re going?

I nod. He is pensive. I ask him about his parents again. His face shuts down, but I push on.

Tell me, what are you doing here? Are you lost?

He pretends not to understand. He walks away, picks up a pheasant feather from the ground, runs the sharp end of it over his lips a few times, then throws it into the fire.”

Tense and engrossing, the novel is divided into the small slivers of time that survivalist vigilance demands. Read as part of the series or as a standalone novel! Pick up your copy here.

news | Tuesday July 5, 2022

Hot Off the Press! Still • Falling and The Code

Hot off the press! Still • Falling and The Code by Rachel Aberle has arrived! These two plays poignantly encapsulate the energy, pressure, and discontent of adolescence.

In Still • Falling Nina (or Nick, depending on the actor) has big changes to deal with: new city, new high school, new friends, new hobbies, new crushes … and new turmoil. Our protagonist must navigate feelings of anxiety, depression, and guilt in the wake of so much upheaval. From Still • Falling:

NINA
I’m trying to fill my life with Good Things – GOOD THINGS. But nothing works. And it’s like … how awful must I be … how ungrateful … to have all this good stuff in my life and still feel like … pounding heart, shallow breath, tight skin. Darkness all the time.

With a funny and relatable voice, Still • Falling speaks to mental health challenges and the unique hardships of being a teenager with grace.

In The Code, plucky junior Moira is indignant about a sexist school policy. When her protests lead to a school-wide punishment from the administration, her formerly supportive peers turn on her. Some go so far as to seek revenge. An excerpt:

SIMON
Won’t you get in trouble for this?

MOIRA
I just did an entire unit on civil disobedience in humanities. Why do they teach us this stuff if they don’t want us to learn from it?

SIMON
I’m not sure this is what they had in mind.

Abundant with ethical quandaries, The Code is a punchy, contemporary look at negotiating problematic social structures in the technological era.

Grab your copy of Still • Falling and The Code here.

news | Tuesday July 5, 2022

The Piano Teacher has Arrived!

Dorothy Dittrich’s newest play The Piano Teacher has landed at Talonbooks! After the death of her husband and son, classical pianist Erin finds that grief has rendered her former instrument alien to her. In the midst of the viscous quagmire of loss, she meets unconventional piano teacher Elaine, and their bond changes the trajectory of their lives forever.

Erin’s sudden inability to perform music illustrates the insidious, far-reaching ways that pain takes shelter in our lives. From Act 1:

ERIN
My husband always said I had a flair for the lyrical, mercurial passages but that my hand was a delicate hand, not built for Beethoven, which I think has some truth to it. I mean … anyway, I don’t like him, so there you go.

ELAINE
I think Bartók can be every bit as demanding. When is the last time you played?

ERIN
That afternoon.

ELAINE
And you haven’t sat at the piano since?

ERIN
No.

Through the lens of classical music, The Piano Teacher examines ways we may gather ourselves after we have been shattered. Dorothy Dittrich turns a compassionate eye to the nature of grief, how our wounds interact interpersonally, and how this mutual sting calls attention to what can be rebuilt together. With musical dialogue and a cast it’s easy to root for, The Piano Teacher reminds readers to return to that which nourishes.

Pick up your copy here.

news | Friday July 1, 2022

"Un" by Ivan Drury Reviewed in The Poetry Foundation

Layla Benitez-James reviews Un by Ivan Drury in the Poetry Foundation. An excerpt from the review: “Un cuts deepest where Drury suggests that the injustice he observes warps the world on an elemental level…”

Read the full review here.

news | Friday July 1, 2022

Kevin Loring Takes Home 2 Jessie Awards!

Congratulations to Kevin Loring whose play Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer won Outstanding Original Script at the 2022 Jessie Awards! Loring also won a Significant Artistic Achievement Award for Outstanding Empowering and Uplifting of Indigenous Artists and Narratives. Check out Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer today!

news | Friday June 24, 2022

M.A.C. Farrant's "One Good Thing" Reviewed in Arc Poetry Magazine

Emily-Jane Hills Orford reviews One Good Thing, the epistolary non-fiction book on life and gardening by M.A.C. Farrant for Arc Poetry Magazine. Of this collection, Orford says: “Each letter is like a miniature capsule of life—microcosmic still lifes, as if captured by a photographic snapshot.”

