The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Eight,
is a special
"...without peer...intelligently produced... I
equate them to one of those Ken Burns specials, like his Civil
War, Jazz, or Baseball....the best of the best.
What's inside The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Seven (2012)
The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Seven (2012) is a compilation of vintage and contemporary recordings of some of the best classic and contemporary cowboy poetry. A chorus of unique voices present tales that express this venerable art form, words that uncover "the heartbeat of the working West."
This seventh CD opens with poet, songwriter, playwright, and editor
's a capella piece written for Buck Ramsey (1938-1998), who has been called the "spiritual leader" of cowboy poetry. Andy comments that Buck Ramsey told him, "...so far as he was concerned, Robert Burns was the patron saint of cowboy poetry."
He was a cowboy of the Texas plains,
a prairie prince who from his saddle reigned
over a grassy fiefdom, yet he yearned
to hear the voices singing Robert Burns.
For cowboys are the nobles of the earth
who earn their spurs by work and not by birth,
uncommon men from common stock are turned
to hear the voices singing Robert Burns.
Oh 'twas hard to still the hoorah and the shout,
until the poet's catch-rope caught us out.
Gary McMahan earned his spurs and draws on his own cowboying experience for his colorful exploration of "A Cowboyin' Day":
Well the afternoon’s spent with the usual flair:
A close call here, a catastrophe there.
But still we saved more than a couple of hides;
That’s why we get paid for making these rides.
....Now, there are those who thinks a cowboy’s a crude, ignorant cuss.Truth is, we no-savvy them; they no-savvy us.But there’s one thing that sticks in my mindWhen a cowboy’s job cuts into sublime.It’s when you and your horse form a leathery featherAnd drift two, three yearlings out of a gatherAnd trail ’em up someplace they don’t want to goWhen they’re needing a vet or what ever, y’know.You set ’em just so when you go through a gate,And don’t rile ’em up, for heaven’s sake.Folks that have tried it say it’s kind of an artTo pen ’em in the home corral before dark.
....... a cow with no horse is boring as hell,And a horse with no cows don’t ring my bell.
Buck Ramsey wrote about a cowboy who shares that sentiment of "a horse with no cows" is not cowboy work and sets out to prove it in "Bad Job," which has an alternate title, "Bum Thinking Nowhere Near a Horse." Texas songster and reciter Andy Hedges uses his considerable talents in reciting the poem:
If you see me sittin' sorrowful, all busted and stove-up
And you wonder how a puncher gits that way,
I can tell you at the start-off to avoid all work aground
If you rope and ride ahorseback for yore pay.
It's all right to shoe your horses and to braid and mend yore tack,
All that work aground that keeps you in the saddle.
But yore mind gits misdirected if you try yore hand at chores
Beneath stomping out the broncs and punchin' cattle.
Respected South Dakota ranch wife Elizabeth Ebert knows about cowboys. She shares a look at their spirits, the old ways, and what so many of them shared, in "Things in Common":
Swam the rivers, stopped the stampedes
Risked their lives a cow's to save
And one thing they had in common
Was the fact that they were brave.
Bedded down with snake and cactus,
Lived on beans and stringy beef
Saw their friends fall by the wayside
Still went on in spite of grief.
Learned to weigh the consequences.
Caution often comes with years.
Found one other thing in common
That they never told their wives:
Those old times would be remembered
As the best years of their lives.
Third-generation South Dakota working cowboy Ken Cook, has respect for those old cowboys and a fierce dedication to holding on to the way of life in "Best for Now":
We are the head and not the tail,
Respect the boys who carved the trail,
We rise to cast our days behind,
Hoof by hoof, the horseback kind.
Consumin' all to which we're bound,
We are the cowboy men now found,
Working' horse while punchin' cow,
We damn sure like that best for now.
Working women show up in fifth-generation rancher Deanna Dickinson McCall's poem. She introduces one in "Hired Hand," a poem with a surprise twist:
Well, she was experienced all right
And I was grateful for the poor light.
She looked so old and poor
Standing slumped in that old door.
Her battered hat had a hole in the crown
And strands of dirty hair hung down
Over a face lined with dust and crud
That water would have turned to mud.
