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The seventh annual Cowboy Poetry Week was celebrated April 20-26, 2008.

This is page 2 of Cowboy Poetry Week information, which lists some ideas for getting involved.

This page lists the growing activities of friends of cowboy poetry: poets, performers, radio disk jockeys, and others. Read about those below

(See the 2007 information here and additional pages of 2007 Cowboy Poetry Week Wrap-ups; Reports on Activities and Event Reports: reports and photos from Cowboy Poetry Week Events.)

See the description of Cowboy Poetry Week and more on Page 1.

Poets and friends of cowboy poetry: 

Get your schools, libraries, and community involved in 2009!  Perform your poetry, donate a book, share your knowledge.  Read about ways to get involved below.

Write to your states' Representatives and Senators, and to your states' Art Council. Let them know about Cowboy Poetry Week and send a short poem. See more about that below.

Many poets and others will pursue Cowboy Poetry Week proclamations from Governors and Mayors. You can represent your state (see more about how to do that below).

See our 2008 media release, below.

Read about poets' and others' 2008 activities below.


Reproduction prohibited without express written permission
"Waxed Jacket"

© 2006, William Matthews, www.williammatthewsgallery.com
 

We are honored to have master painter, designer, and musician William Matthews' painting, "Waxed Jacket," as the 2008 Cowboy Poetry Week poster art. Read more about that here. Posters are not sold. They are offered to libraries in our Rural Library Project and to supporters of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, which sponsors CowboyPoetry.com, Cowboy Poetry Week, the Rural Library project, and all of our programs. 

"Waxed Jacket" is featured in our Art Spur project, an invitation to poets to let selections of contemporary Western art inspire their poetry. 

Read more about William Matthews at his web site:  www.williammatthewsgallery.com
 

   


  Cowboy Poetry Week News and Events

 

Below:

Cowboy Poetry Week News

Cowboy Poetry Week Events


 

Get involved in Cowboy Poetry Week activities! We have ideas and information about how you can be a part of the celebration and involve your libraries, schools, and communities; get your governor and mayor involved; write to your states' representatives and senators; send information to your arts council; report to newspapers and radios; write a poem for Art Spur; and more. Read how you can be a part of Cowboy Poetry week below.

  For Cowboy Poetry Week's second year, in April 2003, the United States Senate passed a resolution, with unanimous approval, recognizing our Cowboy Week celebration. In past years, nineteen states’ governors have officially proclaimed Cowboy Poetry Week and there are a growing number of activities across the West and beyond. 

In 2008, poets and others who worked on Cowboy Poetry Week recognition from state officials, to date, included: Hal Swift (Nevada); Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (Washington); Linda Kirkpatrick (Texas), Joe Baker  (New Mexico), DW Groethe (Montana), Doc Stovall (Georgia), Jim Hawkins (North Carolina), Diane Tribitt (Minnesota), Glen Enloe (Missouri), Smoke Wade (Idaho), Francie Ganje (South Dakota), Van Criddle (Oregon), Jay Snider (Oklahoma), Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns (Wyoming), Dick Morton and Jane Morton (Colorado), Ann Blackford/Gila Valley Cowboy Poets (Arizona), Paul Kern (Utah), Jon F. Noland (Kansas), and Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry (California).   

In 2009, we'd like to pursue recognition in additional other states, including North Dakota, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, and other states with ranching cultures and cowboy poetry activities. If you'd like to be involved, please email us.

Read more below about contacting your governor or mayor (and please let us know about your efforts, to avoid any duplication of effort).

 


News for Cowboy Poetry Week 2008

 Email us your 2008 news and reports.

Cowboy Poetry Week Events, below

See the main Cowboy Poetry Week page here.

 

 



News below, chronologically:

 

    Nevada poet and writer Hal Swift received a proclamation from Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, proclaiming April 20-26, 2008 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 3/3


    Popular duo Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (www.nevadaslim.com) have received a Cowboy Poetry Week. proclamation from Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.