Read the full review here.

news | Thursday June 23, 2022

Pride Month Reading List!

Happy Pride Month! June may be gloomy in Vancouver, but the literature is bright. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with a number of exceptional LGBTQIA2S+ poets, photographers, playwrights, writers, and artists of all stripes.

In case you missed some of our recent queer catalogue, here’s a little sample platter to keep the pride strong all year long:

1. its th sailors life / still in treetment by bill bissett

2. “Small Axe” from Moving the Centre: Two Plays by Andrew Kushnir

3. One and Half of You by Leanne Dunic

4. still by Anahita Jamali Rad

5. Then Now by Daphne Marlatt

6. Coast Mountain Foot by ryan fitzpatrick

7. Twists of Fate by Michel Tremblay

8. The Grand Melee by Michel Tremblay

9. OЯACULE by Nicole Raziya Fong

Have a wonderful pride month! Happy reading!

news | Tuesday June 21, 2022

Deanna Fong Named New Literary Editor at The Capilano Review

Please join us in offering a huge and heartfelt congratulations to Deanna Fong in her new role as Literary Editor at The Capilano Review! We are so pleased The Capilano Review found such a stellar new editor and we eagerly look forward the great things she will accomplish in her new position.

news | Tuesday June 21, 2022

National Indigenous Peoples Day 2022

Here at Talon we’re celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day. We recognize the incredible breadth of cultural and geographic diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples, a diversity that means there is no single way forward. We cherish our role in supporting Indigenous creatives charting their own paths.

As publishers of Indigenous literature, we celebrate the diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples in writing and publishing. The book world is the epitome of diversity – just consider the amazing texts by Indigenous writers in all genres that have been written and produced and continue to be so every day. We work hard to stay current and participate in evolving editing and publishing practices for Indigenous literature. To that end we acknowledge Gregory Younging and his groundbreaking and indispensable book, Elements of Indigenous Style.

Talonbooks is honoured to work with many Indigenous authors and to celebrate Indigenous voices. We wish you a Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day … and happy reading!

news | Friday June 17, 2022

Indigenous History Month

June is Indigenous History Month, and here at Talonbooks we have been tremendously privileged to work with and publish a host of incredible Indigenous authors and creatives.

The pandemic has made live events challenging, so we would like to shine a spotlight on some of the wonderful Indigenous titles from the last few years here:

1. Standing in a River of Time by Jónína Kirton

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

3. Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer by Kevin Loring

4. Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show/Le Wild West Show de Gabriel Dumont by Jean Marc Dalpé & David Granger & Laura Lussier & Alexis Martin & Andrea Menard & Yvette Nolan & Gilles Poulin-Denis & Paula-Jean Prudat & Mansel Robinson & Kenneth T. Williams
Translated by Jean Marc Dalpé & Alexis Martin & Alexis Diamond & Maureen Labonté & Fanny Britt & Marjorie Beaucage & Randy Morin

5. They Write Their Dream on the Rock Forever: 2nd Edition by Annie York, Richard Daly, and Chris Arnett

6. Un/inhabited by Jordan Abel

7. Iron Peggy by Marie Clements

8. Kamloopa by Kim Senklip Harvey

9. Pots and Other Living Beings by annie ross

Check out these world class authors today!

news | Friday June 17, 2022

On Then Now: A Conversation with Daphne Marlatt in The Capilano Review

Jami Macarty chats with Daphne Marlatt about Marlatt’s collection Then Now for The Capilano Review. Marlatt discusses what it was like to discover the contents of her father’s old letters from Penang, the construction of the book’s sections, and more. Read the full interview here.

news | Tuesday May 10, 2022

Hot Off The Press

New at Talonbooks is Unfuckable Lardass, the sixth and latest title from Catriona Strang. This poetry collection is lively, wonderfully recalcitrant, and leveled against patriarchy.

Musical and feminist, Unfuckable Lardass shapeshifts. Whether it’s using brevity like a boxing glove, borrowing floral language from gardening books, defining types of tears, or weaving incantatory spells against oppressive and imposed limitations, the voice in this collection sings. From “Lake Lac”:

“I grew it
I tended
it I harvested
dried and
stored it
I knocked
it over and
smashed
it”

Rebellious and attentive, Unfuckable Lardass is a call to personal power and agency, even when exhausted, doubtful, pain-ridden, and marginalized. From “The Amalgam”, part 12 of the titular poem “Unfuckable Lardass”:

“I am contending factions. Even in times of great
dispute and intense social trauma, an amalgam
of functions does not represent…

I become over-mapped. It’s my tradition to pick
it till it bleeds.”

