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May 3, 2015

The McIlroy Family Visiting Professorship in the Performing and Visual Arts sponsored Peter Coyote over the past week to have him teach classes at the University of Arkansas. Established in 2006, the professorship invites professionals in certain areas to teach and mentor students. Peter shared, "To be kind of given an endowed chair at a respectable university in the William Fulbright College, who was one of my political heroes, was very moving to me."

He has already taught classes that have to do with nonviolence, Buddhism, urban politics and performance studies. He gave students tips on finding an agent, taking auditions and resisting intimidation with the people they may come across.

"I told students about a friend of mine who has a technique of having all of his students wear a piece of hard candy in their underwear just so they have a secret," Peter said. "That way they’re not too worried about what the guy on the other side of the table is thinking about them."

As he teaches classes, he tries to use his Buddhist practices to bring wisdom and insight to any issue he talks about with students. In addition, he said, "I try to be as loose and as loopy as I really am because I want young people to understand that it’s not only okay, but it’s critical to be who you really are."

Updated 5/18/15 - A letter from Dean Todd Shields of Fulbright College:

Peter Coyote visited Fulbright College in April through the generosity of Hayden and Mary Joe McIlroy and the coordination of a core group of alumni and friends. This acclaimed author, actor, and keen observer of political and social conditions was on our campus for a full week giving wide-ranging lectures on Buddhism and nonviolence, urban politics and social engagement, story telling, documentary production, acting, and survival in a creative environment. We rarely have a single guest who has experience with such a wide array of subjects.

One of our priorities in Fulbright College is to share ideas, new concepts, and acclaimed thinkers with the public. Given Mr. Coyote's breadth of knowledge and generosity with his time, we were able to bring together students, alumni, the community, and others during this amazing week.

Of course, we also like to show off our community when friends come to visit. In addition to his time at the University, he also spoke with drama students at Fayetteville High School, toured TheatreSquared and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, cooked with the owners of The Farmer's Table, led a three-hour writing workshop at the Fayetteville Public Library, and gave interviews to the Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History and KUAF's Ozarks At Large.

During some public remarks, he commented that he was moved to have had this opportunity to serve as a McIlroy Family Visiting Professor in the Performing and Visual Arts. He mentioned his affinity for Senator Fulbright - one of his political heroes - and the respect he had gained for the University.

Visits like this are essential for our students. Exposure to new, and sometimes famous, guest scholars opens their minds to new possibilities, allows them to see how their classroom experience will apply to their lives and careers, and inspires their intellectual growth.

We are fortunate to have partners like the Fayetteville Public Library and donors like the McIlroys who made Mr. Coyote's visit possible. We look forward to bringing you updates on other campus visitors. In the mean time, I encourage you to listen to Peter Coyote's KUAF interview.

May 1, 2015

The Hollywood Reporter invited Peter to chat with them about his new book via their "Off the Cuff" podcast. Jessie Katz writes:

In Rainman, Coyote takes us way back to the beginning, starting with a turbulent childhood that left him searching for mentors (and lovers) wherever he could find them. From the Jewish immigrant world of Manhattan to student protests in Washington D.C., from communal living in Haight-Ashbury to the Paris apartment of Roman Polanski, Coyote's life often reads like fiction. But the reality is that he only barely survived it - especially the twelve years he spent using heroin.

"Last February was the first time in 45 years I've been free of Hepatitis C," he says with much relief. "It took me quite a while to put myself back together."

Check out the full interview at this link.

Drama students at Fayetteville (AR) high school enjoyed a visit from Peter this past Tuesday. He will also be a special guest for the Author Series tonight at the Fayetteville Public Library and tomorrow the library will host a free "Art of the Memoir: Writing Workshop with Peter Coyote" at 9 a.m. Here are some photos taken on April 28th.

You can access Peter's talk via at the Strand bookstore in NYC on April 23rd.

Here are another couple photos taken on April 20th in Portland with Helen Raptis on the AM Northwest show.

