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 a bedroom closet 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 is like to be a marginalized person and strives to be recognized for spirit, creativity, and value. All books are printed in the U.S., 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?” In 2022, Microcosm was named Publishers Weekly's Fastest Growing Publisher.

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.

Here to learn about publishing? Nerd out with us in the People's Guide to Publishing podcast archives.

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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 360 291 7226 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!



Anna-Lisa Sandstrum handles sales to library and trade accounts, when not nerding out about BISAC codes.

Contact Anna-Lisa to discuss long-needed improvements to publishers' database software or make an order.

(360) 291-7226

glenn brown

Glenn Brown is a Cleveland-based sales and marketing associate who gets the books and the data well taken care of. You may also find him tabling a Cleveland event!

Contact Glenn to bring our books and zines into your NE Ohio store or if you see an error in one of our product descriptions.

tyler murphy

Tyler Murphy is our customer service manager, ensuring that your books get out the door with aplomb

Contact Tyler if you have a wholesale or reseller order that needs attention.

(360) 291-7226

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.

(360) 291-7226


Dylan Ray bridges three worlds: customer service, production, and sales.

Contact Dylan 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 or BFF subscription

Sarah Koch

Sarah Koch is a co-owner and Operations Manager who oversees outgoing and incoming payments, our receiving team in Portland, editorial tasks, and new title purchasing. You will find her cursing a box full of damaged books while listening to the Cure and watching the X-Files. She is not related to the brothers that you are thinking of.

Contact Sarah if you want to pay an invoice.


Elizabeth Neal is on our receiving team in Portland, making sure all the books and zines coming into the building are in good order and have a home on our shelves, ready to be picked up and read!


Abby Rice is our marketing supervisor, who creates discoverability and marketing data for the multitude of books that show up daily on our doorsteps.

Contact Abby to talk about D&D campaigns and discuss new ways that people find new books!

(360) 291-7226

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 published books, or if there is a formatting issue with one of our ebooks.

daley farr

Daley Farr handles our publicity and rocks the marketing department.

Contact Daley about review copies and Microcosm news.

marissa santillan guzman

Marissa Santillan-Guzman is on our marketing team, helping make sure all the books in our catalog are ready to be matched with the perfect reader.


Olivia Rollins is our editorial supervisor. She keeps our editorial schedule on track and helps our books and zines become their best possible selves before they meet their readers.


Kandi Zeller is an editor who works hard to make sure each of our books does what it says it will and has maximum life-changing potential.

terry sullivan

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


Lance Rossi (he/they) in Portland puts your books in your box with lightning accuracy and precision.

tara unseelie

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

scottie bradford

Scottie Bradford ships your books out of our Portland headquarters with style, flair, and love.

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.

Contact Drew about deliveries to our Cleveland warehouse.

(360) 291-7226

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.

kadijah wingo

Kadijah Wingo gets your books safely and quickly out the door, to your loving home. Contact Kadijah for some great improv tips.

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.

chris humphrey

Chris Humphrey is a Cleveland receiving associate who makes sure all our books are cared-for, fed, and shelved comfortably where they can be easily found when needed.


Emily Dussing is part of our fulfillment and receiving team in Cleveland, moving books from dock to shelf to mailstream and keeping all our zines beautifully organized.


Dave Geiser ships your books out of Cleveland, making sure you get just the ones you want, picked and packed with precision and care.

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, associate publisher, and a co-owner. She publishes a list of feminist bicycling books, oversees Microcosm's editorial, marketing, customer service, and human resources departments, and manages our software development team.

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

joe biel microcosm

Joe Biel is the CEO, founder, co-owner, operations director, acquisitions editor, publisher relations manager, and creative director.

Contact Joe to propose a publishing project, compare net present value, discuss spreadsheets, or ask printing questions.

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 excitedly shared our message of self-empowerment!

Microcosm Publishing presents #BookSpo from Microcosm Publishing on Vimeo.

Microcosm Publishing presents #PunkSpo from Microcosm Publishing on Vimeo.