Unfuckable Lardass is an homage to the overlooked labours and ways of being that patriarchy doesn’t glorify. Catriona Strang refuses the objectifying gaze and ushers us towards embodying our whole selves, anger and all. To this end, Unfuckable Lardass culminates in a collective poem, each line stated like fact, the contributing authors’ voices cast together in protest.

We can’t wait for you to revel in this wry and unshakable collection. Grab your copy here.

news | Tuesday May 10, 2022

New at Talonbooks

Hot off the presses comes Un, the inaugural poetry collection of longtime activist, writer, and community organizer Ivan Drury. Un is a cry against imperialist violence past and present. From Afghanistan to Iraq, Cuba to Congo, suburban neighbourhoods to blacksites, Un challenges conventional Western narratives of global events, shining light on injustice and the individuals disappeared in empires’ pursuits of their own political interests.

Ivan Drury explores global power dynamics, powerfully juxtaposing scenes from sites of stability to sites of conflict. From “Enter the Municipality of Blacksite (A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone)”:

“the mayoral candidates
all wear “Homes Now!” buttons
all engage earnestly
on the side of the debate
to ban plastic shopping bags…

where I grew up
families fell normally apart.”

Deeply sensory, Drury employs the auditory to underscore the unsettling sensation of violence becoming quotidian. From “Noise and the Stacking”:

“vehicle noise
refrigerator noise
machine noise
the noise of streetlights…

overhead

an F16

and on the baby monitor:
he’s crying something’s woken him”

The theme of having been undone, unmade, and rewritten is sown throughout the pages of this collection. Drury pulls from sources such as the U.S. Armed Forces Survival Manual, The New York Times, and Al Jazeera to contextualize and recontextualize impersonal and dehumanizing narratives.

Un is a big-voiced collection that asks us how we might forge a more humane and just future. Pick up your copy here.

news | Friday May 6, 2022

New Title Arrival

New from Jónína Kirton comes Standing In a River of Time. Part poetry collection part memoir, Standing In a River of Time chronicles the effects of colonization on a Métis family, the violence of patriarchy on the narrator and the women of her family, and the inextricable link between the two.

From “Erasure”:

“my great-great-great grandfather’s
census records go from
Native, Catholic, 1 married man”
to ‘Catholic, 1 married man’
his Métis wife unnamed”

Kirton intercuts sections of prose and lyric poetry to create the effect of watching, then reflecting on, a moment from the speaker’s past. From “Beside a Well: Walking with Women”:

“I had watched my mother wait on my father, ironing his clothes, warming the car up for him, making sure dinner was on the table at the time he designated. I did not see these things as acts of love, but rather as subservience, and I was allergic to subservience.”

A resolute exploration of intersectionality, Standing In a River of Time examines what can and cannot be effaced; which forces of history linger. Spirited, vulnerable, and achingly tender, Kirton journeys through memory to illuminate the many ways one can scrap, barrier by barrier, towards the ever-moving goalpost of healing.

We are so excited for you to wade into Jónína Kirton’s Standing In a River of Time. Pick up your copy here.

news | Friday May 6, 2022

Hot Off The Press

Fresh off the press comes its th sailors life / still in treetment from legendary poet bill bissett. In this latest collection, bissett deepens his tradition of experimenting with form and sound. In addition to playing with the spatial and the sonic, its th sailors life / still in treetment features over forty illustrations from the author, opening a complementary extralinguistic channel of communication with readers.

bissett’s poems are both timeless and timely. Happy to compromise the conventions of grammar but never compromising on feeling, bissett explores grief, love, and loss in his inimitable style, reshaping language anew.

its th sailors life / still in treetment is abundant with bissett’s trademark brand of charming, blunt observation and humor. From “did i evr tell yu abt th time i swam with a vampire”:

“say what
yu want i realize
life is xcellent not
peopuls behavyurs
uv kours not alwayze
but life itself is xcellent”

We can’t wait for you to dive in to this weird, whimsical world of bissett. Pick up your copy here.

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