Joy Passanante worked at the University of Idaho in various capacities for thirty-eight years, most of them in the Department of English, for which she taught twenty different courses. Her courses included Literature of Western Civilization, Personal and Exploratory Writing, Business Writing, the many undergraduate creative writing classes she taught in all genres, poetry and non-fiction graduate classes, and graduate courses for Idaho’s high school English teachers. She was also associate director of the creative writing program and trained more than 60 TAs to teach creative, business, and analytical writing.
For eight years she worked as the communication specialist for the College of Business and Economics, where she directed a collegewide writing skills program, wrote and edited publications, and designed and presented writing and leadership workshops throughout the Northwest. During that time and until her retirement, she also served as an at-large writer for numerous university departments, including the Office of the President.
- Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), M.A.T., 1971, English and education
- Washington University (St. Louis), A.B., 1969, English, Phi Beta Kappa
- Sarah Lawrence College, 1965 – 1967, creative writing, literature, art history
- University of Idaho Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year
- Eight Alumni Awards for Faculty Excellence
- Outstanding Faculty Award, Interfraternity Council
- ROTC Faculty Excellence Award for University of Idaho and Washington State University
In addition to individual essays, articles, poems, and short-stories, she has published four books: Sinning in Italy (a fine-press book of poems), My Mother’s Lovers (novel), The Art of Absence (short-story collection); and Through a Long Absence: Words from My Father’s Wars (nonfiction). She is currently working on a collection of personal essays.
- Shenandoah’s Carter Prize for the Essay
- Magazine Association of the Southeast’s best profile award (for an essay)
- Foreword INDIES Book of the Year silver award (for book-length nonfiction)
- Idaho Commission on the Arts awards for poetry and fiction
- Idaho Humanities Research Council Fellowship for nonfiction
- Several national “finalist” distinctions for both books of fiction