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Barbarian Press
Books in Print

Wood engraving by Colin Paynton
(from The Chimes, 1985)

Fifty-six Ontological Studies
Poems by Jan Zwicky | Photographs by Robert Moody
May 2020

Ursus typographicus:
a Chronology of Bears

December 2017

Endgrain Editions 4
Simon Brett – An Engraver’s Progress


Cover scan

Fifty-six Ontological Studies
Click on the image above for full details.

Books in Print
from Barbarian Press

On the average, we publish two books a year – usually one substantial book, such as an addition to the Endgrain Editions series, and one (or occasionally two) smaller or less elaborate titles. These will often be an illustrated classic or a book of poetry, or something with typographical or bibliographic interest. Since wood engravings are an important part of our interests as publishers, most of our books are illustrated.

In May 2020 — in what has come to be known as the Plague Year — we published Fifty-six Ontological Studies, a collection of poems by Jan Zwicky and photographs by Robert Moody. We have known and admired Jan's work for years, but it has been two decades since we published a book of her work. That she is joined as co-creator by the photographer and mathematician Robert Moody adds interest and pleasure to the work. This is their second collaboration, and it will not be the last. Their world views meld gracefully and to real purpose, as the enthusiastic response to the book has shown. We have fewer than half a dozen copies left.

The changing proportion of Deluxe and Regular copies in our editions exemplifies a developing trend for us. Because Deluxe copies are always quicker to sell than Regular ones (the opposite used to be the case some years ago) we are now printing at least as many Deluxe as Regular: in fact in the case of Endgrain Editions 5: Richard Wagener – a Dialogue with Wood Engraving, because of demand while the book was still in the press we issued 8o Deluxe copies and only 50 Regulars. The Deluxe copies were heavily subscribed before publication and were all sold within a few weeks. The last Regular copy sold recently, which means that both states of Endgrain Editions 5 are now out of print.

Therefore, a word to the wise . . . this trend underlines the importance for anyone wanting a Deluxe state of one of our books to place their order as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Up to a certain point in the printing process we can adjust the relative proportions of Deluxe to Regular, but beyond that the numbers must be fixed.

A very few copies of Ursus typographicus, our 40th anniversary ‘birthday card’ to the press, are still available. Subtitled ‘A Chronology of Bears,’ this little landscape book reprints all our press devices and printer’s marks to date (several more had been added since 2002), each accompanied by a list of the books in which it appeared, and a brief note about the engraver of the device and our work together. There is a Foreword by CE about bears, his love for them, and their place in the heraldry of the press, and Afterwords by JE and CE about printer’s marks and our reasons for choosing the marks we have, all three sets of which accompany the essays. We asked Andy English to create a new press device for this book, which appears for the first time on the colophon page, and two new printer’s marks, which he has delightfully done. In addition, he has engraved a delicious frontispiece for the book. More information about the book can be seen on its own page. The responses have been warm and delighted, one subscriber saying how pleased he was to discover that there was so much to read, and several others remarking on the imaginative activities of the bears in the various versions of the press motto.

We can also offer a few Regular copies of Endgrain Editions 4: Simon Brett – an Engraver’s Progress.

Please look at the page for each individual book for further information with photographs of the book and sample pages, and information about prices. You can find news about books presently in the press under Books Forthcoming.

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A Note about Currencies

Because the world economy is in such a constant state of flux, we are unable to offer fixed prices in other currencies. Our books are priced in Canadian dollars, but we accept payment in other currencies by personal cheque, or you can pay by PayPal in Canadian dollars, as invoiced, with a surcharge of 4%. (If you use the ‘Friends and Family’ option when paying, you will avoid this 4% charge.)

If you wish to pay in other currencies, we will invoice you at the exchange rate prevailing on the day the invoice is sent.

Of course we also accept payment by Visa and American Express, which take the payment at the rate prevailing at time of purchase. However, please note that we have to add a surcharge of 5% on Visa and 3% on Amex card purchases to cover our costs. We also receive payments through TransferWise.

Canadian customers can pay by E-transfer.

A Note about Subscriptions

If you are interested in our work, or in fine press editions, you should consider becoming a subscriber. It is economically exceedingly wise.

It is also very simple: Just contact us, and tell us that you wish to become a subscriber. This means that you undertake to buy ONE COPY of every book we publish – typically two a year. In return for this guarantee from you, we give you a 30% discount on the retail price of the book.

In the case of our more expensive books, the resultant savings can amount to a few hundred dollars – enough to buy another substantial book from us or from another press!