Phyllis began a psychotherapy career after getting her MSW from the University of Michigan in 1975. She moved to San Francisco in 1984 and has worked in private practice specializing in trauma recovery. Her perspective as a therapist and human, familiar with many types of trauma, infuses her poetry. She’s also a Certified Poetry Therapist, and all writing/reading/hearing poetry, is, to her, healing work.
She’s been fortunate to study with many generous teachers over the years, including gifted Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, great Jack Ridl, wise and tender Danusha Laméris, one and only Paul Fericano, and graceful Amanda Moore. With the advent of Zoom classes during the Pandemic, she’s gone wild with Ellen Bass’s Living Room Craft Talks.
Phyllis has published in many print and online journals including: New Verse News, Silver Birch Press, Qarrtsiluni, Crosswinds, Chiron Review, The American Journal of Nursing, Dovetails, an International Journal of the Arts, Clover, a Literary Review, Sweet, a Literary Confection, 3Elements, Portside, Poetry Hotel, I-70, The Minnesota Review, Verse Virtual, Verse Daily, and others.
She’s also been included in numerous anthologies, most recently, California Fire and Water, a Climate Crisis Anthology edited by Molly Fisk, Fog and Light, San Francisco through the Eyes of Poets Who Live Here, edited by Diane Frank, and I Can’t Breathe, a Poetic Anthology of Social Justice edited by Christopher Okemwa in Nigeria.
Phyllis has published her first book, The Full Moon Herald, with Grayson Books in 2020 at the age of 71. It’s the compilation of many of her poems about current events, along with personal news stories. The book was awarded honorable mention in the Eric Hoffer Book Award poetry category for 2021.
Other prizes and awards include Finalist in: Sweet Poetry Contest, 2017, Carolyn Forché Humanitarian Poetry Contest, 2019, and The Fischer Prize, 2019. She’s also been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes.
Through her affiliation with Amanda Moore, Phyllis has become part of a poetry support group, meeting on Zoom. It’s an oasis of caring, wisdom, and connection during the harsh viral dangers we’ve all been facing. She wants to thank its esteemed and gifted members, Marla Carew, Abby Wheeler, Mistee St. Claire, Kathy Les, Cathy Wald, Renée Schell, and Anastasia Vassos for all their lovely poetry/love and support!