Nynke Passi was born and raised in the Netherlands. She came to the U.S. when she was eighteen to pursue a B.A. in literature with a minor in theater. After, she earned a graduate degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University where she studied under Michelle Carter, Molly Giles, Frances, Mayes, and William Dickey. She also attended the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference where she studied poetry with Donald Justice, Mark Jarman, and Sidney Wade, and she took a fiction master class in San Francisco with editor Tom Jenks, founder of Narrative magazine. Upon graduation, she began working for the New England Writers’ Association in Vermont, helping N.E.W. directors Frank and Sue Anthony put on the yearly N.E.W. conferences in the Old South Church in Windsor, Vermont, or on the Dartmouth college campus. She also worked as an editor and literary translator in the Netherlands.
Since 1999, Nynke has been creative writing faculty at Maharishi University of Management where she is creative director of the undergraduate Creative Writing program. She has taught on both graduate and undergraduate levels, developing popular and extensive creative writing curriculum in the genres of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and graphic narrative. In the past decade, she also developed highly popular creative process courses. Nynke quickly became one of the most beloved teachers at her institution. Her classes often have waiting lists. The undergraduate creative writing program she helped create also gained a solid academic reputation: Eight of its graduates landed in leading M.A. in Journalism or M.F.A. in Creative Writing programs; three students had children’s books accepted for publication by First World Publishing; and numerous students broke into print in regional magazine The Iowa Source, publishing articles written in Nynke’s Travel Writing classes.
Nynke is also founder and director of The Luminous Writer Literary Center, which teaches workshops and classes in creative writing from a foundation of creativity with the aim of personal transformation.
Nynke’s work has been published in literary magazines such as The Gulf Coast Review and The Anthology of New England Writers, and her poetry has been anthologized in The Dryland Fish, This Enduring Gift, River of Earth and Sky, Amore. One of her poems is forthcoming in a Glass Lyre Press poetry anthology with the theme of World Peace. Together with poet Rustin Larson and poet and essayist Christine Schrum, Nynke edited the poetry collection Leaves by Night, Flowers by Day. Her story “The Kiss,” published in The Gulf Coast Review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her essay “Oom Ealse and the Swan” was a finalist in the 2014 Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize of The Missouri Review.
Her work has also been featured on the website of artist Toc Fetch, and she’s one of the poets featured in the Poetry Project created by Iowa artist Ken Dubin. In 2014, her poetry was on display at ICON gallery in Fairfield, Iowa.
Photo credit: Michael Kreiser, photographer Iowa City, 2014