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About Ken

Ken's new novel, The Book of Casey Adair, is forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press in 2021.


Ken Harvey’s work has been published in over 20 literary magazines. His book of short stories, If You Were With Me Everything Would Be All Right, won the Violet Quill Award for Best Gay Fiction of the Year and was named one of the "twenty books of note" by the Lambda Literary Review. The book was also translated into Italian and received enthusiastic reviews in Italy. His memoir, A Passionate Engagement, was honored by the American Library Association as a Rainbow Book. Ken has read his work on On Point, a program on National Public Radio, and is a book reviewer for Lambda Literary. When not working on his own writing, he teaches at writing such programs as the Young Writers Institute at the Bennington Writing Seminars. He also works with writers individually to help them perfect their craft. Ken is a member of the Authors Guild and has been awarded residencies in Taos, New Mexico and at the Millay Colony for the Arts. He holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College, an M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the Middlebury Language Schools and an M.F.A in Creative Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.


Praise for Ken's Work

for A Passionate Engagement

A Passionate Engagement has been selected for the American Library Association's Rainbow Book List.


--The Boston Sunday Globe

"a seamless fusion of politics and the personal..."
-- Philadelphia Gay News

"With this memoir, (Harvey) not only speaks for himself, but gives voice to each person still searching for a native tongue."
--V. Jo Hsu, Green Mountains Review

"A Passionate Engagement is both love story and activist journal, intimate personal narrative and social commentary chronicle. Harvey delivers a moving but never mawkish account of an important human drive and how it intersects with politics, public perception, and personal struggle."
--Lisa Romeo, Foreword Reviews

"A Passionate Engagement is as timely as it is moving…The vital importance of the availability of marriage to everyone shines through in this important story of true love and political activism."
--Jim Plechota, Bay Area Reporter

“There’s no question more important than whether or not you get to marry the person you love. Ken Harvey shows what happens when personal lives intersect with a great political struggle, and he does it with enormous insight. This is a subtle, sensitive, and very moving book.”
--Joan Wickersham, author of The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death in Order

"... you can’t do better than A Passionate Engagement—and you might buy extras for friends and family of all sociopolitical and sexual persuasions."
--David Pratt, Lambda Literary

"Ken Harvey has written a memoir that is a fine book on so many levels. The utter simplicity of retelling his childhood is as tender a story as any in the literature...echoes of Salinger and Joyce haunt the pages."
--Grady Harp, amazon top ten reviewer

"A Passionate Engagement is a fine addition to any Gay studies or memoir collection."
--Midwest Book Review

"Violet Quill Award-winner Ken Harvey’s memoir A Passionate Engagement recounts his humorous coming out in Massachusetts during the battle against the same-sex marriage ban. Harvey... proves an excellent eyewitness to the defiance of those who changed him from a reluctant activist to a proud soldier of love and war. It’s the perfect holiday read to gear up for a new year full of tumbles in the sheets and in the streets.
--Next Magazine

"As Harvey looks at his own political life, we see the political life of so many and we are lucky to have this so clearly presented to us in such beautiful language. The fact that it is so personal makes it all the more real and important. It pulled me in on the first page and has had a profound effect on me and it looks like it will be heading toward my ten best of 2010."
--Amos Lassen, Amos Lassen Reviews

"This is a very timely story about a truly important social movement. Reading about Harvey going from observer to a fighting advocate for same-sex marriage offers hope to the reader - the hope that other states will follow Massachusetts in allowing the right for every individual to marry the person he or she loves."
-- Adela M. Brito, Edge Media Network

"If your giftee loves to read memoirs that empower, then wrap up “A Passionate Engagement” by Ken Harvey. In this slim book, Harvey talks about coming out, meeting his husband and becoming an activist. Politics play an important part in this book, so it might be a good choice for anyone who’s politics-minded, too."
--Qnotes, LGBTQ Arts and Entertainment

"This is a wonderful memoir to better understand the reasons for change in our country’s future."
--Teri Davis,

for If You Were With Me Everything Would Be All Right

“There is a sly eye winking and a generous heart beating in every one of Ken Harvey’s delicious stories. Each is an ode to the apologetic love on thin ice that I treasure most on the page. What a find, and what a treat.”
--Elinor Lipman, author of The Inn at Lake Divine and The Family Man

“With humor and grace, Ken Harvey dissects the connective tissue between friends and lovers, parents and children. He knows the precise spot where joy and sorrow meet in the walls and chambers of the human heart. He knows that the ending of one story can be a bridge to the next. And he writes like an angel. What a wonderful debut.”
--Mameve Medwed, author of Of Men and Their Mothers and How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life

“Ken Harvey’s quirky characters find themselves always in the act of finding themselves -- becoming, suffering, learning, changing. These are stories with heart, stories that matter. Read them for their craft, read them for their pitch-perfect prose, for their characters, for their sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-rending predicaments -- but read them!”
--Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House: A Memoir and Interference

“Ken Harvey’s wonderful stories explore the complexities of contemporary life with remarkable compassion, humor, and wisdom. His range and talent are evident on every page. This book is a delightful debut from a very accomplished writer.”
--Helen Fremont, author of After Long Silence: A Memoir

“These are gorgeous, heartfelt, mesmerizing stories. In fact, so much so that when I finished Ken Harvey’s book, I was faced with a major dilemma: Should I go right out and start buying copies for my friends or turn back to the beginning read all thirteen stories again?”
--Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs and Seven Year Switch

“By turns funny and moving, sweet and bracing, Ken Harvey’s stories are full of what one of his lovable characters calls 'the soft and distant thump of life.' A pleasure to read this talented debut collection.”
--Phil Gambone, author of The Language We Use Up Here and Travels Through A Gay Nation