Barbara L.M. Handley



To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light - emerson

I suppose the point of a biography is to tell you where I came from and and where I've been in order to show you who I am.

I was born in the late 1960s in an unimportant town in an eastern state. It doesn't matter, we left when I was three months old.

Most of my growing years were spent in Nevada, first in Carson City and then in Reno. Our house lay at the edge of "the gully" at the foot of Peavine Mountain. When I wasn't in my room listening to music and reading, I wandered that desert.

After high school, I moved to California. I lived in Stockton for five years while attending the University of the Pacific and for a year after graduation while I completed an internship.

Nevada taught me to love the rain, so I moved to the Pacific Northwest, which taught me to love the sun.

Sixteen years later I moved to Wisconsin, which is still teaching me that I just need to go back home to Oregon.

My work centers on great mysteries. I've been writing about the same topics for thirty years: community, connection, sense of place, passion, violence, abuse, anger, and sex. Nearly everything I write comes back to sex in the end because it is the greatest mystery to me...the intimate connection between people and the way it ties us together at every level. I am deeply interested it the contrast between the sacred and the profane, the profound and the mundane; I can explore it all through the lens of love and sexual passion.