The new year brings a new batch of friends around the office and shop. What kind of people volunteer at a publishing house? Well this season’s interns come from all over the country, with a love of books, writing, and stories that brought them, like so many of us, to this cozy green shop.
What do you like to be called? How would you describe yourself?
Neil (he/him): I’m pretty quiet, creative, and curious. I think of myself as an observant little rabbit. I’m very passionate about spreading kindness and learning self love. I spend most of my time drawing or knitting!
Kellie (she/her): Creative, quixotic, and adventurous.
Briana (she/her): Easy going, flexible, creative, fun, and adventurous.
Noah (they/them): I am a queer, trans, disabled whirlwind with a passion for books, writing, and medicine.
Chris (she/her): Quiet and friendly.
[Chris has been with us since the fall season, you may have seen her book review of This is Your Brain on Depression last month.]
What do you like to spend your time doing?
Neil: Knitting is my very favorite activity. It’s like a challenging puzzle where you can choose colorful materials to make something warm and cozy and once you’re done you feel super accomplished!
Kellie: Drawing, writing, reading, making other people happy
Briana: Either reading a good book or taking pictures around the city. Most of my photography has revolved around activism in Portland.
Noah: I love to write, read, and sometimes draw in my free time. I also dabble in photography and crocheting, although I haven’t done the latter in a while now.
Chris: Coloring! And spending time with my dog, Catawba.
Where are you from? What do you miss/not miss most?
Neil: I go to school in Vermont; I really miss my friends and living in the beautiful mountains, but I’m fine without the heaps of snow.
Kellie: California. I miss my family, the thriving entertainment industry, and the sun.
Briana: I’m from sunny Southern California. I miss my family, the beach, constant 70 degree weather, and my friends. I do not miss the smoggy air and LA traffic.
Noah: I grew up in Ohio, then went to UW in Seattle for four years before moving to Vancouver. I miss the extreme seasons in Ohio (and the decent air conditioning!).
Chris: I am from North Carolina. I miss my family the most.
What’s your favorite thing about where you live now?
Neil: My roommate brings home donuts every night and my other roommate has a very sweet and cuddly cat named Deidre.
Kellie: Being closer to my boyfriend and the beautiful environment.
Briana: Besides Portland’s blend of urban living with easy access to nature, I’ve always been drawn to the fact that it’s one of the most literary cities in the country. I’ve spent many hours perusing the shelves of Powell’s.
Noah: I live in Vancouver, which is nice because it’s near friends and my husband’s family. That and the parking isn’t as difficult as it is in Portland.
What brings you to Microcosm?
Neil: My goal is to create and publish my own comic books! I knew that Microcosm could teach me a lot about the industry and I was drawn to the topics/goals that Microcosm stands by!
Kellie: A thirst for knowledge in the area of publishing.
Briana: I was drawn to Microcosm after seeing their selection of books at Portland’s Book Festival. I was impressed by the array of zines and books that were geared towards empowering its readers through self care, activism, and building healthy relationships.
Noah: Books! More seriously, I wanted to test the waters of the publishing industry, and this seemed like a good place to do so while also having my identities respected and recognized.
What do you want to get out of your time here, now that you’ve seen the basics of what we do?
Neil: I’m hoping to strengthen my skills with group work, problem solving and time management! I’ve never had an office job before and I can see I have a lot to learn, which is exciting!
Kellie: Information about the back end of publishing. I wish for my own book to be published in the future and so am interested in the ins and outs of this business.
Briana: I’d like to learn more about editing, and the relationship between author and publisher.
Noah: I just want to learn as much as possible, really.
What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Microcosm so far?
Neil: My favorite thing is how kind and welcoming everyone is! I felt right at home on my first day. My least favorite thing is that the office is sometimes cold, but I’ve learned to bundle up a bit.
Kellie: I really like the atmosphere and friendly employees.
Briana: Microcosm has so many empowering and informative books, it’s amazing to be part of a publishing company with strong integrity and hard workers.
Noah: I’m editing a zine on accessibility in queer spaces right now, and that is RIGHT up my alley, so I’m really enjoying that kind of work. I also really like the atmosphere of the open warehouse.
Curveball: What is your favorite thing to watch/read/enjoy in the world right now?
Neil: Bob’s Burgers.
Kellie: Animated films; uplifting and atmospheric music. I’ve been really into the movie Smallfoot, for some reason. Does that count?
Briana: Now that it’s winter, I’m spending a lot more time binge watching Netflix, I just finished “You,” a pretty terrifying show from the perspective of a stalker. I’m also reading “Borderlands,” by Gloria Anzaldua.
Noah: The Adventure Zone, The Good Place… so many more.
Chris: The Good Place. (many of us in the office would like to 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th this one)
Where can people find you online?
Neil: Instagram: @spicy_s0up
Briana: Instagram: @brianaybanez_
Noah: Twitter: @noahyouknow
Chris: Instagram! @alexandria.vale
For information about volunteering or interning at Microcosm, check out our FAQ.