microcosm art by sarah oleksyk

Portland's most colorful, authentic, and empowering publishing house and distributor, Microcosm Publishing 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, all­night 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.

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 11am–5pm Mon thru Sat (or call for an appointment)

an introduction to Microcosm Publishing

another introduction to Microcosm Publishing

Who we are:

portland microcosm publishing emphemera of yore
jeri rossi

Jeri Rossi is our sales director. She left New Orleans after Katrina, landed in San Francisco where she spent ten years at Last Gasp, and then appeared on our door step. We were thrilled to find an avid vegan who meshed with our values and understood our books immediately.

Contact Jeri about ordering books for your store. 503-333-4722

kristine anstine

Kristine Anstine is our major account sales manager. She is thrilled to join the Microcosm sales team as 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!


trista vercher

Trista Vercher (they/them/their) handles sales (specializing in comics/sex/witchcraft titles), production work, data entry, local events, and rad illustration (like on our 2018 board game (!!). They had trouble finding a photo of themselves that wasn't actually a photo of their cats.

Contact Trista about ordering books for your store!


Sidnee Grubb

Sidnee Grubb is co-owner and operations manager. She oversees customer service, handles the internship program, human resources, 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 if no one else will understand what you're talking about


cyn marts

Cynthia Marts is our publicity director. She handles promotions, publicity, press, and helps execute our editorial development. She enjoys young adult fiction, the Jessica Jones Netflix adaptation, and Portland's yummy foods.

Contact Cyn if you want to feature us or one of our titles in your publication.

nathan thomas

Nathan Lee Thomas is the publisher's assistant: the face behind the counter, a loving assembler of buttons and magnets, 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.

Contact Nathan about general inquiries!

jeff hayes

Jeff Hayes is a co-owner who 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.

lauren hage

Lauren Hage is a co-owner who packs our orders, works in the warehouse, receiving inspector, organizes office supplies, and makes sure everything is just right.

Contact Lauren if you want to become our BFF

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.

tomy hunyh

Tomy Huynh manages our title data, brainstorms, and copyedits manuscripts before they're published. He enjoys reading, gardening, and bike commuting to work.

Contact Tomy about data/spelling errors in our books or on our website!

lydia rogue

Lydia Rogue is a marketing and editorial associate at Microcosm. They manage our data, keep information current and accurate, and make our newly acquired books even more awesome.

Contact Lydia about data errors.

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 microcosm

Joe Biel is the CEO, founder, co-owner, publisher, and art director. He manages acquisitions, finances, and production.

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

Microcosm Publishing presents #BookSpo from Microcosm Publishing on Vimeo.

Microcosm Publishing presents #PunkSpo from Microcosm Publishing on Vimeo.