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A. D. Coleman photo
A. D. Coleman, photography critic and lecturer, has published numerous books, including The Grotesque in Photography, Light Readings, Tarnished Silver, Depth of Field, and The Digital Evolution, which Wired magazine called "required reading for today's media-savvy or information-obsessed artist."

His collection of essays Critical Focus received the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award for Writing on Photography in 1995. Coleman's internationally syndicated columns and essays have appeared in ARTnews, Photo Metro, Artforum, the New York Times, the New York Observer, Technology Review, the Village Voice, and other periodicals; they have been translated into 21 languages and published in 30 countries.

Coleman is a member of PEN American Center, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Authors Guild, the National Writers Union, and AICA USA, the international association of critics of art. In 1998 American Photo named Coleman one of "the 100 most important people in photography." A Guest Scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1993, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Sweden in 1994, he was the Ansel and Virginia Adams Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Creative Photography in 1997. Since 1995 Coleman has been Executive Director of this website, The Nearby Café, a multi-subject electronic magazine where his newsletter on photography, C: the Speed of Light, and his newsletter for writers, WordWork: Survival Strategies for the Professional Writer, also appear.

Born and raised in Greenwich Village, Coleman spent several formative years in France during his childhood. Since 1967 he has lived in Stapleton, a township on Staten Island's North Shore in New York City, where as a single parent he raised his son, Edward, now a master chef in Manhattan.

While publishing and lecturing internationally as a media commentator and photography critic under the pen name A. D. Coleman, Allan Douglass Coleman quietly pursues creative activity in a variety of forms: photographs, collages and assemblages, music, poetry, fiction and audiotexts, among others.

Over the years, Coleman has been involved in a variety of events and performances. In the late '60s he performed as lead singer/songwriter in a now-legendary local jazz-rock band, the Binding Force. In 1972, Coleman collaborated with noted photographer and filmmaker Neal Slavin (The Britons) on a happening and exhibition in New York City, "The Market Diner Bash." In 1991, he had a speaking role in Last Supper, a film written and directed by the renowned photographer/filmmaker Robert Frank, sponsored by BBC Productions.

During the past three decades Coleman has self-published several artist's books (Confirmation, Carbon Copy, and Turning Thirty), and in 2000 published his first book-length collection of creative writing, spine, a cross-cultural collaboration with Nina Sederholm and Mikko Hassinen of Finland, which exists also as an installation and (imminently) as a CD-ROM. In 2001 he received a COAHSI Performance Grant for a Junefest 2001 presentation of a live-performance multimedia version of this work at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art.

Artworks by Coleman in various media have been included in a number of group exhibitions, including several that have travelled. They have been published in Assembling, The Fessenden Review, MC, Eros and Photography, and the limited-edition portfolio Crackerjacks. Bookworks of his are in the collections of the Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ; the Center for Book Arts, NY; FAMU, Prague; The Ffotogallery, Wales; Franklin Furnace Archive, New York; Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam; Goteborg University, Sweden; L'Espace de la Photo, Paris; the New York Public Library; the Swedish Archive of Artists' Books; the Visible Language Workshop Gallery, Cambridge, MA; and the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, among others. In 1980, he guest-curated a major group exhibition of photography, "Silver Sensibilities," at the Newhouse Gallery in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

Controversial as a writer since his undergraduate years at Hunter College in the Bronx (now Lehman College), Coleman earned a Master's Degree in Creative Writing at San Francisco State College in 1967. Shortly thereafter, he stopped writing poetry, fiction and plays and turned his attention to criticism, social commentary and reportage, developing an international readership under the pen name A. D. Coleman. In 1988, after two decades of self-imposed silence in poetry and fiction, he returned to those forms.

Coleman has since published in Nimrod, Sanskrit, Creative Nonfiction, Urban Desires, and elsewhere, and has read at Art's Garage with Joyce Carol Oates, Daniel Halpern, Edmund Keeley and others, and solo in Prague; San Antonio, Texas; Penland, North Carolina; and Tucson, Arizona, as well as at various locations on Staten Island. In the spring of 1998 he was inducted into membership in the short-lived but influential coalition Staten Island TRASH, as a result of which he began committing substantial energies to working as a performing poet. This in turn encouraged him to concentrate on the genesis of The Sepoy Rebellion, a collective of of Island-based performing poets of which he's a founding member. (For the archive of Coleman's poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, click here.)

He writes a bi-weekly column on Staten Island issues, "Island Living," on which this online version is based, for the Star Reporter newspaper chain.

Unless otherwise credited, all text and images in this newsletter
are © copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
by A. D. Coleman. All rights reserved.

By permission of the author and
Image/World Syndication Services,
P.O.B. 040078,
Staten Island, New York 10304-0002 USA.
T/F (718) 447-3091