Close up of Nevada Writers Hall of Fame medal

Phyllis Barber

2005 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Inductee


Phyllis N. Barber was born in Nevada and grew up in Boulder City and Las Vegas. She can trace her family's Nevada roots to the 1860s. Trained as a classical pianist, she has served on the Board of Directors for the Utah Symphony. She later worked as a feature writer for the Utah Holiday magazine. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Vermont College and has taught in its Writing Program. Her autobiography, How I Got Cultured, won the 1991 Association of Writers & Writing Programs Prize for Creative Nonfiction and the 1993 Award for Best Autobiography from the Association of Mormon Letters. In 1984, she co-founded the Writers at Work non-profit literary organization in Park City, Utah.

Her short story, "Wild Sage," received Special Mention in Pushcart Prize XIII (1988-89). Two of her short stories won third prize in the Dialogue Writing Awards - Fiction: "The Whip: A Mormon Folktale" in 1986 and "Bird of Paradise" in 1991. Another short story, "Mormon Levis," won first prize in the 1996 Brookie and D. K. Brown Memorial Fiction Contest. She currently lives in Utah. Her spiritual autobiography, To the Mountain, was published in 2014.