our booth at wordstock 2017

Portland (and Cleveland!)'s most colorful, authentic, and empowering publishing house and distributor, Microcosm Publishing & Distribution is a vertically integrated publishing house that equips readers to make positive changes in their lives and in the world around them. Microcosm emphasizes skill-building, showing hidden histories, and fostering creativity through challenging conventional publishing wisdom with books and zines about DIY skills, food, bicycling, gender, self-care, and social justice. Microcosm was started by Joe Biel in his bedroom as a distro and record label in 1996 and is now among the oldest independent book publishing houses in Portland, OR. Microcosm focuses on relating the experiences of what it's like to be a marginalized person and strives to be recognized for spirit, creativity, and value. All books are printed in the U.S. on post-consumer papers, and the company doubles the industry average in number of women authors and prioritizes hiring of special needs employees. Microcosm constantly poses the question “How can we remove barriers to success for marginalized people in our industry?”

Microcosm has lived in milk crates, in closets, in a mud room, in a windowless basement, in a church, and under a desk at a major credit card company. We've brought our brightly colored books to infoshops, zine fests, media summits, bicycle conferences, parks, street corners, house shows, dirty bars, all night coffeeshops, art museums, and every corner of the mainstream where we can clear away a little space to set up shop. We set out to save ourselves from not caring, but out there in the margins we've found communities worth always doing it better for. Now we have contracts instead of handshakes, a warehouse instead of a fanny pack full of zines. We have a staff, we have relationships in the industry that send our books to places we wouldn't have dreamed we could walk into ourselves. We're not as drunk or dirty as we used to be. But still, at heart, we've got this milk crate strapped to the back of a bike and we're riding wildly across town to hand you the book that might just be the one that saves your life.

Not sure where to get started? Check out our starter pack.

Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter

* indicates required
portland microcosm store

in Portland?

Microcosm Publishing hQ
2752 N Williams Ave map
Portland, OR 97227
Open for pickups and deliveries only: 11am–3pm Mon thru Sat (or call 503 232 3666 for an appointment)

an introduction to Microcosm Publishing

another introduction to Microcosm Publishing

Who we are:

portland microcosm publishing emphemera of yore
kalen landow

Kalen Landow is our sales director. After 12 years at National Book Network she now handles managing our field sales teams and lovingly placing books in thousands of small retailers (and some large ones too).

Contact Kalen about books for your store!


kristine anstine

Kristine Anstine is our major account sales manager. Connecting people and stores with books is her lifelong passion that she pursued for the previous 25 years at Last Gasp and before that at Comic Relief. She also enjoys saddle-stapling zines, modifying signs, and traveling with her family.

Contact Kristine about books for your store!


Sidnee Grubb

Sidnee Grubb is a co-owner and our operations manager. She manages our internship program and our hiring, fixes problems, finds ways for our system to run more smoothly, and makes sure that we are as awesome as we can be!

Contact Sidnee about your job or internship application.


lydia rogue

Lydia Rogue is our publicity manager and editorial associate. They handles promotions, publicity, press, and helps execute our editorial development.

Contact Lydia if you want to feature one of our titles or interview an author.

jeff hayes

Jeff Hayes is a co-owner who manages our customer service and outgoing order logistics.

Contact Jeff if you have questions, issues, or kudos about an order you placed with us.


Dylan Ray is part of our operations team, making sure that our orders get out the door smoothly and accurately.

Contact Dylan when you have questions about your Faire order.

Makena Pearl

Makena Pearl is part of our operations team, making sure that our orders get out the door without a hitch.

Contact Makena when you have questions about your Faire order.


Squishy Christiansen is on our operations team, overseeing Kickstarter reward fulfillment and making sure that our orders get out the door painlessly.

Contact Squishy when you have questions about your Kickstarter rewards.

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch is a co-owner who oversees incoming shipments in our Portland office, is an editorial associate, and handles our accounts receivable as well as overseeing Portland inventory. You will find her cursing a box full of damaged books while listening to the Cure. She is not related to the brothers that you are thinking of.

Contact Sarah if you want to pay an invoice.

marissa santillan guzman

Marissa Santillan-Guzman is our receiving associate in Portland. She receives deliveries relentlessly, adds them to our catalog, and helps keep inventory accurate.

Contact Marissa to commiserate over the state of warehousing and shipping in the publishing industry.

sophie legrand

Sophie LeGrand is our staff photographer, production associate, and shipping assistant.

Contact Sophie when the photo on our website doesn't match the reality.

tomy hunyh

Tomy Huynh is a co-owner and our marketing and ebook manager. He handles our title data and propagates it into the world via an ONIX feed, as well as eBook production.

Contact Tomy if you find incorrect data about our books, or if there is a formatting issue with one of our ebooks.

lex orgera

Lex Orgera is an editorial associate who also manages our title data.

Contact Lex if you find incorrect data about our books.

terry sullivan

Terry Sullivan is our Portland warehouse manager who keeps everything running like clockwork, but in a friendly way.

tyler murphy

Tyler Murphy is a Portland shipping associate who gets your books pulled, packed well, and out the door on time.

tara unseelie

Tara Unseelie is a Portland shipping associate who gets you your books on time and in good condition.

drew gruss

Drew Gruss is our Cleveland warehouse manager, overseeing the crew that gets pallets and pallets of books out the door and on their way to you.

alex keiper

Alex Keiper is our Cleveland receiving manager, making sure that the new pallets of books that arrived daily are checked in and put away where the shippers can find them.

paul havens

Paul Havens is a Cleveland shipping associate who gets your books pulled, packed well, and out the door on time, thinking up new puns all the way.

glenn brown

Glenn Brown is a Cleveland shipping and marketing associate who gets the books and the data well taken care of.

shay carroll

Shay Carroll is a Cleveland shipping associate who makes sure your books get to you in the most organized and efficient way possible.

nathan thomas

Nathan Lee Thomas is a warehouse and production assistant. He is the digger of metaphorical trenches around the office to make the stuff that appears in your mailbox that much brighter.

Contact Nathan about deep thoughts and philosophical analyses of Batman villains.

elly blue

Elly Blue is the Vice President, co-owner, marketing director, editorial director, and events manager. She is the publisher of her own list of feminist bicycling books and manages our software development team.

Contact Elly about event ideas, website glitches, bureaucratic needs, and with questions about our WorkingLit software.

joe biel microcosm

Joe Biel is the CEO, founder, co-owner, managing editorial director, and art director. Joe manages growth, acquisitions, finances, art, and production.

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

rubine red

Rubine Red (2006-2020) was our community manager. Constantly forging new relationships with the outside world, she tirelessly met new people, demanded snacks, and excitingly shared our message of self-empowerment!

Microcosm Publishing presents #BookSpo from Microcosm Publishing on Vimeo.

Microcosm Publishing presents #PunkSpo from Microcosm Publishing on Vimeo.