Paulette Callen was born in eastern South Dakota, graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, completed a year of graduate work in theatre at the University of Minnesota, and for ten years made her home in Minneapolis, while she was active in small regional theatres. She moved to New York in 1977, where she studied acting with Herbert Berghof and began writing. Her first written work was a play Angelique, which enjoyed a staged reading at the Apple Corps Theatre in Manhattan, and a few years later, at the Attic Theatre in Jersey City.
In 1994, she received their first place award for fiction from Negative Capability Press in Mobile, AL.
Her first novel Charity was published by Simon and Schuster in 1997. The following year, Berkeley Signature brought out the paperback edition.
Her poems, stories and essays have appeared in small journals and magazines, such as The Animals' Voice and Between the Species, A Journal of Ethics published by the Albert Schweitzer Foundation at Berkeley.
Her work has appeared in anthologies, most recently Audacious Creativity and Dog Blessings. The poem “See, Nadia!” was included in Beyond Lament, Poets of the World Bearing Witness to the Holocaust (Northwestern University Press) and was subsequently selected by artist Carol Rosen for inclusion in her Holocaust Series, an eight-book collection of photo/text collages housed in the Whitney Museum, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, and the University of Tel Aviv.
Paulette’s employment history includes the Communications Department of a large corporation, a movie theatre, a bank, the gift industry, the ASPCA, the insurance sector as well as summer stock theatres and a year-long stint with a comedy improvisation company. For nearly four years she served as a volunteer staff member for POWARS (Pet Owners with Aids Resource Services) in New York City.
After many years as a resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, she has returned, with her rescued blind Shih Tzu Lily, to the Midwest.