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The Sepoy Rebellion: What Is It?

The Sepoy Rebellion is an idea whose time has come. Click here for The Sepoy Rebellion Manifesto.

The Sepoy Rebellion is a collective of performing poets based on Staten Island. Its present members include Allan Douglass Coleman, Marguerite Maria Rivas, and Wil Wynn. (The fourth founding member, J. J. Hayes, left the group in 2006.)

As the 20th century wound down, these four, aided and abetted by several like-minded compatriots, organized open-mike evenings of poetry, performance art, music, and comedy around Staten Island at such venues as the Kwanzaa Shop, Stapleton; Main Street Café, Tottenville; Coffee and Tea Market Café, West Brighton; Starbucks Coffee, New Dorp; Café Verboten, St. George; and the College of Staten Island. They did so in an earlier configuration called Staten Island TRAveling SHow (S. I. TRASH for short, a sardonic homage to one of the Island's world-famous features, the monumental, visible-from-space Fresh Kills Landfill).

After the demise of S. I. TRASH, the poetry contingent thereof, in preparation for the 21st century and the new millennium, reconstituted itself formally as The Sepoy Rebellion on July 24, 2000. Click here for an explanation of our choice of name — proposed by our resident Island historian, Marguerite Maria Rivas, the de facto poet laureate of Staten Island.

Since then the Rebellion has performed at the Café Verboten and the Muddy Cup, Stapleton; the Every Thing Goes Book Café, Tompkinsville; the Real McCoy, the Cargo Café, and the Vlepo Gallery, St. George; the Catherine Street Gallery in Port Richmond; the Harmony Street Fair in June 2001 at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center; the College of Staten Island; and the Slipper Room in Lower Manhattan, among other venues. (For some of our most notable gigs, see the TSR Live World Tour page.)

Allan Douglass Coleman Wil Wynn Marguerite Maria Rivas J/ J/ Hayes

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