Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Owen John Keehnen  

Pen Name: Owen Keehnen

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction History

Born: 1960 in Rockford, IL


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'' ( 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 [ ''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.

Published Works Expand for more information

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