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, often with collaborators including John Cage, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, Steina, Woody Vasulka, Madeline Gins, Theater Grottesco.

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

Most Recent Books by Robert Ashley: Crash, and Quicksand

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

Selected Awards: 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 by Michael Sumner & Sumner Carnahan was the winner in Art and Photography at the Southwest Book Design & Production Awards.

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.

Co-publishers include the University of Iowa International Writer’s Program, West End Press, Archer Fields, Dalkey Archive, Frog Peak Music, Zerx Press, and High Mayhem. Seven books were made in collaboration with typographer Kathleen Burch.

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