April 23, 2015

Here are two new video interviews as Peter continues on his book tour. The first photo link will take you to Seattle's New Day Northwest show. The second one is a Portland interview.

You can also access an excellent interview published today by the Pacific Sun.

April 16, 2015

There are two new interviews with Peter related to his book, THE RAINMAN'S THIRD CURE. The first one is from The Oregonian called "Peter Coyote talks about his spiritual path from the Sixties to 'E.T.' and Zen Buddhism" and the second one is from Marin Independent Journal called "Actor Peter Coyote’s second memoir honors the mentors who helped shape him". Enjoy! The photo below was taken in his apartment but I believe he has now purchased a new home.

Here's a link to a youtube video of Peter as he joins Carl Dix, Cornel West, Eve Ensler, Cindy Sheehan, Alice Walker, Arturo O'Farrill and the families of nearly thirty police murder victims in calling for the April 14, 2015 nation-wide mobilizations to STOP MURDER BY POLICE.

April 12, 2015

Jonah Raskin of the San Francisco Chronicle has written a notable review of Peter's new book. You can read it here. I particularly liked this paragraph - "Perhaps best known as the narrator of many documentaries, among them Ken Burns' The Roosevelts, Coyote has emerged, over the past few decades, as the unofficial yet authentic voice of America. His own personal voice echoes across every page of his memoir. It also speaks for the lost, the lonely, the doomed and the redeemed. Why Coyote says nothing about his work with Burns isn’t clear; perhaps he’s saving it for another book, or doesn’t think it’s essential."

Here are a couple photos taken this week of Peter at City Lights Books in SF. In the second photo he poses with his daughter and granddaughter, who were visiting from Utah.

April 5, 2015

Peter will guest star in Friday night's episode of "Blue Bloods" on CBS. He will play Senator Ted McCreary, who asks his longtime friend, Frank Reagan (played by Tom Selleck), to help make a DUI go away, leaving Frank facing a moral dilemma.

Frank D'Angelo's new film NO DEPOSIT will have its world premiere April 24th in New York City's Greenwich Village at the Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th St., ( during an exclusive one week engagement. The 14 track album soundtrack for the movie launches on iTunes April 28th.

March 15, 2015

Here are some dates for Peter's upcoming book signings for THE RAINMAN'S THIRD CURE. From Library Journal - "Remarkably forthright and insightful, this memoir may inspire others to add a bit of Zen to their lives."

April 14: 6:30 pm - Diesel Bookstore, 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, CA

April 16: 7 pm - Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave, Seattle, WA

April 20: 7:30 pm.- Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, Portland, OR

April 21: 7 pm - Barnes & Noble, Americana Way, Glendale, CA

April 23: 12-1 pm - The Strand, 828 Broadway (& 12th Street), New York, NY

Last month GIRL ON THE EDGE was screened at the Sedona International Film Festival and this past weekend it was presented at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, where it won best narrative feature during the independent film awards. The film, originally titled "The Secret Place", is directed by Jay Silverman and besides Peter, it stars Taylor Spreitler, Gil Bellows, Mackenzie Phillips and the late Elizabeth Pena. This is a very personal story for the director because his own teen-age daughter had been sexually assaulted.  Herbert Payne of Broadway World praises the film with "Girl on the Edge is a poignant and uplifting film of hope, powered by Ms. Spreitler's compelling and heart-wrenching portrayal of Hannah whose obstinacy is the thin veil of a vulnerable soul. This young actress masterfully captures the complexity of Hannah's character. Mr. Coyote, as ever, is steady as a rock, playing the counselor everyone wishes they had." Film & Theatre critic, David Appleford writes, "From a sharply observed script from writer Joey Curtis and solid support from a mostly adult cast, including Gil Bellows as dad and Amy Price-Francis as mom, there’s also a comforting, take-charge presence from Peter Coyote as the man who runs the center and an appearance from the sadly missed Elizabeth Pena as Esther." The photo below shows Peter on location with the director, Elizabeth Pena, Taylor Spreitler and Mackenzie Phillips.

