Fayetteville Library Welcomes Peter Coyote

Fayetteville Library Welcomes Peter Coyote

TFW-04.23.15-Peter-CoyoteIf you’ve got a drop of counter-culture blood in your veins, then Haight-Ashbury and the Diggers conjures memories of an entire generation. Too young to remember the significance of those activist years? What about these flicks Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts, Nicolas Sparks-based book A Walk to Remember, and, E.T. Extra Terrestrial? Think about the narration voice for documentary films Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room or the 12-hour Ken Burns series on the National Parks.

Peter Coyote is the common thread weaving these creative and contrasting elements together.

Born Robert Peter Cohon, Peter Coyote is an accomplished author and entertainer known for his films, voice-over narration, and political activism. His name change began at Grinnell College after he ingested peyote and dreamed coyote paw-prints. A few years later, while reading the poetry magazine Coyote’s Journal, he recognized that paw print logo as the same in his hallucination. Self-styled shaman Rolling Thunder (John Pope) advised the two experiences were significant and spiritually linked hence Robert Peter Cohon adopted the name Peter Coyote.

His recently published bestselling and critically acclaimed memoir, Sleeping Where I Fall, centers on his life during the counterculture revolution of the 1960s. He writes in a thoughtful and articulate style about those experiences with communal living, describing the dissension and dysfunction that marked these experiments.

Rainman’s Third Cure: An Irregular Education is a biography and intimate portrait of Coyote’s mentors ranging from his violent intimidating father to a Mafia consiglieri to an ex-game warden, and into the practice of Zen.

Since those commune years, Coyote has narrated episodes for the National Geographic Explorer series and a 2008 documentary produced by PBS details the Bush administration’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the War on Terror. Documentary film Solitary Confinement (2010) on the effect of long-term isolation, with footage taken from Colorado State Penitentiary, and Stealing America: Vote by Vote are two examples of his continued involvement in the issues of today. The San Francisco Bay Guardian called Stealing America the scariest movie of 2008 while Entertainment Weekly called it a “tersely sobering documentary” … where “election fraud is made easier by electronic voting machines.”

The Fayetteville Public Library will welcome author, actor, and activist, Peter Coyote for an author talk on Friday, May 1, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Door will open at 6:30 p.m. for seating.

Peter Coyote’s visit is made possible through a partnership with the University Of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College Of Arts and Sciences’ 2015 McIlroy Family Visiting Professorship in the Performing and Visual Arts. Coyote will spend the week of April 27 through May 2 facilitating workshops and classes in political science, film, theatre, and English, visiting with Fayetteville High School drama students, and meeting with community leaders in Northwest Arkansas.

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