Poet, typographer, jazz musician, compositor, translator, essayist, Shakespearean actor and theatrical director Crispin Elsted is mostly known as someone who operates a private press, making books 'by hand' using old fashioned technology, setting the type, rolling the ink and printing the pages by hand, on handmade paper. He has been publishing in this manner for decades with his partner Jan Elsted at Barbarian Press, 12375 Ainsworth Road, R.R. 8; Mission, B.C. V2V 5X4. Jan and Crispin Elsted founded Barbarian Press during their stay in Kent, England, in 1977 when they studied printing with Graham Williams of Florin Press. They set up shop in Mission, B.C. in 1978. Their work has brought them into a friendship with typography expert and fellow poet Robert Bringhurst. Chris Elsted's only title from a trade publisher is Climate and the Affections: Poems 1970-1995 (Sono Nis, 1996 $12.95) 1-55039-064-3.

In 2013, Crispin Elsted wrote on the Barbarian Press website: "I can see, I guess, why some people, in some circumstances, might, perhaps, want to own an e.reader, I suppose. Some people like wearing latex. I once knew a boy who liked to stick stones up his nose. Perhaps this young man likes to put his e.book in odd places. De gustibus non est disputandem. But just in case some of you have heard this report and are concerned, we would like to assure you that the book is not broken. As I write I can hear the Vandercook downstairs rolling out copies of a page from Simon Brett: an Engraver's Progress. When the sheets are printed, and the book is bound, it will be a carrier of knowledge, a purveyor of information, and a delight to see and to hold and to smell. (Though perhaps regrettably, for some of you who are not regular readers of this site, it will be too big to fit in your nose.)"

[BCBW 2014] "Publishing" "Poetry"