Welcome to the new home of Little Red Tree Publishing.
My name is Michael Linnard and, together with my wife, Tamara Martin, we formed Little Red Tree Publishing in Connecticut on January 25th, 2006.
Taking as the motto “Delight, Entertain and Educate,” we strive to combine our love of quality books with an interest in education and life long learning, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, music, art, design, history and photography.
From the start we defined ourselves, consistent with the finest traditions of small independent publishing, as preserving and expanding the dwindling opportunities for lessor known authors, of all genres, to publish their work in style. To that end we work very hard with each individual author to produce the best book that we can.
We wanted, in particularly, to give previously unknown poets and established poets the opportunity to publish a full collection of poetry, not a chapbook, and give the reader as full a reading experience as possible. We passionately believe that well crafted books and accessible poetry should be celebrated and presented as such with conviction and confidence. Therefore, all our books are coffee table size, 7” by 10” or above—an emphatic statement of intent and a celebration of the poetry.
Incidentally, the red tree we are referring to in our name—the top banner shows a portion of one splendid tree—is specifically a Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum). We planted the original in the front garden of our Connecticut home in 2005, and it still thrives today. Despite a 5 year sojourn in Nebraska returning in 2020, the tree is now 9 feet tall, so for the time being it is still officially a little red tree.
As you can see we publish mainly poetry but if you cast your eye down the right side bar you will find that we have a number of other genres as well. Over time this diversity will increase as we develop and progress. Please feel free to browse the authors and books on the right side. You will find the prize winners of the competitions below in amongst them. Naturally we hope that you find something that catches your fancy and urges you to buy a book.
Below you will find testimonies of our two competitions: Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize, and the Vernice Quebodeaux “Pathways” Poetry Prize for Women.
My friends, the state of Contemporary Poetry is strong! More people are reading and writing poetry than at any time in our history. Sometimes it’s hard to keep abreast of all the developments. New aesthetic manifestos appear almost daily. Scores of schools of Poetry have sprung up. Hundreds of journals publish new work. Thousands of poets write alone or in collaboration. It all feels nearly miraculous. And we should ignore the skeptics and the naysayers. The quality of contemporary work has never been higher.
For proof of this, we need to look no further than the Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize 2012 – Anthology. Its variety is remarkable, its scope broad, its goals ambitious. Almost every contemporary tendency is included, from the freest of free verse to the most traditional of sestinas. And non-traditional sestinas as well: speculative sestinas, colorful sestinas. Here we find examples of the varied lyrical sequence, perhaps the most important contribution of American poetry over the last century, and work that defies classification, from France and as far away as India. The anthology is divided into three sections. The first gathers the winning poems, and the second contains notable selections from other distinguished entrants. The final section holds a variety of work from the Little Red Tree’s established authors. I hope you’ll walk with me a little while we move through its impressive landscape.
A few words must be said here about the effort, talent, and diligence required to publish such an anthology. The design, the layout, the love and care often go unnoticed. But having witnessed the process of publication, I would be remiss if I did not offer a small tribute to Michael Linnard, who takes on these projects in the true spirit of Poetry.
[from the introduction to the 2012 Anthology]
I think it is appropriate to take this opportunity to introduce the reader … to the person who inspired the competition, Vernice Quebodeaux. She was born in Egan, LA (on the banks of the Bayou Plaquemine Brûlé) in 1929. After an idyllic childhood spent in a small rural community, she emerged from high school ready to take her place in the world. Unfortunately, as she became an adult she struggled with repressive societal mores and family expectations, dysfunction, death, estranged children, family feuds, bigotry, apathy, abusive husbands, and indifference to her writing aspirations. Despite and through it all, Vernice continued to write, and although being published in local media was encouraging, she failed to achieve her cherished goal of being a published poet and reaching a wider audience.
After her death, the beginnings of a book of poetry called “Pathways” was discovered by her daughter, Tamara Martin, among her papers containing just 10 poems. These poems, along with others that survived, from the many that were written but discarded in her moments of despair, were incorporated into a book, Sundays in the South. Although only a small selection, they show Vernice’s passion and concern for humanity and nature. In one poem she describes the sad conversations with old classmates whose childhood aspirations were never realized, the “…dreams that they had shelved!” We hope this prize, in her name, will help keep her dreams alive and those of other poets as they struggle to translate the world for us.
[Taken from my foreword to Swaying on the Elephant’s Shoulders by Diane Woodcock – winner of the first Vernice Quebodeaux prize]