Posted: Tuesday January 5, 2016
Best of 2015

It’s 2016! Can you believe it?

We were pleased to see two Talonbooks on CBC’s list of 75 Best Books of 2015: Scree, the collected earlier poems of Fred Wah, and Jordan Abel’s Un/inhabited, are among CBC’s favourites.

And now a few other ‘best of’ lists are coming in …

In poetry, Ottawa poet and publisher rob mclennan has included among his favourites from last year Oana Avasilichioaei’s Limbinal, Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli’s Rom Com, Judith Fitzgerald’s Impeccable Regret, and Colin Browne’s The Hatch. Read his full list on DUSIE.

Phil Hall, poetry editor, includes three Talonbooks on the BookThug year-end list as well. Phyllis Webb’s collected poems, Peacock Blue (the softcover edition of which was released this past autumn), he has hailed as “the literary event of the year,” and we couldn’t agree more. He also picks Meredith Quartermain’s I, Bartleby: “These are stories, but not really ‘short stories,’ more like prose poem meditations on language and region, people, memory and apprenticeship. Scribe notes.” And of Colin Browne’s The Hatch, Hall writes, “This poet can apparently do anything: long-lined narrative poems of spoof and homage (in the earlier books), very tiny poems, tender garden lyrics, defiant chants … The diversity and dexterity are dazzling, the images stick, the phrasing causes slaps or shivers.”

Un/inhabited was also yesterday listed as one of 10 BC books to kick-start the year in The Province.

In theatre, the Vancouver Sun included Drew Hayden Taylor’s God and the Indian – which was produced at the Firehall Arts Centre last May – in its list of best Vancouver theatre experiences of 2015, noting its “heartbreaking vulnerability with terrifying anger, playfulness with glimpses of beauty.”

Hamilton Spectator theatre reviewer Gary Smith especially liked Michel Marc Bouchard’s turn-of-the-century play, The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. Here are his year-end delights.

The Globe and Mail has also included playwright Annabel Soutar, author of Seeds and The Watershed (forthcoming in 2016), as one of its Canadian artists of the year. TGAM also calls The Watershed “this year’s epic exploration of the politics of science and industry in the Harper era.” Watch for this book in Spring 2016!

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