Author Archives: Callen Harty

About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of four books and numerous published essays, poems, and articles. His most recent book is The Stronger Pull, a memoir about coming out in a small town in Wisconsin. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, is a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His play, Invisible Boy, is a narrative with poetic elements and is also an autobiographical look as surviving child sex abuse. All are available on Amazon.com (and three of them on Kindle) or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he started as an actor, writer, and director in 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events. In 2016, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault named him their annual Courage Award winner for his activism, writing, and speaking on sexual assault.

#SurvivorLoveLetter

To the boy that is me, You and me, we are not so different, even with so many intervening years separating us. We are fighters, stubborn, curious, seekers of justice, too trusting sometimes, lovers of nature, smart, naïve, innocent. We … Continue reading

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Elegy for Terri

The Irish poets sing for you now, songs of passing and sorrow, lilting tunes that reach the ears of angels and honor the truth of your living. A ghost peers through the window wondering when you might walk past, while … Continue reading

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Fear

Over the weekend, a group of right-wingers held a rally at the Wisconsin Capitol to stand up and speak out for Second Amendment rights. At least a couple gun rights groups organized the event. Not that anyone is trying to … Continue reading

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Forward

And so it comes down to this. The Wisconsin Legislature, in an all-night lame duck special session, voted early this morning to weaken the power of the incoming governor and attorney general. While a bill to change an election date … Continue reading

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Letter to Senators on Lame Duck Session

Right now in Wisconsin, Republican leadership has proposed a slew of legislation that would effectively undermine the duly elected Governor and Attorney General, among other things. There are five Republican Senators who have not committed to vote for these bills … Continue reading

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The Boys at the Top

When we were kids in small-town Wisconsin there were always some of the popular kids who could get away with all sorts of things. They were athletes or their parents were rich or held important positions in the town, so … Continue reading

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Letter to Attorney General-Elect Josh Kaul

Dear Attorney General-Elect Kaul, Back on August 21, I sent the e-mail below urging an investigation of clergy abuse in Wisconsin to both the current Attorney General and the Dane County District Attorney. I did not hear back from either … Continue reading

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