Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Owen John Keehnen  

Pen Name: Owen Keehnen

Genre: Fiction History

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1960 in Rockford, IL


-- Twitter -- https://twitter.com/owenkeehnen
-- Owen John Keehnen on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=owen+john++keehnen


Illinois Connection

Owen Keehnen was born in Rockford Illinois, went to college in Quincy (Quincy University, 1983), and currently resides in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Writer and historian Owen Keehnen’s fiction, essays, erotica, reviews, and interviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines and anthologies worldwide, including the upcoming ''Windy City Queer'' from University of Wisconsin Press. He is the co-author (along with Tracy Baim) of ''Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow'' as well as the James Flint biography ''The Boy From Peoria''. Keehnen is the author of the horror novel ''Doorway Unto Darkness'' and the humorous gay novel ''I May Not Be Much But I’m All I Think About'' (e-gaymag.com). Over 100 of his interviews with various authors LGBTQ authors and activists from the 1990s have been collected in the book ''We’re Here, We’re Queer'' which chronicles the evolution of the modern gay movement. He is also co-editor of Nothing ''Personal: Chronicles of Chicago’s LGBTQ Community 1977–1997'' (Firetrap Press, 2009) and contributed 10 of the biographical essays in the groundbreaking coffee-table book ''Out and Proud in Chicago'' (Surrey/Agate, 2008).Keehnen was on the founding committee of [http://legacyprojectchicago.org ''The Legacy Project''] and currently serves as secretary for the LGBT history-education-arts program focused on pride, acceptance, and bringing proper recognition to the courageous lives and contributions of international LGBTQ historical figures. He is the former programming director for Gerber/Hart Library and has had two queer monologues adapted for the stage. He has written regular columns in such magazines as ''Penthouse Forum'' and ''Men’s Style'' and was author of the ''Starz'' books, a four-volume series of interviews with gay porn stars. He was co-editor of the ''Windy City Times Pride Literary Supplement'' for several years and continues working periodically as a features writer for the newspaper. He lives in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood and was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2011.


Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes) Currently Owen Keehnen is helping to chronicle LGBTQ history in Chicago and is hard at work on the life story of Chicago activist and entrepreneur Jim Flint (''The Boy From Peoria'', Prairie Avenue Productions, 2011) as well as finishing edits on his latest novel ''The Sand Bar'' (Lethe Press, 2011).

Selected Titles At Your Library

Doorway unto darkness /
ISBN: 1892076756. OCLC Number: 632307962

Dancing Moon Press,. .

"A grisly tale of possession, murder and vengeance that transcends time, this is the sory of Michael Rogers whose dull life grows suddenly complicated when a spirit, Mel, a merciless killer, takes up residence in his body. After each carnage Mel vanishes and Michael returns to face the grisly scene. Told in journal format, the novel traces Michael's mental and moral deterioration. His world is one of confusion and dread. As the plot unfolds and the body count rises, clues emerge that reveal Michaels's ancestral history with Mel."--Page 4 of cover.

Jim Flint :
ISBN: 146639840X. OCLC Number: 775442089

Prairie Ave. Productions,. .

"A poor shoeshine boy rose to become Chicago's impresario of female impersonation. This is Flint's story, and that of the fascinating characters-- entertainers, barkeepers, sports people, politicians, activists, cops and mobsters-- who knew him in the heady years of the emerging LGBT movement"--Cover.

LGBT book of days :
ISBN: 1925031632. OCLC Number: 880402029

Wilde City Press,. .

"A reference book, a fun trivia compilation, and a tool for further investigation into our rich, colorful--and profoundly challenging--past. Year by year, month by month, day by day, this book chronicles the unforgettable events and incredible lives that have forged our history and made us the strong, brave and proud community we are today"--Page 4 of cover.

The sand bar /
ISBN: 1590210182. OCLC Number: 780063883

Lethe Press,. .

Vernita Gray :
ISBN: 1499388888. OCLC Number: 881704982

Prairie Avenue Productions/Windy City Media Group,. .

Vernita Gray was an African American gay and civil rights leader who hailed from the South Side district of Chicago. During her meaningful life, she sought for equal rights not only for African American women, but for abused women, the LGBTQ community, the poor, and eventually for legal same-sex marriage rights. Her spirit lives on in this lovely tribute put together by two of her closest friends, and includes memorabilia in several forms throughout.

We're here, we're queer :
ISBN: 1463606214. OCLC Number: 754549064

Prairie Avenue Productions,. .

Contains over 100 interviews with activists, artists, writers, and others who helped lay the groundwork for the current LGBTQ world. Primarily conducted in the 1990s these chats with some of the defining members of the community provide an excellent window onto the world. Collectively these primary source interviews provide substantial insight into an ear that may have been only a few decades ago, but was also a world away.

Young Digby Swank :
ISBN: 1925031616. OCLC Number: 880368643

Wilde City Press,. .

"Meet young Digby Swank--a gay boy in a very Catholic world. This is his story--from his miraculous birth, his troubled childhood and his quest for popularity, all the way to his dream of becoming Pope and/or a beauty queen. Follow Digby through Cub Scouts, through his stint as an altar boy, a prankster, an outcast, a cross dresser, a vengeance seeker, a hell-bound sinner, and more. But it's not just Digby you'll meet on the journey! Say hello to Digby's overbearing relatives, a few bullying nuns, some eccentric neighbors, and oh, let's not forget the parish gossips of Running Falls, the small blue collar town in which Digby lives. Yes, meet Digby Swank. A boy searching for love, belonging, and maybe even a halo. Surely those devil horns will keep it propped up."--Page 4 of cover.