Posted 3/3


The Booth Western Art Museum, sponsors of the Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering, have a statewide Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest, opened to students in grades 5 -12, with winners announced for Cowboy Poetry Week. The top fifteen finalists competed at the Booth Western Art Museum on Saturday, March 8, 2008 as part of the Cowboy Gathering. Three finalists in each category return to the Booth to compete for cash prizes in the final competition on Saturday, April 19, in Cartersville, Georgia, in recognition of Cowboy Poetry Week.

See an update below.

Updated 3/10


  The 3rd Annual Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry and Songs event will be held on April 8, 2008 at 7 PM in the Oklahoma State University Library in Stillwater, in conjunction with Cowboy Poetry Week. See the latest information below.

Updated 4/1


    Laura and Tony Argento Sr. and others have organized an event that celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week, Grass Valley Elks' Cowboy Poetry  on April 26, 2008, Saturday in Grass Valley, California, with Tony Argento, Dave P. Fisher, Harold Roy Miller, Susan Parker (pictured), and Johnny Walker. Read about the event here.

[photo of Susan Parker by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Posted 3/3


    North Carolina poet Jim Hawkins is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week letter of recognition from North Carolina Governor Michael F. Easley.

Posted 3/3


   Utah poets and musicians, organized by Sam Jackson and others, celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week in conjunction with this First Annual Utah, Arizona, Nevada  (& Neighbors) Cowboy Poetry Gathering & "Old Timers" Get Together in Kanab, Utah, April 25-27, 2008. Read about the event here.
 

Posted 3/3


    Utah poets and musicians,  organized by Stan Tixier, plan a Cowboy Poetry Week program on April 21, 2008, at the Ogden Valley Branch Library in Huntsville, Utah, featuring cowboy poets Don Kennington, Bob Urry, Matt Urry and Stan Tixier, plus cowboy music group Coyotee Moon.

Posted 3/3


    Jon F. Noland, Seward County Community College Library Director in Liberal, Kansas, has organized a Cowboy Poetry Shindig: A visit with Ron Wilson from the Lazy T Ranch, 12:10 pm to 12:50 pm, April 16, 2008. The event, sponsored in part by the Memorial Library of Liberal, Kansas, is open to all. Contact jon.noland@sccc.edu for details.

Posted 3/3


    Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Texas Governor Rick Perry.

[photo of Linda Kirkpatrick by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Posted 3/3


  Dianetribitt2007.jpg (18039 bytes)  Minnesota rancher, writer, and poet Diane Tribitt is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Posted 3/3


  The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry has requested a letter of recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Posted 3/3

 


   Missouri poet Glen Enloe is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.


 

    Idaho writer and poet Smoke Wade  is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Idaho Governor Butch Otter.

[photo of Smoke Wade by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Posted 3/3


    South Dakota radio broadcaster and director of the Heritage of the American West show, Francie Ganje,  is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from South Dakota Governor M. Michael Rounds.

Posted 3/3


    Oregon poet Van Criddle is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski.

Posted 3/4


    Oklahoma rancher and poet Jay Snider is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry.

Posted 3/4


  South Dakota's monthly Heritage of the American West show, directed by Francie Ganje and produced by Jim Thompson and Creative Broadcast Services (CBSI) will celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week on the April 16, 2008 show in Spearfish, South Dakota.

Posted 3/4


     Songwriter, singer, and poet Doc Stovall of The Booth Western Art Museum, organizer of the Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering in Cartersville, Georgia, has received a proclamation from Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 3/5


    Poet, writer, and cowgirl Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns is pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal.

[photo of Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Posted 3/7


      Poet and reciter Dick Morton and poet and writer Jane Morton are pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.

Posted 3/7


  Ann Blackford/Gila Valley Cowboy Poets are pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.

Posted 3/7


    Utah rancher and poet Paul Kern is pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Utah Governor Jon M. Hunstman Jr.

Posted 3/7


  The Gila Valley Cowboy Poets will once again celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week Friday, April 25 at an open house event, 11 - 4 at the Safford City Graham County Library at 808 7th Ave. in Safford, Arizona. More information about performers and activities are forthcoming. 

