Elena Passarello teaches courses in writing and reading literary nonfiction. The recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award, Passarello's essays on performance, pop culture, visual art, and the natural world have been translated into German, Italian, French, Hebrew, and Chinese. Recent work appears in The New York Times, National Geographic, Paris Review, and Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018. In 2019, Outside named her one of the “25 Essential Women Authors Writing about the Wild."
Passarello is the author of two collections, both published by Sarabande Books. The most recent, Animals Strike Curious Poses, was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. It made the Best Books of 2017 lists from several publications including the New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, and Publisher's Weekly, and it received the Oregon Book Award for nonfiction. In 2019, Lithub listed Animals Strike Curious Poses as one of the best essay collections of the decade.
Her debut book, Let Me Clear My Throat, won the gold medal at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards and was a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award, as well as the 2013 nonfiction selection of the Women’s National Book Association and the 2016 “One Campus, One Book” title for the University of Central Missouri. Other work has been widely anthologized in collections, including After Montaigne: Essayists Cover the Essays (UGA Press), The Spirit of Disruption (Outpost19 Books), Little Boxes: Twelve Writers on Television (Coffeehouse Press), Dear America (Trinity U. Press), I’ll Tell You Mine: Essays from 25 Years of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program (U. of Chicago Press), and Cat is Art Spelled Wrong (Coffeehouse Press).
Passarello edits nonfiction for Texas Tech University's Iron Horse Review and is co-editor of the West Virginia University Press nonfiction book series In Place. She sits on the board of NonfictionNow, the largest international conference on the genre, and she also maintains an active speaking and performing career, reading and lecturing at dozens of venues annually.
You can hear her weekly on 200 radio stations across America, as a part of Public Radio International’s culture and variety program, LiveWire!