Dale Ray Phillips

Assistant Professor


"Phillips's prose flashes powerful unpredictability with every delicious little shock." – Publishers Weekly

"Take care of the sentence, and the sentence will take care of you." – Dale Ray Phillips


Dale Ray Phillips


M.F.A., Creative Writing

University of Arkansas-Fayetteville


M.A., English

Hollins College


B.A., English

UNC Chapel Hill


B.A., Anthropology

UNC Chapel Hill



My People's Waltz. W.W. Norton and Company, 1999. Paperback edition by HarperCollins Perennial, 2000.

Selected Publications

"Having at It." The Oxford American Best of the South, 2012.

"Surviving the Uncles and Learning How to Write—Arkansas Style." The Oxford American Education Issue, 2011.

"Hillbilly Fishing." The Oxford American Best of the South, 2010.

"My Father's Ark." New Madrid, Winter 2007.

"Haw River Cosmology." Zoetrope: All-Story 4:2, Summer 2000.

"What It Cost Travelers." The Greensboro Review, February 1999.

"The Woods At The Back Of Our Houses." Harpers, July 1998.

"Why I'm Talking." The Atlantic, March 1996.

"Corporal Love." Story, Spring 1996. Reprinted in New Stories from the South 1997: The Year's Best, Algonquin Books.

"Everything Quiet Like Church." Story, Spring 1994. Reprinted in New Stories from the South 1995: The Year's Best, Algonquin Books.

"What Men Love For." The Atlantic, April 1988. Reprinted in Best American Short Stories of 1989, Houghton Mifflin.

Areas of Specialization

Creative Writing


Rhetoric and Composition


Dale Ray Phillips

7C-13 Faculty Hall

Murray State University

Murray KY 42071-3341


Courses Taught

American Literature


Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry

Developmental English

English as a Second Language

Graduate Fiction Workshop


Introduction to Literature

Twenty-plus residencies in the Arkansas Schools World Literature


Awards and Distinctions

Watkins Endowed Chair of Creative Writing, Murray State University, 2007-10
Judge, The Oxford American Southern Literature Poll, 2009
Pulitzer Prize nominee for My People's Waltz, 2000
Discover Great New Writers Award for My People's Waltz, 1999
The New York Times Editor's Choice Pick for My People's Waltz, 1999
Stories in New Stories From The South: The Year's Best, 1995 and 1997
North Carolina Distinguished Scholar Appointment, 1991
Story in Best American Short Stories, 1989
Esquire Pyramid of Literature, Summer Fiction Issue, July 1989
Three stories listed in Distinguished Stories section of Best American series
Honorable Mention, O. Henry series
Lily Peters Fellowship in Fiction, University of Arkansas, 1986-87
James Andrew Purdy Award for Fiction, Hollins College, 1985-85
Randall Jarrell Fellowship, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1978-79