Shawna Kenney is the author of the award-winning memoir I Was a Teenage Dominatrix (Last Gasp), co-author of Imposters (Mark Batty Publisher), and editor of the anthology Book Lovers: Sexy Stories from Under the Covers (Seal Press). Her nonfiction work has appeared in The New York Times, Playboy, Creative Nonfiction, Vice, Paste, The Rumpus, Bust, Narratively, Ms., the Florida Review, and more, while her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Kenney’s personal essays appear in numerous anthologies and she has shared her words with Goucher College, Sarah Lawrence, UCLA, UC Riverside, California State University Long Beach, Cal-State Fullerton, the University of Maryland, Ladyfest LA, the DIY Convention, Vallekilde School of Communications (Denmark), the Hollywood Public Library, Hustler Hollywood, NPR affiliates and the BBC. She earned a BA in Communications from American University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
She teaches creative writing in private workshops and for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Kenney lives in Los Angeles, where she is finishing Live at the Safari Club: a people’s history of harDCore.
Kenney’s honesty, humor and sharp writing style make it an entertaining read. — Jennifer Joseph, San Francisco Bay Guardian
Kenney’s tale is lighthearted but fascinating. . . . Her attitude is, overall, strongly woman-positive, and her spunk and enthusiasm leave a clear, fiery impression on her readers. — Bust Magazine
More a twisted coming-of-age story than warmed-over slice of Marquis de Sade, Kenney’s potboiler approaches its prurient subject matter with a refreshing post-feminist Gen-X practicality. — New Times LA
“With Book Lovers, the legendary Shawna Kenney has not just assembled a fantastic, compulsively readable story collection, she has created a whole new genre—Author Porn. Book Lovers is a scintillating anthology, and a must-read for lustful literati of every stripe. Pull the blinds, and crawl between the covers.”
—Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight
Shunning major publishers, embracing ‘the other,’ and living to tell the tale. That’s Shawna Kenney in a nutshell. She chronicles the lives behind the costumed characters who wander unauthorized up and down Hollywood Blvd, charging passerby for pictures. She earns an MFA in creative writing. She teaches the next generation. There’s not a whole lot that she doesn’t do. — Will Tupper for The Official Chuck Palahniuk Site
It read like Hunter S. Thompson if he’d had ovaries, and a sober moment or two. — Heather Corrina of Scarlet Letters