Posted 3/10  


  The Missouri Cowboy Poets will celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week at the 10th Annual Missouri Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Mountain View, Missouri, April 25-27, 2008. The three-day event includes twenty four poets from Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Iowa. 

Posted 3/10


    North Carolina poet Jim Hawkins has received a Cowboy Poetry Week letter of recognition from North Carolina Governor Michael F. Easley.

Posted 3/11


View the official documents of recognition received to date:

    Proclamation from Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons (obtained by Hal Swift).

     Proclamation from Washington Governor Christine Gregoire (obtained by Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue, www.nevadaslim.com).

    Proclamation from Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (obtained by Doc Stovall).

     Letter of Recognition from North Carolina Governor Michael F. Easley (obtained by Jim Hawkins).

Posted 3/11


 

 Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (www.nevadaslim.com) have organized many Cowboy Poetry Week activities, including those with rural libraries, in their area around Prescott, Washington. They will perform, often with others, and will be reading the Governor's Proclamation at all of these events and will give some background on Cowboy Poetry Week as part of every performance.

April 3, Burbank Library, Burbank, Washington. Annual poetry slam and contest 2-8:30 PM. Cowboy poetry entries encouraged; Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue special guests at 7 PM.

April 20 Touchet Valley Western Show, Ye Town Hall, Touchet, Washington. Poet Clark Crouch and Western Swing diva Barbara Nelson join Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue for an all-ages show of cowboy poetry and music. Shows at 2 and 6:30 PM; $5/general admission.

April 21 Dayton Memorial Library, Dayton, Washington, 3-4 PM. Children's cowboy music and poetry event featuring Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue

April 21 Weller Public Library, Waitsburg, Washington, 5-6 PM. Community cowboy poetry and music get together. Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue host local poets and musicians.

April 22 Prescott Library, Prescott, Washington, 7-8 PM. Community Cowboy Poetry Week celebration. Winners of youth cowboy poetry and art contests announced. Cowboy poetry/prose/music book and CD donations (generously provided by Clark Crouch, Doris Daley, Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue, Rib Gustafson, Rockin' HW, Smoke Wade, Paul Zarzyski, Mick Vernon, Baxter Black, and others TBA) presented to the Prescott Library. Local poets and musicians perform. 7-8 PM. Community Cowboy Poetry Week celebration. Winners of youth cowboy poetry and art contests announced.

April 23 Touchet Community Library, Touchet, Washington 5-8 PM. Friends of the Touchet Library sponsor an evening of Dutch Oven cooking, cowboy poetry contest, music by Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue; dancers and other performers to follow.

April 24 Cowboy-movie themed fundraiser for the Liberty Theater in Dayton, Washington with cowboy poetry and music by Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue.

April 25 Cowboy Poetry and Music by Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue, Tuxedo Bar & Grill, Prescott, Washington. 509-849-2244
 

Updated 4/7


  An audio essay by Julia Keller on the PBS The News Hour (Thursday, March 13, 2008) reports on the role of libraries today. The segment refers to the recent study, "Information Searches That Solve Problems: How People Use the Internet, Government Agencies, and Libraries When They Need Help," by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the University of Illinois. The study was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which has a media release about the study and a link to the report.

Posted 3/14


   Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick will present a Cowboy Poetry Writing Workshop on Saturday, April 26, 2008 for the Abilene Writer’s Guild, in Abilene Texas, in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.

[photo of Linda Kirkpatrick by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Posted 3/17


  South Dakota ranchwife and top poet Yvonne Hollenbeck shares her plans for Cowboy Poetry Week, with her signature humor and a good dose of reality:

Being that so many are preparing to have special events and workshops for Cowboy Poetry Week, I thought I should try and do the same, therefore, I am launching the first annual Cowboy Poetry Week at the Hollenbeck Ranch. It starts on Monday, April 21, and ends on Saturday, April 26.

Because we will probably have somewhere in the vicinity of five to six hundred baby calves on the ground by the 21st, I will begin the week by attempting to clean the mud room, which will consists of removing tracked-in manure stains, remnants of cleanings (afterbirth) and all the other ugly things that get tracked into the mud room. There are usually stains down the cupboard and on the floor from mixing milk bottles for orphan calves that will also need cleaning. The washer will probably be going full blast cleaning calving rags and rugs. I need to start bagging ice. Thus begins preparation for the big event on the 26th!

