The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets

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About the author

Phyllis Cole-Dai

Phyllis Cole-Dai began writing on an old manual typewriter in childhood and never stopped. Her work explores things that tend to divide us, such as class, ethnicity, religion and gender, so that we might wrestle our way into deeper understandings of one another. 

Phyllis has authored or edited nine books in multiple genres, including historical fiction, memoir, and poetry. Her latest book is Beneath the Same Stars, a novel of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 (One Sky Press, 2018). With Ruby R. Wilson she co-edited the award-winning Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poetry (Grayson Books, 2017). Her memoir The Emptiness of Our Hands, co-authored with James Murray, chronicles 47 days that the two of them practiced “being present” while living by choice on the streets of Columbus, Ohio (3rd ed., Bell Sound Books, 2018).

Phyllis now lives with her scientist-husband, teenage son, and two cats in a cozy 130-year-old house in Brookings, South Dakota.