Burning Books
About Burning Books


BURNING BOOKS is an artist-run organization dedicated to the production and publication of literature, music, and art. It was founded by writer/editor Melody Sumner Carnahan and artist/designer Michael Sumner in Oakland, California, in 1979.

The Burning Books imprint has produced thirty-three books and numerous audioworks, often with co-publishers including the University of Iowa International Writer’s Program, West End Press, Archer Fields, East-West Cultural Studies, Frog Peak Music, Zerx Press, and High Mayhem. Seven books were made in collaboration with typographer Kathleen Burch between 1983 and 1994.

Most Recent Books by Robert Ashley: Crash, and Quicksand

Featured Book: Twice Through the Maze by Michael Sumner & Sumner Carnahan

Selected Press: “Twice Through the Maze” exhibition review, Southwest Contemporary
“Book Smart”
 by Julia Goldberg, Santa Fe Reporter (2019)
“Twice Burned” by Jordan Eddy, Santa Fe Reporter (2016)

Selected Awards: Burning Books is a  Bronze Medal Winner in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for The Quadrants Series: Debut Novels by Seasoned Writers, by Robert Ashley, Sumner Carnahan, Thomas Frick, and L.K. Larsen.
And, Twice Through the Maze was the winner in Art and Photography at the Southwest Book Design & Production Awards.

Burning Books author/artist/collaborators include John Cage, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, Joan La Barbara, Steina, Woody Vasulka, Arakawa, Madeline Gins, the Out Of Context Ensemble, Theater Grottesco, et al.

In 1989 Burning Books moved to New Mexico where the two founders continue to produce art in obsolete delivery systems: books, posters, broadsides, movies, pamphlets, handbills, postcards, and discs. And, Seven Sins Soup.

Selected installations include the Museum of Fine Arts, Phil Space, the Center for Contemporary Arts, MOV-iN Gallery, IPI 2007, Mills College, San Francisco Center for the Book, the Donkey Gallery, 516 Arts, High Mayhem Gallery, and Axle Contemporary.

Burning Books is better at making the world more elegant and convincing when it operates as a low-key dysfunctional entity.

Recent BOOKS / Backlist BOOKS / Rare & Out of Print BOOKS

PRESS: Articles, Reviews, Interviews

Manuscript Submissions ??

M O R E   A B O U T   B U R N I N G   B O O K S

BURNING BOOKS   /   P.O. BOX 2638   /   SANTA FE   /   NEW MEXICO 87504




bonus photo of the co-founders