Arizona rancher Carole Jarvis worked alongside her husband, and her poem touches on different interpretations of "Payin' Attention":
"Now pay attention; watch fer cows;
make sure the fences are up.
Keep yer mind on what we're doin' out here,
and quite lookin' fer buttercup!"
But above me there's a red-tail hawk,
and I watch him circle and soar.
Then into the wind he dips and turns,
with the grace of a matador!
Here comes Dan now with the big bunch,
ridin' in from the other direction.
"Good," he says, when he sees these cows,
"Looks like ya' paid attention!"
I always do, I say to him
and a laugh is his reaction.
Just because on rare occasion
I might have had a distraction.
So I tell him the fence is all up,
and there's plenty of feed in the draw.
But I keep to myself, all the other things,
that when I paid attention I saw!
Ranch hand, writer, and poet Amy Hale Auker pays the closest of attention; there's nothing between her and the very earth as she imparts what is of value, in "Mud":
Give me mud,
heavy black fragrant
Give me cows,
bawling cumbersome social,
daughters and sons and families of cows.
Give me solitude
days of books and truth and pages
when the story is the thing.
Keep your diamonds,
your exhaust fumes,
Give me mud,
heavy black fragrant,
at the bottom of a trough.
Popular Wyoming poet, writer emcee, humorist, and radio host Andy Nelson has a different take on mud, and his poem, "Mud Season," leads into poems a section of poems in lighter moods:
Whoever said nothing can be certain,
Only death and taxes are sure;
Never spent a springtime in Wyoming,
And never had mud to endure.
Our extra season comes after winter,
As sure as cows chewing their cud;
And before we can dive into summer,
We battle the infernal mud.
And Montana's Jess Howard, 1970 NRCA saddle bronc champion, may hit close to home for some cowboy poets when he recites his brother Pat Richardson's poem, "The Cowboy Poet":
When folks spot a cowboy poet
they'll often try the drop and roll
knowin' they'll be trapped for hours
once he gets 'em buttonholed....
California artist and poet Pat Richardson, whose image is on the cover of this CD, strikes back with a poem Jess Howard wrote, a windy inspired by his rodeo days called "Duckin' the Law." It's possible that no excerpt can do it justice:
I rodeoed with Sparky Watts in 1962
we'd win a bronc ride here and there and then we'd lose a few
The pendulum of fortune, swaying gently to and fro
would let us know on Sunday how our whole next week would go
....and this was when a hundred bucks was ransom for a king
you'd never have to eat the back or gizzard, neck or wing
but just let Lady Luck frown a while at you
and you'd be boilin' beets and feathers and cookin' gunsel stew
North Dakota writer, poet, rancher, and rodeo champion Rodney Nelson appeals right to the top in his "Old Bronc Rider's Prayer":
How I’d love to draw up on a dandy—
A rank one with heart and much try
Like, once more to get that great feeling
That you get when they’re jumping real high!
Like to feel my spurs a licking
To the cantle hard and when
He finally starts descending
Snap them back up front again.
Want to turn my toes out sharply
Want to spur him in the mane
And never once forget Lord
To lift hard on that rein.
I’m not asking for buckles or trophies
Although that sure would be nice
But while we are still on that subject
A check now and then would suffice
To get me a high enough standing
To just one more time get the call
To come out and enter the finals
And go there a riding next fall.
South Dakota ranch wife Yvonne Hollenbeck brings it back home with an observation about what has happened to small towns, in "Hometown Shopping":
I guess I’m just old-fashioned and I just don’t have a clue
about the modern type of shopping folks nowadays like to do.
And it saddens me that little towns are dying, one by one,
and surmise that “modern shopping” is the cause why they’re undone
Minnesota rancher Diane Tribitt takes a look at a whole life, with a different perspective, in "Live Life Backwards":
It seems to take a whole lifetime to finally figure out
the secrets to success, and love, and what life's all about
I'm sure you've said these very words, "If only I had known
when I was young what I know now my troubles wouldn't have grown..."
On the subject of life and death there may be no more widely-known cowboy poem than Montana rancher Wallace McRae's "Reincarnation." Waddie Mitchell recited the poem on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" in the 1980s, and the poem (not the author's favorite) has been popular ever since:
"What does reincarnation mean?"
A cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied, "It happens when
Yer life has reached its end.
They comb yer hair, and warsh yer neck,
And clean yer fingernails,
And lay you in a padded box
Away from life's travails."
An older well-loved humor classic, "Purt Near!," by S. Omar Barker (1894-1985) is recited by North Carolina's Keith Ward:
They called him "Purt Near Perkins,"
for unless the booger lied,
He'd purt near done most everything
that he had ever tried.
He'd purt near been a trail boss,
and accordin' to his claim,
He'd purt near shot Bill Hickock—
which had purt near won him fame!
He'd purt near rode some broncs
upon which no one else had stuck
In fact he was the feller
Who had purt near drowned the duck!
Another classic poet whose poems are perhaps the most-recited at cowboy gatherings is Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950). One of today's most highly regarded reciters, noted horseman Randy Rieman begins a section of poems about horses with Kiskaddon's lyrical "The Creak of the Leather":
It's likely that you can remember
A corral at the foot of a hill
Some mornin' along in December
When the air was so cold and so still.
When the frost lay as light as a feather
And the stars had jest blinked out and gone.
Remember the creak of the leather
As you saddled your hoss in the dawn.
Rancher, Crow elder, and past Montana Poet Laureate Henry Real Bird carries on the theme with "Rivers of Horse," in an excerpt from the full poem:
All you real human beings, listen.
This is the story of the coming of the horse.
The Spanish barb the Comanche rode,
The mystic pony the Shoshone stole,
Drifting up from the Rio Grande
At one time, a long time ago,
My Grandfather Owns Painted Horse
Behind him I sat
On his horse painted black,
I hugged him lightly
As I leaned the right side of my face
Gently against his back...
Andy Wilkinson wrote "Saddlin' Up Time" for his Wrangler Award winning Western opera, Charlie Goodnight: His Life In Poetry And Song. Top reciter Jerry A. Brooks recites the story of a man and what being horseback means to him:
I never looked forward to the end of the day;
Or to evening, drab and melancholy-gray,
Or to featureless shadows of purple-to-black,
Or to work finished-up or simply put back
While the business of living slowly unwinds;
I was always awaitin' for saddlin'-up time.
Horses and the landscape figure into Montana ranch hand, songwriter, and poet DW Groethe "Over Yonder":
They're a diff'erent sorta breed,
them that take to horse an' saddle,
restless souls that're mighty prone to wander.
Tho' they're grateful to be reachin'
trails end when day is done,
they're always itchin' for what's over yonder.
Might be it's just a hilltop
That they've never seen before,
gets 'em wond'rin' 'bout what's on the other side.
Doesn't matter what the reason,
for the reason ain't the point,
all they know's they got to saddle up an' ride.
It was that very yonder and a visit to DW Groethe in his country that inspired Utah writer Rod Miller 's "The Beauty of Mountains." Rod Miller comments, "...the subject of scenery came up and [DW] said he didn't know why so many people like mountains. He didn't think they were a big deal, and preferred the plains. Badlands were his favorite. This poem doesn't deal with scenery as such, it's more about how landscape affects people."
Out there, a man’s mile-long morning
shadow runs from the sunrise, rolling over
crease and crest and coulee, elongating
a semblance of the horseback drover
erect atop the prairie. Even at noonday,
when he couldn’t shade a single blade
of bluestem, the shadow rider blazons his way—
the only vertical entity round about to invade
Place is at the center of California rancher John Dofflemyer's "Our Time." Written after a local tragedy, the work reaches deeply to express the sense of his community's place in their time:
There is no mistake that we are here
to work together, to hold the fragile in
abeyance and focus on routines we know—
to care with sure and calloused hands
and sort unspoken grief to unseen pens
to haul home like our own stray cattle
when it’s done...
Taking a look back to a world that became closed by wire and fences, Texas rancher and horseman Joel Nelson
recites a classic, "The Ballad of William Sycamore," by Stephen Vincent Benét (1898-1943). Joel Nelson has stated that it is was one of the poems that made him "fall in love with" poetry." Joel Nelson tells that his treasured copy of the poem comes from a book that was in the library of Gail I. Gardner (1892-1988), a gift from Gardner's grandson, Gail Steiger:
But I could not live when they fenced the land,
For it broke my heart to see it.
