microcosm logo by sarah oleksykA small, charming, and innovative publishing house and distributor, Microcosm Publishing empowers 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 bookettes about DIY skills, food, bicycling, gender, self-care, and social justice. The then-distro and record label was started by Joe Biel in his bedroom in 1996 and is now the oldest commercial publisher in Portland, OR. Microcosm constantly strives to be recognized for our spirit, creativity, and value. Our books are printed in the U.S. on post-consumer papers while we double the industry standard in our number of women authors.

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.

Microcosm is distributed worldwide by Legato / Perseus Books Group and by Turnaround in the UK.

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 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 questions

tomy hunyh

Tomy Huynh is our editorial assistant, managing our text, data, and accuracy. He ensures that every manuscript is masterful and as perfect as it needs to be when not bike commuting to work.

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

cyn marts

Cynthia Marts is our sales manager, bravely keeping our stores booked and reaching out to the kind stores all over the universe that are kind enough to sell our books to their patrons. She enjoys young adult fiction, the Jessica Jones Netflix adaptation, and Portland's yummy foods.

Contact Cyn to place an order for your store.

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.

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

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 manages our promotions, publicity, press, and executes our editorial development.

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

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, financial officer, 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.