Cells logo 5 - against black back ground

LITTLE RED CELL PUBLISHING

Little Red Cell Publishing was formed in 2013 by Michael Linnard and Fr. Russ Carmichael, and is based in New London, CT.  Taking as our motto “Authentic Voices from the Cell” we strive to bring the authentic voices of prisoners who despite their incarceration continue to create in a little red cell.

We define ourselves, consistent with the finest traditions of small independent publishing, as preserving and expanding the very real limited opportunities for prisoners – current and former – to become published authors in their own right and for their voices to be heard. And by doing so we acknowledge the difficulties that are inherent in creating literary works in the environment of a prison.

We passionately believe that well crafted books of all genres, whether drama, fiction, non-fiction, poetry or politics, should be celebrated and presented as such with conviction and confidence.

What’s in a Name

Cells logo 5 - against black back groundIn the summer of 2013, Fr. Russ and I were discussing publishing in general and he showed me versions of a book he had been working on for a  great friend, Ralph Hamm, who was still in prison after for than 42 years. He showed me his books. After a brief discussion about the books I offered to publishing them. We ran through the various options of how to  publish Ralph’s books and eventually decided that a new imprint of Little Red Tree Publishing would be the best. We also decided almost instantly that it should be dedicated to prisoners, no matter if they were current or former prisoners. Obviously we discussed many different names to capture the essence of prison and prisoner… everything seemed to revolve around the cell, where each prisoner spends most of their time. So we simply decided that it would be Little Red Cell. We then discussed the visual aspects of prisons and again the obvious image was of bars to the cell and barred windows looking into the cell.

Having settled on a name I then spent several days working on a logo that would express, in as simple a graphic form as possible , the concept of prisoners and their burning need to create, to write and their voice to be heard: to be published. I struggled to encapsulate this idea until I started to work on a cell window through which one would look into the cell. After dozens of versions I had reduced it to three red vertical lines that represent the interior of the cell and the white spaces negative space turned into positive space and represent the outside world and the bars.

Philosophy

Cells logo 5 - against black back groundThe philosophy of Little Red Cell Publishing, and our guiding principle, is to publish stylish, high quality books that faithfully present the “Authentic voice from the cell.” This phrase, in my view, encapsulates and focusses all our efforts and thoughts about the books we produce from first viewing of a manuscript, through design and layout to the final printing.

Our company logo of a simplified window with bars, looking into a red cell, is our attempt to reflect that philosophy in symbolic terms. The red cell is indicative of the concept of the burning desire to create and also, for some, the rage of the circumstance of their incarceration. The burning need to be heard by those that are incarcerated has been a recurring theme down the centuries and one that we wish to present.

Publishing Goal

Cells logo 5 - against black back ground Our goal is to publish books that are exciting to look at and are accessible to everyone, combining our desire to represent the authentic voices from  the cell. Where possible we intend to incorporate the full reading experience, including: foreword, introduction, prologue, notes, glossary, indexes, annexes, plus photos and captions, as well as text, either poetry or prose. The design of each cover is particularly important and will be a unique entity but stylistically connected to the family of Little Red Cell books. We are enthused about our books, as we hope others will be, to read them and own them as lovely books.