Cowboy Poetry and Western Life

Events and Festivals

Gathering Reports


We invite folks to send in reports about gatherings.

Following are reports about events that 
are linked from event listings on the Events Calendar. 

(Some links may go out of date.)

2014 Reports

28th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Sul Ross) Alpine, Texas, February

On page 1:

25th Annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Golden, Colorado, January

21st Annual Bootheel Cowboy Poetry Fiesta, Lordsburg, New Mexico, February

14th Annual Saddle Up! Celebration, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, February

Fourth Annual Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous, Hyrum, Utah, February

See reports from 2013 here
See reports from 2012
See reports from 2011 here
See reports from 2010 here
See reports from 2009 here
See reports from 2008 here
See reports from 2007 here
See reports from 2006 here
See reports from 2005 here
See reports from 2004 here
See reports from 2003 here
See reports from 2002 here
Reports from 2000- 2001 are here


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February, 2014
28th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Sul Ross) Alpine, Texas

This report has three parts:

report and photos by Nika Nordbrock

photos by Barbara Richerson, Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering photographer,  and by Dana C. Jones

story and photos by Jane Baxter Lynn (page two)

Find more at

image by Teal Blake


28th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Over the weekend of February 21-22, 2014, the cowboy poets, storytellers, and musicians gathered in Alpine, Texas, to help celebrate the 28th year of the Gathering. The steering committee members (Lynn Baldwin, Bill Brooks, Don Cadden, Pam Cook, John Davis, Jane Garrett, Ida Hoelscher, Paul Loeffler, Joel Nelson, Shelly Rogers, and Nelson Sager) put many long hours into seeing that all the poets and musicians were well cared for with West Texas-sized hospitality.

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Don Cadden at the Memorial

Late afternoon on Thursday, everyone gathered in downtown Alpine for the dedication of the cowboy poets memorial. The Memorial is located at the corner of Firth Street and Holland Avenue in Railroad Park. Designed by Don Cadden, the Memorial is dedicated to the men and women who have participated in the Texas gathering and passed on. Their names are inscribed on brass plates that are mounted on a “steel book” of remembrance on the site.

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Mary Abbott, Gail Steiger, Amy Hale Auker Steiger, Deanna and Dave McCall

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Chuck Jividen, Kay and Gene Nowell

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Keith Ward and Jerry Brooks

After the dedication, all of the poets walked to the historic Holland Hotel in downtown Alpine. Holland Hotel personnel welcomed everyone with smiles and welcomes. The Mexican food at this outstanding Poet’s Party was sponsored by McCoy Building Supply Centers and was excellent. This year the entire Gathering was dedicated to Guy Gillette, who succumbed to cancer on September 2, 2013. Pipp Gillette, Guy’s brother, continues to perform solo and audiences enjoyed his sessions at this year’s gathering.

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Pipp Gillette and Margaret Allen

Friday morning folks gathered in the Poet’s Grove for mouthwatering scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and good hot cowboy coffee. The chuckwagon breakfast was still only $5.00, and is a favorite of Gathering folks. The weather this year was the best ever than ever.

Poets and musicians then went off to visit schools in the area where they recited poetry and sang songs and then answered questions from the students. Those who didn’t go to the schools went up to the Sul Ross University campus. Sul Ross University is a member of the Texas State University System and is the home of the college rodeo.

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Ray Fitzgerald, Mike Querner, and Pipp Gillette

In the University Center, the day started with some folks attending open sessions, some the music workshop with Joel Nelson, and others just visiting. The next session was at Marshall Auditorium which seats about 700 people. After the welcome address by Sul Ross president Dr. Quinten Thurman, master of ceremony Bill Brooks introduced headliners Kevin Davis, Kristyn Harris, and Yvonne Hollenbeck. At 11 am, John David hosted the New Folks session with Straw Berry, Mike Blakely, Terry Nash, Steve Porter, and Doug Tolleson. After lunch, master of ceremony Joel Nelson hosted the From Alberta to Alpine session with Cowboy Celtic.

Friday afternoon sessions started at 2 pm and went until 5 pm in eleven different venues. It was hard to choose from sessions on the Waterin’ Hole, Rank Horses, the Spiritual Side, Trail Blazers, and other choices. The day ended at Marshall Auditorium with the evening show hosted by Doris Daley.

Saturday was a satisfying repeat of Friday. Another good breakfast of biscuits and gravy at the Poet’s Grove and then multiple sessions with all the poets with an open session and at the same time a workshop on songwriting. It was particularly good to listen as Don Cadden hosted the Saturday evening’s show “Night Time Under the Western Stars” which headlined Cowboy Celtic, Allan Chapman, Ken Cook, Chris Isaacs, and Dan Roberts.

If you missed this year, be sure to put the 29th Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering on your calendar for 2015. They’ll be looking for you February 27 and 28, 2015. Be sure to log on to for all the latest.

© 2014, Nika Nordbrock

This article also appeared in Rope Burns.

Photos by Barbara Richerson, Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering Photographer
 and by Dana C. Jones
(find more at

photo by Barbara Richerson
Don Cadden at the Poets' Memorial

photo by Barbara Richerson
Joel Nelson at the Poets' Memorial

photo by Barbara Richerson
The Poets' Memorial


photo by Dana C. Jones
The Chuckwagon Breakfast

photo by Dana C. Jones
The Chuckwagon Breakfast

photo by Dana C. Jones
The Chuckwagon Breakfast

photo by Dana C. Jones
The Chuckwagon Breakfast

photo by Dana C. Jones
The Chuckwagon Breakfast


photo by Barbara Richerson
Holland Hotel reception

photo by Barbara Richerson
Holland Hotel reception

photo by Barbara Richerson
David Wilkie, Doris Daley, and Joe Hertz


photo by Barbara Richerson
Jay Snider

photo by Barbara Richerson
Gary Prescott

photo by Barbara Richerson
Jean Prescott

...continued on page two



We invite you to send in reports about gatherings and other events.



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