Barbara Richardson

Barbara Richardson considers Brigham City, Utah the center of things. All of her ancestors lived in the area, she visited Brigham often as a kid, and the pull of the vast wild bird refuge keeps bringing her back. Her love of the natural world includes dirt and its powers for good, trees in their splendor and disarray, fresh air, dark skies, fireflies, river valleys, and flocks of white-faced ibis. 

Richardson writes fiction and edits anthologies. Her novel Tributary (Torrey House Press, 2012), set in Brigham City, tracks a small band of 19th century mavericks who resist communal salvation in order to discover their own. Tributary won the 2013 Utah Book Award, the 15 Bytes Award, and was a WILLA Fiction finalist. Richardson’s most recent book Dirt: A Love Story (University Press of New England, 2015) brings together essayists of all stripes—scientists, authors, farmers, and artists—to extol the virtues of dirt. The anthology, which encourages spontaneous dirt worship, won a Silver Nautilus Award. Most recently, in 2019, High Desert Journal nominated her short story “Take AIM” for a Pushcart Prize. 

A Utahn since the fifth grade, Richardson graduated from the University of Utah and later earned an MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University (1992). She now works as a writer, editor, and landscape designer in Colorado’s Front Range. The power of books continues to soothe and mystify her.



Dirt: A Love Story, anthology, University Press of New England, 2015.

I Am with You: Love Letters to Cancer Patients, anthology, Bay Tree Publishing, 2015.

Tributary, novel, Torrey House Press, 2012.

Guest House, novel, Bay Tree Publishing, 2010.