Talon was founded as a high-school poetry magazine in Vancouver in 1963, moving to the University of British Columbia with its graduating students in 1965. By 1967, Talon Magazine had published the first works of so many young writers, it decided to become their book publisher. Starting with poetry, including the first book (Sticks & Stones) of Canada’s first poet laureate George Bowering, Talonbooks diversified into drama with Beverley Simons’ Crabdance, George Ryga’s The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, and James Reaney’s Colours in the Dark in 1969; into fiction with Jane Rule’s Desert of the Heart and Audrey Thomas’ Songs My Mother Taught Me in 1973; into Quebec literature in translation with Robert Gurik’s The Trial of Jean Baptiste M. and Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles Soeurs in 1975; and into non-fiction with the collected works of ethnographer Charles Hill-Tout, The Salish People, Volumes I–IV, in 1979. In the early 1980s, the press experimented with publishing several highly successful commercial titles, but returned to its original, exclusively literary mandate in 1985. Over the past two decades, Talon has diversified its literary list to include critical works on flashpoints in the Middle East and on global socioeconomic issues and politics. Talon’s dedication to the publication of over four decades of excellent Canadian literary work, published through an unbroken line of internal mentorship and succession of ownership in the company, has earned our publishing house the privilege of being one of the preeminent independent Anglophone literary presses in Canada. The largest independent publisher of drama in the country, we publish more translations from Quebec than anyone else, more Native voices than any other Canadian publisher, and our diverse list has come to include numerous works from the Japanese, Chinese, African, and South Asian Canadian communities. Our current books in print have garnered over three hundred awards.
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