Thee Hellbox Press

Private Press of Book Artist, Hugh Barclay

Limited Editions


Please note: Our books and broadsides will now be available from the Bytown Bookshop, 21 Arlington Ave Ottawa, ON. Richard Coxford, the owner, appreciates the beauty of letterpress and private press editions. He even has an old Pearl press in the backroom that he works from when time permits. Consult

Click on the titles to view some of Hugh’s limited editions:

Join the Cosmic Dance: Reflections on the Art of Living

Virginia Hamilton, a Vipassana teacher, interviews Dr. Susan Babbitt, a professor of philosophy who has an aggressive form of cancer. Dr. Babbitt has experientially faced the most fundamental philosophical question: the meaning of existence. Using her outstanding intellectual abilities, Dr. Babbitt has developed some simple and eloquent answers to that profound question. Virginia sums up the interview by saying to Susan,
“What you are saying is such a gift to others.”
About the book:
Book artist Hugh Walter Barclay views the text as a powerful verbal art form and as such has created a visual art form to complement that power.

The dancers appear to emerge from the text and through the cover. The dancers on the frontispiece represent life and death, human conditions that are joined and natural.

The text is printed on dampened St. Armand’s handmade paper. The wrappers are Japanese suma sora while the exquisite marble endpapers, representing the cosmic dance, come from Bangladesh.All materials including the cover boards are acid-free to ensure longevity.

The edition is limited to 99 copies of which only 92 are offered for sale.
The Book Arts Commitee of the Canadian National Library has selected Join the Cosmic Dance by Susan E. Babbitt and Virginia Hamilton to be included in the Book Arts section of the National Library. We understand that these books tour Canada from time to time, and we will advise through this web site concerning the times and locations of these tours.
Size: 16 cm. X 28.5 cm.
Price per copy: $195.00 + $15.00 shipping
To reserve a copy, email: h.w.barclay@sympatico. ca
or phone: 613 546 7885
Books will be shipped upon receiving a cheque or purchase order.
Mail to Thee Hellbox Press, 241 Glengarry Road, Kingston, ON K7M 3J6
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Hugh Barclay

Three stories told by Hugh’s mother who was a nurse in the Michigan Thumb during the late twenties. We have a few copies left at $12.00 each for those who may like one.

1927 Nursing Vignettes Cover

1927 Nursing Vignettes Inside Text with Graphic

Please be advised, we are on the lookout for a small but powerful manuscript to turn into our next book.

Click on the titles to view some of Hugh’s limited editions:

Where Do I Start?  SOLD OUT!!!

Roselyn Barclay

Roselyn Barclay manages a building in the east end of Vancouver, which provides rooms for some 90 residents who are among the down and out. The text was developed verbatim from her e-mails. The powerful poems were published in a limited edition of 75 copies. Burlap, the fabric of the poor, was used for the binding. Several reduction soft-blocks were intended to bring a sense of celebration to the poems. All copies sold within a month of the launch date. Critical Stage Theater Co. produced the book as a stage play that performed to sold-out audiences in Kingston, Ontario for six days in November 2006.

A copyleft version is available and will be e-mailed to agencies for free distribution to drug users. Contact Hugh at: h.w.barclay@sympatico.cato order.

Look inside Where Do I Start?


Buy Now ButtonThe First Paradise, Odetta… The First Paradise Cover Highlighted

The First Paradise, Odetta… is a long poem taken from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s novel Teorema. Pasolini is primarily known as a film maker. However, there is an awakening interest in him as an important poet, scholar and novelist. Poet Antonino Mazza translated the poem into English. He is one of a handful of scholars who believe that the creative genius of Pasolini should reach a wider readership.

This book is designed on a quarto format (9 X 12) with the original Italian and the English translation on facing pages. Included in the book is a powerful introductory poem Homage to Pier Paolo Pasolini by Antonino Mazza. Bodoni types are impressed into dampened St. Armand acid-free handmade paper using brown ink. The use of chocolate brown ink and the Bodoni types impart the important but gentle voice of the poem spoken to Odetta, explaining the effects of Catholicism on a middle-class girl.

The verbal aesthetics are heightened by six reduction soft blocks rendered in warm yellows and oranges. These images, created by Hugh Walter Barclay, provide a visual metamorphosis that complements the text. Three-dimensional cast paper replicas of a bronze medal created by Italian sculptor Luciano Ceschia to commemorate Pasolini’s death are set into the interiors of the cover boards. Dark brown end papers carry a watermark “PPP 85” to honour the tenth anniversary of Pasolini’s death. Handmade Japanese Sugiaya is used to cover the boards. When tilted, this overlaid paper creates the illusion of three-dimensional peaks and valleys upon which the title appears to float. Pasolini was bipolar and wrote on the peaks not the valleys. Because of Pasolini’s communist affiliations, the text is biased slightly to the left.

Binding of this book was completed by Emrys H. Evans of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

The launching of the book took place at the Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto on February 3, 1986. One hundred and fifteen numbered copies were offered for sale, and some are still available.

Numbers will be assigned as orders are received. Should you wish to purchase a copy, please send a cheque or purchase order for $200.00 to:

Thee Hellbox Press, 241 Glengarry Road, Kingston, ON K7M 3J6

The First Paradise Inside Cover Accent

The First Paradise Watermark The First Paradise Text with Graphic

The First Paradise Close-Up of Text


Dr. Foort’s Convocation Address SOLD OUT!!!

This book contains all the remarks of the Principal and the Chancellor of Queen’s University, as well as Dr. Foort’s address. This address received a rare standing ovation.

The cover features a woven section intended to show the strength gained by combining people in a team and giving them space to expand their own minds. This is one of the things that Jim Foort does to perfection. The spine ties are in the Queen’s colours. The book is out of print.

Look inside Dr. Foort’s Convocation Address


A Letter to Teresa   SOLD OUT!!!

Hugh Walter Barclay

This was the first book published by Thee Hellbox Press in an effort to capture the colour, dynamics, tradition, history, and sincerity of the First Nations people through their Pow Wow celebrations. In addition, Hugh developed the first soft-blocks as a print medium for this book. The book is out of print.

Teresa – Inside Title Page

Teresa – Inside Text

Teresa – End Papers

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