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Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012

Cousineau Reveals ‘Treasure Chest of Remarkable Words’

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San Francisco-based Phil Cousineau has 15 documentary screenwriting credits, beginning in 1987 with The Hero’s Journey, focusing on his mentor Joseph Campbell and predating the Bill Moyers series of Campbell interviews on PBS; and also including Forever Activists, which was nominated for the best feature-length doc Oscar; and Peyote Road, narrated by Peter Coyote, which helped decriminalize American-Indian peyote use under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion. He’s also an international tour guide specializing in destinations with mythic, literary and art history importance.

He has in recent years become an assistant to the venerable (now 93) comparative world religions scholar Huston Smith, assisting him with writing his autobiography. As host of the Link TV series “Global Spirit,” he’s interviewed guests such as Karen Armstrong and Deepak Chopra. Bill Moyers has said: "The discussions on the ‘Global Spirit’ series are sorely needed in this dispirited and disenchanted world."

Cousineau does a cross-country book tour every couple of years. He’s that prolific, with more than 25 nonfiction books to his name, including the recent Beyond Forgiveness: Reflections on Atonement. This time it’s The Painted Word: A Treasure Chest of Remarkable Words and Their Origins, a follow-up to his 2010 book, Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words. Whatever his current subject, Cousineau is sure to regale his audience with insights, humor and anecdotes. He appears 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at Boswell Book Co., 2559 N. Downer Ave.

While living in Milwaukee, Ann Megisikwe Filemyr became an apprentice to and protégé of the late, much-revered Anishinaabeg medicine woman Keewaydinoquay, who taught via UWM’s Indian Studies program during the 1980s. For its first couple of years, the Earth Poets group I founded in 1988 included Filemyr as a core member. She later moved on to teach for 15 years at Antioch College in Ohio. Since then she’s been the academic dean of the College of Contemporary Native Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. On tour to promote her new poetry book The Healer’s Diary, Filemyr will give her first reading in Milwaukee in more than 20 years at 2 p.m. on Sept. 30 at Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 E. Locust St.