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K-State Today

November 5, 2019

Writer Elena Passarello to read from her work on Friday

Submitted by Karin Westman

Elena Passarello

On Friday, Nov. 8, writer Elena Passarello will read from her work at 3:30 p.m. in Union Wildcat Chamber.

Passarello is an associate professor of creative writing in the English department at Oregon State University, where she teaches courses on writing and reading literary nonfiction.

Passarello's first collection, "Let Me Clear My Throat" (Sarabande, 2012), won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards and was a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award. Her second essay collection, "Animals Strike Curious Poses" (Sarabande, 2017), was a New York Times editor's choice and will be reprinted in Germany, Italy and the U.K. She has also published essays on performance, pop culture, and the natural world in the New York Times, Oxford American, Slate, Creative Nonfiction, and The Iowa Review, among other publications

An actor and writer, Passarello has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art. In 2015, she received the Whiting Award in nonfiction.

Elizabeth Dodd, university distinguished professor of English and creative writing, is drawn to the range of topics and tones in Passarello's writing.

"Elena Passarello is a wildly inventive essayist, by turns hilarious, philosophical, and introspective. Whether she's writing about winning a contest in professional yelling (sort of) or recalling the real, live, fake unicorn that once showed up in a traveling circus, she is always the real thing," Dodd said.

Traci Brimhall, associate professor and director of the Program in Creative Writing, values Passarello's ability to bring wonder to our experience of the world.

"Funny, brilliant, and deeply engaging, Elena Passarello's work always reminds me how joyful curiosity can be. Her essays always make the world more understandable and more wondrous at the same time," Brimhall said.

More information about Passarello's work is available at her website.

Passarello's reading is sponsored by the English department in the College of Arts and Sciences and by SGA fine arts fees. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the reading.