Tuesday will probably be the day I drive 50 miles to Valentine to get vaccine, propane for the branding stoves, and groceries. After spending several thousand dollars on those items (and another small fortune to gas up the pickup truck), I will return to the ranch and attempt to find a place to put my purchases as the spring cleaning venture has barely begun. If there is time, I will take down the Christmas lights and clean up around the house yard and bag some more ice.  

Wednesday comes the big event. The annual garage cleaning! One can only imagine the work involved and miles walked carrying things to the shop, indoor arena, garden sheds, basement, brooder house, chicken house, barn and tack room. The walls are wiped down and the floor is scrubbed with Pinesol. There are also two refrigerators in the garage that need cleaning...badly! One is for vaccine and one is for food and pop, so it is a necessary chore.The vaccine is rearranged and outdated bottles are discarded. Cases of pop purchased in Valentine are put away and more ice is bagged.

Thursday will be reserved for hauling chairs and tables into the garage and setting up the serving area. Beds are made with fresh linens and the entire house is spiffed up. Several batches of rolls are baked as well as several batches of cookies. I need to bag more ice.

Friday is one big day of cooking. Huge pots of potatoes are boiled and mashed and prepared; "branding beans" are prepared; meatballs are browned; swiss steak is browned; pies are baked; etc., etc. Company starts arriving today and by bedtime, all spare beds are filled as well as tummies.

Saturday, April 26: Rise about 5:00 a.m., and prepare a big breakfast for the roundup crew. Rounding up begins at 7:00 and salads are prepared and all the food prepared yesterday is removed from refrigerators and placed into slow cookers. All morning is reserved for cooking and approximately 30 people are fed dinner (that's the noon meal on a ranch); dishes done; cooking begins for supper (that's the evening meal on a ranch). The roundup crew has the cow/calf pairs all gathered and calves sorted off into two separate branding pens. Branding begins approximately 1:00 p.m. I will have the meal on for approximately 50 people (to be fed in the garage) when they are through, about 6:00 p.m.

NOW, if anyone needs fodder for writing cowboy poetry, there will be plenty at the Hollenbeck ranch during Cowboy Poetry Week...inside and out. You've only learned of the agenda of the ranchwife. I'm sure the rancher could have an interesting lineup of events to write poems about too. Happy trails.

See Yvonne Hollenbeck's poem, "Calving Time," here.

Posted 3/18


      South Dakota radio broadcaster and director of the Heritage of the American West show, Francie Ganje, has recieved a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from South Dakota Governor M. Michael Rounds. View the proclamation here.

In 2006, Francie Ganje was the first to pursue a governor's proclamation and to inspire others to do so.

Posted 3/19


  Colorado musician Rex Rideout (Time Travel Music) takes part in two events celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week:

April 20, 2008, Conifer Library, 3 to 4 PM. Rex Rideout's performance will focus on Jack Thorp's legacy and the centennial of Thorp's 1908 Songs of the Cowboys.

April 25, 2008, 7-8:30 PM: Rex Rideout joins cowboy poet John Nelson at the historic Leslie J. Savage Library, Western State College of Colorado, Gunnison, Colorado. Read more about this event below.

[photo by Mark L. Gardner]

Updated 4/4


The Booth Western Art Museum, sponsors of the Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering, have a statewide Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest, opened to students in grades 5 -12, with winners announced for Cowboy Poetry Week. The top fifteen finalists competed at the Booth Western Art Museum on Saturday, March 8, 2008 as part of the Cowboy Gathering. Three finalists in each category return to the Booth to compete for cash prizes in the final competition on Saturday, April 19, in Cartersville, Georgia, in recognition of Cowboy Poetry Week.

