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(Some links may go out of date.)

2016 Reports

30th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Sul Ross) Alpine, Texas, February


Back to Events page . . .
Back on home . . .


February, 2016
30th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Sul Ross) Alpine, Texas

report and photos by Nika Nordbrock

additional photos by Barbara Richerson, Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering photographer


photo by Barbara Richerson



30th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering
by Nika Nordbrock

Over the weekend of February 25-26, 2016, the cowboy poets, storytellers, and musicians gathered in Alpine, Texas, to help celebrate the 30th year of the Gathering. The steering committee members (Lynne Baldwin, Bill Brooks, Don Cadden, Gail Collier, Pam Cook, John Davis, Jane Garrett, Ida Hoelscher, Paul Loeffler, Joel Nelson, Shelly Rogers, and Nelson Sager) once again put many long hours into seeing that all the poets and musicians were well cared for with West Texas-sized hospitality for this very special gathering. As many poets said, “We never thought when we started that we would still be doing this gathering thirty years later!” A big thank you to all the sponsors who have supported the Gathering over the last thirty years.

Late afternoon on Thursday, everyone gathered in downtown Alpine at the historic Holland Hotel in downtown Alpine for the reception for the poets and their sponsors. The Holland Hotel had a new chef whose delicious culinary creations satisfied the palate at this outstanding Poet’s Party which again was sponsored by McCoy Building Supply Centers. This year the entire Gathering was dedicated to the poets who had attended the Texas Gathering and who have crossed the divide to greener pastures: J. B. Allen, Robert Chaison, Guy Gillette, Clay Lindley, Rusty McCall, Larry McWhorter, Ray Owens, Paul Patterson, Buck Ramsey, Nessey Mae Roach, and Hallie Stillwell. With a big 30 in the middle, their portraits took center stage for all the shows at Marshall Auditorium.

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 that we have seen in thirty years. Usually, the weather is cold, rainy, windy, or a combination of those. This year it was blue skies, sunny, calm winds, and 70 degree temperatures.

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Beautiful weather at the Poet's Grove breakfast

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Biscuits ready for breakfast, folks

In the University Center at 9 am, Friday started with some folks attending open sessions, some attending the poetry workshop with Joel Nelson at the Education Room in the Museum of the Big Bend, and others just visiting. The 10 am opening “Howdy! Let’s Get Started!” was at Marshall Auditorium which seats about 700 people. After the welcome address by Sul Ross president Dr. Bill Kibler, master of ceremony Bill Brooks introduced headliners Chuck Milner, Audrey Hankins, and Andy Hedges. At 11 am, John David hosted the “Long Timers” session with Glenn Moreland and Washtub Jerry, Kay Nowell, Bob Campbell, and Jill Jones. After lunch, master of ceremony Don Cadden introduced Red Steagall for the ticketed “Just You and Red” show.

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Andy Hedges and daughter Maggie Rose

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Gail Steiger and R.P. Smith

Friday afternoon sessions started at 2 pm and went until 5 pm in twelve different venues. It was hard to choose from sessions on “A Rightful Place,” Howlin’ at the Moon,” “Out to Pature, or many others. The day ended at Marshall Auditorium with the ticketed evening show hosted by Red Steagall with headliners Ray Fitzgerald, Jeff Gore, Chris Isaacs, Gary and Jean Prescott, Ross Knox and Trinity Seely.

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. From 1:30-2:30 pm, Joel Nelson hosted a special ticketed show for an hour with R. W. Hampton. Doris Daley took over the hosting duties for the ticketed Saturday evening show “Night Time Under the Western Stars” which headlined Don Cadden, Kristyn Harris, Don Hedgpath, Randy Huston, Joel Nelson, and R. P. Smith.


photo by Nika Nordbrock
Jack Sammon and Doris Daley

If you missed this year, be sure to put the 31st Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering on your calendar for 2017. They’ll be looking for you February 24 and 25, 2017. Be sure to log on to for all the latest. Buy your tickets for the shows early as they were all sold out this year! Also, book your motel/hotel rooms now, or you will have to throw your bedroll down outside and take your chances with the weather!

photo by Nika Nordbrock
Bedroll Lodging


Photos by Barbara Richerson, Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering Photographer

photo by Barbara Richerson
Jean Prescott

photo by Barbara Richerson
"Straw" Berry

photo by Barbara Richerson
Amy Hale Auker

photo by Barbara Richerson
Rod Taylor

photo by Barbara Richerson
Randy Huston and Jim Jones

photo by Barbara Richerson
Michael Stevens

photo by Barbara Richerson
Kay Nowell

photo by Barbara Richerson
Joel Nelson

photo by Barbara Richerson
Don Hedgepeth

photo by Barbara Richerson
Don Cadden




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



 What's New | Poems | Search

 Features | Events  

The BAR-D Roundup | Cowboy Poetry Week

Poetry Submissions 

Subscribe | Newsletter | Contact Us

  Join Us!


Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form. is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.  


Site copyright information