I saddled a red, unbroken colt
And rode him into the day there;
And he threw me down like a thunderbolt
And rolled on me as I lay there.
The hunter's whistle hummed in my ear
As the city-men tried to move me,
And I died in my boots like a pioneer
With the whole wide sky above me.
Now I lie in the heart of the fat, black soil,
Like the seed of the prairie-thistle;
It has washed my bones with honey and oil
And picked them clean as a whistle.
And my youth returns, like the rains of Spring,
And my sons, like the wild-geese flying;
And I lie and hear the meadow-lark sing
And have much content in my dying.
Go play with the towns you have built of blocks,
The towns where you would have bound me!
I sleep in my earth like a tired fox,
And my buffalo have found me.
And what of the future? Alberta poet Doris Daley puts thoughtful words toward "100 Years from Now":
100 years from now, if the world’s still in the game,
May the earth recall our footprints, may the wind sing out our names.
May someone turn a page and hearken back upon this time,
May someone sing a cowboy tune and someone spin a rhyme.
So, Friend, if you are reading this 100 years from now
Understand that we were pilgrims who just made it through somehow.
We’ve crossed the river home and we left but one request:
100 years from now, think back kindly on the west.
And ordinary folk, no special fate, no special claims
But 100 years from now, may the wind sing out our names.
Know the times were good and we rode the best we know.
We loved the west; we kept the faith, 100 years ago.
Time passes, but values hold. Jay Snider expresses those in an often-requested poem, "Four Little Words," sometimes offered at memorial services and also a sentiment fitting to end these many views of ranching and cowboy life:
Four little words have stuck in my mind
From the time I was just a small child
“There’s a good feller” is what he would say
When he talked of the men he admired
I remember those men he talked about
Sure ‘nuff cowboys, tough, but kind
They said what they meant and meant what they said
These men are gettin’ harder to find
“There’s a good feller,” meant he was true to his word
That’s all you expect of a man
You knew for sure he was proud to meet you
By the genuine shake of his hand
“There’s a good feller,” just four little words
But they’ve always been favorites of mine
If after my trails end, my name’s brought up
“There’s a good feller” would suit me just fine
To complement Joel Nelson's recitation, we're pleased to have Stephen Vincent Benét's poem, "The Ballad of William Sycamore," in his own voice, in a special vintage recording made in 1940 by the Library of Congress, just a few years before Benét's death.
In Stephen Vincent Benet, The Life and Times of an American Man of Letters 1898-1943 (1958), author Charles A. Fenton comments, "It was poem which tempted its readers to sing it or chant it or at the least to read it aloud. It was the kind of poem which one reader wanted to share with another."
After hearing this recording, in what can seem an odd voice and cadence to today's ear, Andy Hedges commented, "It reminds me of so much of the music that I love from the '20s before everyone's performance was so heavily influenced by sound recordings."
Joel Nelson's contemporary recitation is nearly a full minute longer that the author's own version.
The Center's Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution and by twenty-three states' governors and officials—is held each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, The BAR-D Roundup CD and the celebration's poster (by top Western artist R.S. Riddick in 2012) are offered to libraries in the Center's Rural Library Project. The outreach program is a part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.
We need your support to continue and expand these programs. Read below about how you can be a part of it all.
