Creative Work

Phyllis is dedicated to building a more peaceful and equitable world. Her work shares the "continuing passion" of Eudora Welty: "to part a curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between people, the veil of indifference to each other’s presence, each other’s wonder, each other’s human plight."

  • Spiritual Nonfiction

    Her spiritual nonfiction titles are currently being published by Bell Sound Books. They include The Emptiness of Our Hands, Practicing Presence, and The Book of the World.

  • Historical Fiction

    Beneath the Same Stars, her debut novel, was published in 2018 by One Sky Press. It explores the Dakota Uprising of 1862 from the perspective of Sarah Wakefield, a captive during that little-known Indian war.

  • Poetry

    Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, which she edited with Ruby R. Wilson, is a collection by a remarkable array of poets. This "good medicine poetry" will lead you deeper into the practice of being here now.

  • Public Speaking

    She has spoken to audiences of all sizes and types on such diverse topics as creative writing, spiritual practices, inter-religious dialogue, the Dakota Uprising of 1862, and mindfulness poetry. Contact her if you might be interested in a booking.

  • Music

    The four albums she has published are now unavailable as CDs. However, some of her solo piano music is available for digital download through online music sellers. Look for her albums Friends (2006) and Child of All Earth (2007). Enjoy free holiday music and other recordings on her SoundCloud channel.

  • Current Project

    She's researching two works of fiction. The first is a contemporary novel dealing with aging, devastating memory loss and family secrets. The other is historical, set in the Canton (SD) Asylum for Insane Indians, a federal facility operating from 1898 to 1934. A large number of its so-called "patients," detained in horrible conditions, were not insane.

About Phyllis

About Phyllis

Author, editor, public speaker, composer.... Whenever someone asks her profession, Phyllis likes to joke, "Whatever doesn't pay well." But these days she's pouring most of her energies into her writing.

Current Book Titles

Phyllis has authored or edited books in multiple genres, primarily spiritual nonfiction, historical fiction and poetry.

  • Beneath the Same Stars: A Novel of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War

    Beneath the Same Stars: A Novel of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War

    (historical fiction)

  • Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems

    Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems

    (poetry)

  • The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets

    The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets

    (nonfiction)

  • Practicing Presence: Insights from the Streets

    Practicing Presence: Insights from the Streets

    (nonfiction)

  • The Book of the World: A Contemporary Scripture

    The Book of the World: A Contemporary Scripture

    (nonfiction)

Recent Blog Posts

  • “Stories Behind the Story” to Explore Forgotten 1862 War

    Live near Brookings, South Dakota? Want to learn more about the stories behind Beneath the Same Stars? I cordially invite you to “The Stories Behind the Story,” a revealing look at the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War and the historical novel I based upon it. The event will take place from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, […]

  • Book’s Out! Ready to Read?

      On this Monday in 1862, the U.S.-Dakota War erupted in southwestern Minnesota. Sarah Wakefield and her two young children were taken captive by Dakota warriors while traveling the government road on the Sioux reservation. Today Sarah’s story has been officially released in novel form by One Sky Press. After nearly six years of research […]

  • You’re Invited to My Online “Blessing of the Book”

    On Monday, August 20th, from 7:00-8:30 PM, I will host a “Blessing of the Book,” a Facebook Live event. If you have a Facebook account, I respectfully invite you to celebrate with me the official release of my novel, Beneath the Same Stars, and magnify my hope for the good it might inspire. Just as […]

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Keep in Touch

Phyllis will gladly reply as soon as her schedule allows.