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Talonbooks

Talon

Talon Books Ltd. is a literary book publishing company best known for its special interest in Canadian drama. It began as a small poetry magazine, Talon, founded in 1963 by an editorial collective of Magee High School students; in 1967 they began to publish books. Poetry by George Bowering and Ken Belford led the way, and soon the press diversified into Canadian drama by Beverley Simons, George Ryga, James Reaney, Michel Tremblay and many others, as well as early works of fiction by Jane Rule and Audrey Thomas. Talon had published several books by the poet bill bissett in 1977, when MPs in the House of Commons attacked bissett for writing the poem “a warm place to shit” and excoriated the Canada Council for subsidizing publication with taxpayers’ money. The furor died down after Talonbooks and bissett filed suit against MPs, newspapers and others for libel and copyright infringement (the poem had been reprinted without permission in a constituency newsletter), and joined Warren Tallman in organizing an anti-censorship reading series. Thirty-five years later the company is still healthy, with almost five hundred titles in print.

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