The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra of North Carolina has announced this year's classical Masterworks season, which includes a Coyote appearance. He will narrate Aaron Copland’s "Lincoln Portrait" on the season’s opening concerts on Sept. 24 and 26. That concert also will feature Grieg’s epic drama "Peer Gynt" and Strauss’s "Don Juan."

A 74-minute documentary called "Angel Azul" shows artist Jason deCaires Taylor create statues from live models, then submerge them to take the place of dying coral reefs. Taylor's work highlights an underwater crisis as algae encroaches. Peter Coyote narrates the film, which won best documentary from the Breckenridge Film Festival and best cinematography from the United Nations Association Film Festival. Cravat’s playful yet deliberate filmmaking style contextualizes the creation of Reclamation – presumably the 'angel' in the film’s title – within the larger goals of Taylor’s work and the acute threats to coral reef health. As invasive algae begin to smother the hundreds of existing underwater sculptures at MUSA, environmental experts including Dr. Sylvia Earle deliver an urgent message about the solutions necessary to save reefs while narrator Peter Coyote provides further insight into how our choices will decide the fate of these exquisite and valuable ecosystems for generations to come."

Peter has completed another film called NO DEPOSIT.  Filmed last year in Canada, it was written and directed by Frank D'Angelo and stars Frank D'Angelo, Dominique Swain, Michael Madsen, Margot Kidder, Doris Roberts, Robert Loggia, Paul Sorvino, Daniel Baldwin and Peter as Police Chief Williams. The film's official web sites gives the following synopsis: The story begins when a family man, Mickey Ryan, falls from grace through no fault of his own due to a series of downward spiraling events beyond his control. With his life turned upside down, Mickey tries valiantly to resolve his issues but hooks up with the wrong people who blind him with anger and hate. Then his life takes an even worse turn as evil infiltrates his life and he becomes involved in a series of hate crimes that seemingly give him no way out. Just when everyone is about to give up on him and he is poised to fall off the edge of life, one person finally steps up in a moment of redemption and forgiveness and saves him from the ledge of desperation.

Another unreleased film has undergone a title change. The French film, EVA ET LEON, written and directed by Emilie Cherpital, has been re-titled  L'ÉCHAPPÉE BELLE. It will premiere in France on June 17, 2015.  Eva is a 35-year-old free-spirited soul living a single, independent life, emcumbered by nothing. However a 11-year-old boy named Leon will soon change her life as she helps him find his mother.

February 13, 2015

The upcoming release of Peter's newest book, "THE RAINMAN'S THIRD CURE: An Irregular Education" has already been garnering wonderful praise! The publication date for this 288-page book by Counterpoint is set for April 14, 2015.

"The rainman gave me two cures
And he said, ‘Just jump right in.’
The one was Texas Medicine
And the other was railroad gin.
And like a fool I mixed them
And they strangled up my mind
Now people just get uglier
And I have no sense of time.”

--Bob Dylan, “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” description:
The guiding metaphor in Peter Coyote’s new spiritual biography is drawn from a line in an early Bob Dylan song. For Coyote, the twin forces Dylan identifies as Texas Medicine and Railroad Gin – represent the competing forces of the transcendental, inclusive, and ecstatic world of love with the competitive, status-seeking world of wealth and power. The Rainman’s Third Cure is the tale of a young man caught between these apparently antipodal options and the journey that leads him from the privileged halls of power to Greenwich Village jazz bars, to jail, to the White House, lessons from a man who literally held the power of life and death over others, to government service and international success on stage and screen.

Expanding his frame beyond the wild ride through the 1960’s counterculture that occupied so much of his lauded debut memoir, Sleeping Where I Fall, Coyote provides readers intimate portraits of mentors that shaped him—a violent, intimidating father, a be-bop Bass player who teaches him that life can be improvised, a Mafia consiglieri, who demonstrates to him that men can be bought and manipulated, an ex game-warden who initates him into the laws of nature, a gay dancer in Martha Graham’s company who introduces him to Mexico and marijuanas, beat poet Gary Snyder, who introduces him to Zen practice, and finally famed fashion designer Nino Cerruti who made the high-stakes world of haute monde Europe available to him.

