Prisoners' Inventions (2024 Printing)

Prisoners' Inventions (2024 Printing)

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Author/Contributor(s): Angelo ; Temporary Services
Publisher: Half Letter Press
Date: March 2024
Binding: Paperback
Condition: NEW

From the publisher:

At long last, a reprint of our book Prisoners' Inventions—a collaboration with our late friend Angelo about the many things he observed during the course of his long incarceration in California. It has been over 15 years since this book was last in print. The original book was published by WhiteWalls, and we've taken on the printing of this new edition. The second printing is identical to the 2020 edition, save for the correction of a tiny handful of details.

This greatly expanded new edition includes over 80 additional pages of material including many new drawings and writings about prisoners' inventions that Angelo created after the last printing, new writing from Temporary Services, blueprint drawings by Angelo of his prison cell, and photo documentation of the cell's recreation for Temporary Services' exhibitions of the project. The book also has a completely new design by Partner & Partners. We could not be happier that a new generation of readers will finally get to see this book, and that longtime fans who have worn out their original copies will be able to have this fresh, expanded edition. 

From the back cover:

In 2001, the group Temporary Services invited their friend Angelo, a prisoner in California, to write about and draw the different things he had seen other prisoners invent. 

Angelo illustrated everything from immersion heaters with electrical plugs made from razor blades, paper clips, and popsicle sticks, to cooking methods for bologna jerky on built-in cell light fixtures. These drawings and writings became the book and widely exhibited project Prisoners’ Inventions, first published in 2003. 

This redesigned and expanded edition of Prisoners’ Inventions includes many pages of additional drawings and writings that Angelo produced after the last printing, as well as a new introduction by Temporary Services that details the origins and life of the project. Prisoners’ Inventions reveals an often-neglected side of prison existence: the need to create those objects and experiences that allow the most basic human desires to be satisfied.

Note: All copies of Prisoners' Inventions purchased through the Massive Bookshop include a copy of Public Collectors booklet #67.

ANGELO’S ASHES -OR- TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. tells the story of how Half Letter Press co-founder Marc Fischer handled the end of life arrangements for his friend Angelo. The booklet consists of a series of Facebook posts that Marc made in the months following Angelo’s death. Marc was Angelo's emergency contact and learned of Angelo's death from his landlord. Angelo did not leave a will and had no next of kin. 

"I live in Chicago and Angelo died in Los Angeles. The bureaucracy of dealing with his death was intense and social media provided a place to vent as well as collect advice from friends. I did not want Angelo to receive an anonymous burial in a mass grave so I had to file an Ex Parte Petition to claim his body, have him cremated, and obtain a death certificate.

"I knew Angelo for roughly 25 years. He collaborated with the group I’m part of, Temporary Services, on the project and book Prisoners’ Inventions. I was his closest and primary friend. For most of the time I knew Angelo, he was incarcerated. Two years before his death, Angelo was released from prison, in part because of my advocacy and promise to the state that I could care for him. Our friendship, until after his release when we finally met in person, was based solely on postal correspondence and a couple phone calls.

"Angelo worked for the post office and dealt with prison administrators for years. He was no stranger to tedious procedures. I think he would have enjoyed this booklet. I hope my writing makes things easier for anyone else who might find themselves in a similar situation."

 — Marc Fischer