Track list for The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Seven (2012)
1. THE POET’S CATCH ROPE
from The Outlands (2012)
2. A COWBOYIN’ DAY
from A Cowboyin' Day (1992)
3. BAD JOB (Buck Ramsey 1938-1998 ) Andy Hedges
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
4. THINGS IN COMMON Elizabeth Ebert
from Live from Thunderhawk (2002)
5. BEST FOR NOW Ken Cook
recorded live at the Heritage of the American West Performance Series, July 2011
6. HIRED HAND Deanna Dickinson McCall
from Hot Iron (2005)
7. PAYIN’ ATTENTION Carole Jarvis
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
8. MUD Amy Hale Auker
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
9. MUD SEASON Andy Nelson
from Andy Nelson Stew (2012)
10. THE COWBOY POET (Pat Richardson) Jess Howard
from Live in Elko (2010)
11. DUCKIN’ THE LAW (Jess Howard) Pat Richardson
from Pat Richardson Strikes Again… (2008)
12. OLD BRONC RIDER’S PRAYER Rodney Nelson
from Cowboy Laundry and Other Tales from Sims (2012)
18. RIVERS OF HORSE Henry Real Bird
from Rivers of Horse (2009)
19. SADDLIN’ UP TIME (Andy Wilkinson) Jerry A. Brooks
from Shoulder to Shoulder (2010)
20. OVER YONDER DW Groethe
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
21. THE BEAUTY OF MOUNTAINS Rod Miller
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
22. OUR TIME John Dofflemyer
from Dry Crik Journal (2011)
23. THE BALLAD OF WILLIAM SYCAMORE (Stephen Vincent Benét, 1898-1943) Joel Nelson
from The Breaker in the Pen (2000)
24. 100 YEARS FROM NOW Doris Daley
from Beneath a Western Sky (2008)
25. FOUR LITTLE WORDS Jay Snider 2:52
from Cowboyin', Horses and Friends (2000)
SPECIAL CLASSIC RECORDING
26. THE BALLAD OF WILLIAM SYCAMORE Stephen Vincent Benét (1898-1943)
from Stephen Vincent Benét and Edwin Muir, PL 23 The Library of Congress (1940)
27. CENTER FOR WESTERN AND COWBOY POETRYRADIO PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (PSA)
by Linda Kirkpatrick, Texas writer, poet, and reciter
All rights are reserved by the artists and owners of the included tracks.
Special thanks to Tom Morgan; Bette Ramsey; Jessica Brandi Lifland; The Library of Congress; the estate of S. Omar Barker; Steve Green, Charlie Seemann and the Western Folklife Center; Francie Ganje and The Heritage of the American West Performance Series; Pat Richardson; Jess Howard; Lucy Whiteman Runs Him; Butch Hause; Jerry A. Brooks; DW Groethe; Totsie Slover; Charley Engel; Jarle Kvale; Waynetta Ausmus; Graham Lees; Jim Thompson; Jeri Dobrowski; Alf Bilton; Linda Kirkpatrick; Chris Waddell; Andy Nelson, engineer and co-producer (with Margo Metegrano); and to all the poets, reciters, families, publishers, and organizations for poetry and permissions.
The BAR-D Roundup is dedicated to all those who proudly carry on the ranching tradition.
Order Information for The BAR-D Roundup
Volume Seven (2012)
The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Seven (2012) is available, postpaid, for a $10 donation.
Proceeds from The BAR-D Roundup support the Center. CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center.
You can order by mail using the form here or send $10 (check or money order in U.S. funds) per copy to:
PO Box 1107
Lexington, VA 24450
Postage is included for the U.S. and Canada. Add $5 US for other countries.
You can also pay by a secure, on-line credit card payment (a Paypal account is not required) here.
Find order information for all CDs here, including special discount offers.
CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc. a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Act. Contributions are fully deductible for federal income tax purposes. The BAR-D Roundup fair market value is $15 and no amount of the $20 donation for its postpaid delivery is tax deductible as a charitable contribution.
About the cover art and inside photo for The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 7 (2012):
The BAR-D Roundup cover images are vintage photos of poets or their forebears. Inside each year's CD, a contemporary ranch photo is featured.
The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 7 (2012) CD cover art features California poet, humorist, artist, cowboy, and Pro Rodeo Sports News cartoonist Pat Richardson at age 21 in Kansas where he rode polo colts for Polo Hall of Fame honoree Willis L. Hartman.
by Pat Richardson's brother, Jess Howard.
The image is from a photograph taken in 1955
photo by Jess Howard
Inside each year's CD, a contemporary ranch photo is featured. For 2012, it is Montana poet, picker and ranch hand DW Groethe working on the Granley Ranch near Bainville, Montana, June, 2009.
photo © 2009, Jessica Brandi Lifland, www.jessicalifland.com
Thephoto is by Jessica Brandi Lifland (www.jessicalifland.com), an official photographer for the Western Folklife Center's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. She is working on a book about cowboy poets.
photo © 2009, Jessica Brandi Lifland, www.jessicalifland.com
We welcome photo submissions for future editions of The BAR-D Roundup. Cover images will be vintage family cowboy and ranching photos, and inside, contemporary ranch family photos will be featured. Email us for information about sharing your family photos.
