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About Allan Douglass Coleman

For the archive of Allan's poetry, fiction and essays, click here.


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.

Born and raised in Greenwich Village, Allan 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 he raised his son, Edward, who is now a master chef in Manhattan.

Over the years, Allan 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, Allan collaborated with noted photographer 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 photographer/filmmaker Robert Frank, sponsored by BBC Productions.

Controversial as a writer since his undergraduate years at Hunter College in the Bronx (now Lehman College), Allan 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.

Allan 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 "open mikes" 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.

Here's a sample of what Allan reads at The Sepoy Rebellion's performances:

Dream Poem 1: Prague 7/16/95

To begin with, the matter
of the eight-inch-long hair
grown somehow unobserved
from my left nipple; then
arguing with my father
over his imprecise description
of a restaurant's cooking style.
Nina kisses me awake, asks
if I'd been dreaming: she'd watched
them flicker on my eyelids.

(Published in Cover, Vol. 10, no. 1, 1996.)

Dream Poem 3: New York 7/30/95

Swallow, my chicana, with the obsidian
blade of her love, pierces my breast,
thrusts my heart back in.
I'm trundled to her Singer, stitched up,
good as old.

(Published in Cover, Vol. 10, no. 1, 1996.)

Dream Poem 4: New York 9/23/95

Three happy neighbor children speaking
all at once to me: incomprehensible
delight. Then: small sandwiches,
an entire party tray of Italian
chocolate cookies all for me,
brought by a flirting woman.
I'm partial to those
shaped like leaves.

(Published in Stoneflower, Vol. II, 1997; Peaky Hide, No. 4/5, 1998.)

Dream Poem 5: New York 1/3/96

This Chinese art student
nonplussed by Doug's offer
to replenish her supply
of expressions of surprise.

My angel rolling
in the mango snow.

(Published in Peaky Hide, No. 4/5, 1998.)

Portrait of ADC with borrowed cigarette in front of Mekons painting of Herbert Huncke, NYC, fall 1997," © copyright 1997 by John Carlano. (Allan wants everyone to know that he doesn't smoke -- aside from the occasional celebratory cigar -- and used the cigarette strictly as a prop in imitating the notable Beat writer in the painting behind him. This is in no way intended to encourage smoking, especially among the impressionable young people who are our nation's future.)

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