Barbara Mor was born October 3, 1936, in San Diego, California. Her mother died when Mor was twelve. The young girl lived with her father and step-mother, leaving home immediately after high school. Attracted by the Beat Movement of the late 50s and early 60s, she lived and wrote in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Baja California, and Los Angeles before returning to San Diego to attend San Diego State University. In the late 60s Mor became involved with the Feminist Movement in San Diego. She taught poetry, gave readings and lectures, and helped compile local, limited-run poetry anthologies. Mor spent the mid-1970s in Taos, New Mexico, before moving to Albuquerque in 1979. During this period she published Bitter Root Rituals (WomanSpirit, 1975), Mother Tongue (Athena Press, 1977), and Winter Ditch (Second Porcupine Press, 1982), and began work on The Great Cosmic Mother (Harper & Row, 1987), widely considered among the great American feminist texts of the 20th century. Mor moved to Portland, Oregon, in the late 1990s, drawing on her experience in the Southwest to forge a prose style that is as innovative and demanding as it is compelling. The Blue Rental, a collection of these prose texts, was published by The Oliver Arts & Open Press in 2011. The Victory of sex and Metal (The Oliver Arts & Open Press, 2015), completed during the Spring of 2014, marked Mor’s return to poetry and her stark vision of the American Southwest.
Barbara Mor died on January 24, 2015.