Listen to (and download) the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry Public Service Announcements
Each volume of The BAR-D Roundup includes an audio Public Service Announcement (PSA):
Listen to the 2012 30-second public service announcement from the CD by Linda Kirkpatrick, poet, reciter, and writer (www.lindakirkpatrick.net) with background music by DW Groethe.
Listen to the 2011 30-second public service announcement from the CD by Brenn Hill, popular cowboy singer, songwriter, and poet (www.brennhill.com).
Listen to the 2010 30-second public service announcement from the CD by Joe Baker, radio host and proprietor of the Backforty Bunkhouse (www.backfortybunkhouse.com).
Listen to the 2009 30-second public service announcement from the CD by Baxter Black, top cowboy poet and philosopher (www.baxterblack.com).
Listen to the 2008 30-second public service announcement from the CD by Francie Ganje, radio host and director of South Dakota's Heritage of the American West show.
Listen to the 2007 30-second public service announcement from the CD and to an expanded 60-second version, both by poet, humorist, and radio host Andy Nelson.
Email us for audio clips for your broadcast or web site (or download them directly).
About The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 7 (2012) and Cowboy Poetry Week
SAN FRANCISCO—The eleventh annual Cowboy Poetry Week (April 15-21, 2012) sponsored by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry (www.CowboyPoetry.com), celebrates a venerable and popular folk form. Cowboy poetry records the voices of the working West, a tradition—stories of cowboys, ranchers, and Western writers—that spans three centuries. The Cowboy Poetry Week celebration includes many events taking place in communities, libraries, and elsewhere.
Center Director and CowboyPoetry.com managing editor Margo Metegrano comments, "Cowboy poetry preserves a history as it tells the stories of our working West. As importantly, it conveys compelling modern accounts of an endangered way of life to those who may have little information about this important segment of our population. Cowboy poets are great ambassadors from the rural world."
Inaugurated in 2002, Cowboy Poetry Week was officially recognized by unanimous resolution of the United States Senate. The celebration, with a special focus on rural libraries with its Rural Library Program, is held during the third week of April each year, in conjunction with National Poetry Month in the United States and Canada.
Twenty-three states' governors and other officials have issued Cowboy Poetry Week proclamations. Texas Governor Rick Perry has commented, "...cowboy poets have played a large part in preserving western heritage and culture through oral and written poetry. While history books inform us of the past, cowboy poetry has allowed us to truly experience the past. Through cowboy poetry, we have been allowed into the emotions and thoughts of those making history. We can feel the excitement, sympathize through hardships and hear their hopes and dreams. Cowboy poets have inspired and informed, bringing to their many fans education, art, and the best of our heritage and history." Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has commented, "In the tradition of written and oral history, cowboy poets preserve our rich cultural history, opening the door for the generations to come to discover the heritage of the years past....we are proud of our numerous well-respected contemporary cowboy poets and look forward to the next generation of storytellers..."
"Heads or Tails," a painting by noted Western artist R.S. Riddick was selected as this year's Cowboy Poetry Week poster art. The painting, made at Colorado's Diamond Tail Ranch, depicts acowboy bringing in horses the traditional way, with one halter lead. The lead rope of one horse is tied to the tail of the horse in front of it, thus the painting's title. Posters are sent to libraries as a part of the Center's Rural Library Program and are available to Center supporters.
The BAR-D Roundup, the Center’s annual compilation recording of the best in classic and current cowboy poetry is also offered to libraries. Each edition includes vintage recordings of poets reciting their own works.
This seventh annual edition of The BAR-D Roundup includes the works of three National Endowment for the Arts Fellows (the late Buck Ramsey of Texas, Wallace McRae of Montana, and Joel Nelson of Texas); two recipients of the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Andy Wilkinson of Texas and John Dofflemyer of California; past Montana Poet Laureate, Crow elder Henry Real Bird; and the voice of American man of letters, Pulitzer Prize winning poetStephen Vincent Benét (1898-1943) in a vintage recording from the Library of Congress.