What begins as a peripatetic flirtation with Zen deepens into a life-long avocation, ordination as a priest, and finally the road to Transmission - acknowledgement from his teacher that he is ready to be an independent teacher. Through Zen, Coyote discovers a third option that offers an alternative to both the worlds of Love and Power’s correlatives of status seeking and material wealth. Zen was his portal, but what he discovers on the inside is actually available to all humans. In this energetic, reflective and intelligent memoir, The Rainman’s Third Cure is the way out of the box. The way that works.

Kirkus Review:
An imperious and flawed father figure looms large in Coyote's artfully rendered chronicle of his intriguing journey from confused, privileged youth to enlightened Zen practitioner. Not long ago, Coyote, international screen star and veteran countercultural revolutionary, had a transcendental experience that he had arguably been searching for his entire life. But while the author's Buddhist practice is a vital component of his often descriptively brilliant biographical odyssey, it is by no means the only one. Coyote's story, the follow-up to Sleeping Where I Fall (1998), is as much about a boy's initial introduction to the great wide world as it is about one complex human being's lifelong hunger for inner meaning. Coyote presents a fascinatingly intricate portrait of what it was like being the peculiar scion of wealth and power. As a child, the young Peter Cohon found himself languishing in neglect, floating in the staid world of his conflicted parents, Morris and Ruth. Soon, however, he was propelled headlong into a parallel existence where he met lively figures hired to run the family's Turkey Hill farm and Englewood, New Jersey, abode. "For the next ten years [caretaker] Susie Howard was the North Star around which my heavens revolved." The impressionable young boy eventually encountered jazz legends, intellectual radicals and rough-hewn outdoorsmen. In addition to an imposing gangster uncle, each of these individuals managed to shape the boy who would later become not only a central figure in America's nascent youth movement, but also a dusty pioneer in communal living, a left-wing rabble-rouser working inside the political system, and a struggling father trying to support a family with a heroin monkey on his back. Astonishingly, well into middle age, the author accomplished another remarkable turn, evolving into the well-respected film actor many know him as today. Presented with so many well-defined faces, there's guaranteed to be at least one Coyote, and probably more, that readers enjoy meeting.

For further reviews, please visit the new book page.

January 12, 2015

In November I reported that Peter had been invited to speak at DePaul University in Chicago, sponsored in part by Ancient Dragon Zen Gate. You can access two of his speeches at their web site . Here are a couple more photos from that event.

"An Evening with Peter Coyote" will be presented on January 29th at the Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom, CA. Peter will share his reflections on a life that includes "doing the Sixties" in San Francisco and chairing the California Arts Council in the '70s as an appointee of then and now Governor Jerry Brown. Tickets for the 7:30 pm event are priced at $19-$29; Premium $39; Students with ID $12. Tickets are available online at or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Peter has narrated a new documentary called "Rise Above the Mark" about the heartbreaking realities of public education. It's the story of what happens when politics enters the classroom. Public schools are boxed in by current corporate reforms. Rules and regulations restrict vision, depreciate funding, demoralize teachers, and turn students into test-taking machines, robbing them of time to foster creativity. This film focuses on Indiana’s struggles with public school reforms—the same types of struggles experienced in schools throughout the United States. Experts Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond, Pasi Sahlberg and others discuss how America can make positive changes to provide an exceptional public school system for all children.

Another recent narration was done for "Nicklaus: The Making of a Champion", which will debut on Sunday, January 18, on the Fox Broadcast Network. The documentary chronicles the life, career and legacy of Nicklaus, winner of a record 18 professional major championships, including four U.S. Opens, tied for the most all-time. His eight USGA championships include two U.S. Amateurs and two U.S. Senior Opens. The one-hour documentary features archival footage and interviews with family, friends and golf icons. The film's list of interviewees includes his wife Barbara, son Jack II, and daughter Nan, as well as golf legends Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods. Prominent golf journalist Mark Mulvoy and USGA Senior Historian Michael Trostel are also featured.


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