Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Michael Alan Kleen  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT C:YA Fiction History Non-Fiction

Born: 1981 in Chicago


Illinois Connection

I have lived all over Illinois, from the Chicago suburbs, to Charleston, to Rockford, to Macomb. I attended high school at Maine West High School in Des Plaines. I received a BA in philosophy and an MA in history from Eastern Illinois University, and a MS in education from Western Illinois University. I have written several books about the folklore and ghost stories of Illinois, including "Tales of Coles County, Illinois," "Paranormal Illinois," "Haunting the Prairie," and "Legends and Lore of Illinois. "

Biographical and Professional Information

Michael A. Kleen (born October 10, 1981) is an American folklorist, publisher, and social commentator. He was born in Chicago and grew up in the northwest suburb of Des Plaines, Illinois. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.While at Eastern, Michael began writing about local folklore, founded the publishing company Black Oak Press Illinois, and wrote a bi weekly column for the Daily Eastern News. From 2004 to 2007, he was head of an informal group at EIU that visited allegedly haunted places around Coles County, Illinois. In 2005 he wrote and published Tales of Coles County, Illinois, a collection of short historical fiction stories set in Coles County. He also authored "The Legend of Pemberton Hall" in 2008, a stand-alone electronic article highlighting the ghost story surrounding Eastern Illinois University’s Pemberton Hall, which is the oldest all-female dormitory in the State of Illinois.In 2006, Michael created Black Oak Media, a media company that currently produces two publications: Black Oak Presents, "a journal of middle American art and culture," and the Legends and Lore of Illinois, a monthly serial devoted to areas of interest in the folklore of Illinois.In the fall of 2007, Michael presented a paper on Copperheads at the 2007 Conference on Illinois History in Springfield, Illinois. His presentation led to being a featured commentator on the subject for an article on Charleston’s historical mural depicting the Charleston Riot of 1864. He also gave a presentation on local folklore at the Charleston Middle School, which made front page news in the Times-Courier. In 2010, he read a paper on the history of the Coles County Poor Farm at the 2010 Conference on Illinois History in Springfield.Michael’s opinion columns have appeared in newspapers such as the Daily Eastern News, the Daily Egyptian, and the Rock River Times, and on websites such as Strike-the-Root, WorldNetDaily, Lost Liberty Café, and VDARE. He is currently the Friday guest editor at

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