Gary McMahan (Colorado), Amy Hale Auker (Arizona), Jay Snider (Oklahoma), Elizabeth Ebert (South Dakota), Rod Miller (Utah), Yvonne Hollenbeck (South Dakota), Ken Cook (South Dakota), Carole Jarvis (Arizona), Andy Nelson (Wyoming), Diane Tribitt (Minnesota), Rodney Nelson (North Dakota), Deanna McCall (New Mexico), DW Groethe (Montana), and Doris Daley (Alberta).
There are other fine selections of original works by
Outstanding reciters present classic cowboy poetry, including Randy Rieman of Montana (Bruce Kiskaddon), Andy Hedges of Texas (Buck Ramsey), and Keith Ward of North Carolina (S. Omar Barker). Contemporary poems of others are recited by Jerry A. Brooks of Utah (Andy Wilkinson), Pat Richardson of California (Jess Howard), and Jess Howard of Montana (Pat Richardson)—Jess Howard and Pat Richardson are brothers. A 1955 photo of Pat Richardson is on the cover ofThe BAR-D Roundup: Volume Seven. Fifth-generation Texan, poet and writer Linda Kirkpatrick presents the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry's public service announcement.
CowboyPoetry.com is a central resource for cowboy poetry and associated Western arts, a program of the non-profit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry. Cowboy poetry's enduring popularity is celebrated year round at CowboyPoetry.com, in a growing number of publications and recordings, and at hundreds of regional gatherings, most notably the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, which marked its 28th year in 2012.
Read more about Cowboy Poetry Week, including selected references and links and see news about poets' activities here.
How to submit a poem for consideration for future compilations
As co-producer Andy Nelson has quipped, we need a CD as big as a pizza to include all of the poems we'd like to include on the annual cowboy poetry compilation CD.
Selections are made by invitation, and from the CDs in our library. You are welcome to submit a CD or a track by mail for consideration. The receipt of such submissions will be acknowledged, but we regret that we don't have the resources to comment further on CDs or tracks. All CDs and tracks that are received are listened to and considered.
If you've submitted a CD previously and want to suggest a particular track for consideration, please email us with that information.
As always, we're looking for quality: well written poems, well recited, on a professional-quality recording. These CDs are a growing archive of the best contemporary and classic recitations. Their focus is the real working West.
Also, for this project, there are these considerations:
the track must be royalty-free for unrestricted radio play
you must own complete rights to any poetry and music on the track
poetry must be your original poetry or be in the public domain or be used with written permission (supplied to us) by the author, who must also be willing to permit reproduction of the track, without compensation or royalties
any background music must be your original music, or be in the public domain; we cannot include tracks with licensed music
The CD is offered to rural libraries, is distributed to radio stations for air play, is used as a premium for supporters of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, and is sold.
Those donating tracks receive copies of the recording. There is no additional payment and no royalties are paid.
We're continually considering selections for forthcoming annual compilation CDs.
Send submissions to: CowboyPoetry.com, PO Box 1107, Lexington, VA 24450.
Please Help Support CowboyPoetry.com
Cowboy poetry is a vibrant folk form, enjoyed for over a hundred years by readers and listeners who appreciate the inspiration, history and humor embodied in its stories of the working West. Its enduring popularity is celebrated at CowboyPoetry.com, a central resource for cowboy poetry and associated Western arts, a project of the non-profit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.
The Center's Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous resolution by the U. S. Senate—is held each April during National Poetry Month. The BAR-D Roundup CD and the celebration's poster are offered to libraries through the Center's Rural Library Project, in fulfillment of the Center's mission to preserve and promote our Western heritage.
If you appreciate projects such as The BAR-D Roundup, please show your support.
Become a supporter, make a donation, perhaps in memory of someone who treasured our Western Heritage: Make a difference.
You can make a donation by check or money order, by mail (please use the form here for mail to PO Box 1107, Lexington, VA 24450) or by a secure, on-line credit card payment through PayPal (a PayPal account is not required):
CowboyPoetry.com is a project of The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Act. Contributions to the Center are fully deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form.
CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.