About Microcosm

microcosm logo by sarah oleksyk

A small, charming, and innovative publishing house, Microcosm Publishing specializes in work designed to make the reader feel good about being alive, take an active role in bettering their life, and impact the world around them. Microcosm emphasizes self-empowerment, showing hidden histories, and fostering creativity through challenging conventional publishing wisdom with books and bookettes about DIY skills, food, zines, and art. The then-distro and record-label was started by Joe Biel in his bedroom in 1996 and is now based in Portland, OR. Microcosm constantly strives to be recognized for our spirit, creativity, and value. Our books are printed in the U.S. and we are moving towards all production using post-consumer papers, with vegan inks and bindings. While only 25-35% of authors being published today are women, over 50% of the books we publish are by women.

neighborhood notes
portland microcosm store

in Portland?

Microcosm Publishing hQ
2752 N Williams Ave map
Portland, OR 97227
Store: 503-232-3666
Office: 971-277-9435
Open 11–7 Mon thru Sat

Here's some background on the folks who do the work around here:

portland microcosm publishing emphemera of yore
nathan thomas

Nathan Lee Thomas is the publishing assistant: the face behind the counter, a loving assembler of buttons and zines, digger of metaphorical trenches around the office, receiver of deliveries, his hard work into everything we do makes the stuff that appears in your mailbox that much brighter. He's also brightening up local events for us.

Contact Nathan about general questions

jeff hayes

Jeff Hayes organizes our warehouse, packs our orders, services our customers, records and masters our audio, and distributes our catalogs.

Contact Jeff about your order or to make sure things that you sent us have arrived.


Erik Spellmeyer is our sales manager, heavy coffee drinker, and jack of all trades. He worked every known job before the age of 30 before realizing that publishing was the career of his dreams.

Contact Erik if you want to order some of our titles.

lauren hage

Lauren Hage packs our orders, is the den mother and keeps track of everyone's needs, manages our BFF program, organizes all of our office supplies, and makes sure everything is just right.

Contact Lauren if you want to become our BFF

tim wheeler

Tim Wheeler manages our promotions, publicity, press, marketing, and sometimes rides a fixed gear.

Contact Tim if you want to talk to one of our authors or feature one of our titles.

meggyn pomerleau

Meggyn Pomerleau is in charge of making us LOOK good, and as such, she creates many of the stunning book covers and graphic design beauties that you will find in our titles. She's also adept at designing jokes. If you seek her good graces, bring a burrito.

Contact Meggyn if you need a project designed.

rubine red

Rubine Red is our community manager. Constantly forging new relationships with the outside world, she tirelessly meets new people, demands snacks, and excitingly shares our message of self-empowerment!

Contact Ruby if you want to propose a community project with us!

nate beaty

Nate Beaty codes the website. When he peels himself away from the computer he draws the comics like any self-respecting 21st century human.

Contact Nate about website errors and suggestions.


Taylor Hurley executes our editorial development and proofreading.

Contact Taylor about serial commas and passive verbs.

elly blue

Elly Blue is our co-owner, marketing director, and events manager. She also manages her own publishing list of feminist bicycling books (EBP).

Contact Elly about crazy ideas.

joe biel

Joe Biel is the co-owner, publisher, and general manager. He manages production scheduling, pays the people we owe money to, and manages acquisitions.

Contact Joe to propose a publishing project, ask printing questions, or get paid.