Following is a media release about the student finalists:

Booth Western Art Museum Announces Finalists of

2008 Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – The Booth Western Art Museum is pleased to announce the finalists of the 2008 Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest. The contest was open for students in three age groups: grades five and six, grades seven and eight and grades nine through twelve. Students selected from topics relative to the theme The Spirit of the American West and submitted their entries to a panel of judges. The top fifteen semi-finalists in each age group competed at the Booth Western Art Museum on Saturday, March 8 as part of the Cowboy Gathering.

The finalists will return to the Booth to compete for cash prizes in the final competition on Saturday, April 19, 2008 in honor of National Cowboy Poetry Week.

Finalists in the 2008 Cowboy Poetry Competition include:

Grades 5 and 6

  • Joseph Nease from Cartersville, Ga., Bartow County 4-H

  • Victoria Staley from Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville Middle School

  • Lauren Nicole Seymour from Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville Middle School

 Grades 7 and 8

  • Ben Vagase from Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville Middle School

  • Maria Cabanas from Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville Middle School

  • Mallory Fleming from Cartersville, Ga., South Central Middle School

 Grades 9 through 12

  • Rachel Potter from Rydal, Ga., Adairsville High School

  • Omicha Stapleton from Peachtree City, Ga., McIntosh High School

  • Kayla Frazier from White, Ga., Adairsville High School

 

About the Booth Western Art Museum

The Booth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is an 80,000 square foot museum located in Cartersville, Georgia, where guests are invited to explore the American West through contemporary Western artwork. The Museum also houses a Presidential Gallery, Civil War art gallery, and Sagebrush Ranch – featuring hands-on art activities. Visitors to Booth Museum also enjoy the intimate downtown setting with unique specialty and antique shops, boutiques and nationally featured restaurants all within walking distance of the Museum. Open since August 2003, the Booth Museum is the only museum of its kind in the Southeast and is the second largest art museum in the state of Georgia. To learn more about the Booth Western Art Museum, visit www.boothmuseum.org.

Posted 3/26


charlietommy.jpg (9828 bytes)  The Western Heritage Show celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on April 18, 2008. The show broadcasts every Friday from 10:00 to noon on KRLC in Lewiston, Idaho. Popular disc jockey "Toe Tappin" Tommy Tucker features cowboy poetry and Western music and the phone lines are always open to callers. Tommy will be calling CowboyPoetry.com for a live interview on the Cowboy Poetry Week show.

See our feature about the Western Heritage Show here.

Posted 3/26


  Dianetribitt2007.jpg (18039 bytes)  Minnesota rancher, writer, and poet Diane Tribitt has received a proclamation from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. recognizing Cowboy Poetry Week. See the proclamation here.

Posted 3/27


  From Agri-News editor Tami Jo Arvik Blake:

Once again Agri-News, a weekly general ag newspaper based in Billings, Montana, is celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week with our annual cowboy poetry contest. The contest is only open to Agri-News subscribers, but we do offer free two-month trial
subscriptions to new subscribers.  For more information on subscribing, visit www.cattleplus.com.

The poems in the Agri-News contest can rhyme or not, but we do require stanzas and that the subject matter focus on cowboys, cowgirls, or ranch life. We're looking for poems measuring no more than 400 words in length. Entries should be typed. No more than one entry per person, please.

We'll accept entries in three age groups:  adult (19+), upper division youth (13-17), and lower division youth (8-12).  Entries will be judged on creativity and the writer's ability to portray our Western lifestyle.

Winning entries will print in the Agri-News. We have 23,000 subscribers living all across the nation so that's a lot of eyes
looking at the winning poems!

The deadline to enter is April 4, 2008. Submissions (subscribers only) can be mailed to Agri-News Poetry Contest, PO Box 30755, Billings MT 59107, or email editor@imt.net. Any entries should include the author's name, address, phone number, and age category.
 

Posted 3/27


  From Ann Blackford and the Gila Valley Cowboy Poets:


Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week 2008 in Safford, Arizona! For the third consecutive year Gila Valley Cowboy Poets will partner with the Safford City Graham County Library for the library’s annual Open House on April 25. From 11 am until 4 pm, the library invites the public to come in, hear and see demonstrations of library services and enjoy cowboy poets, musicians, storytellers and the Gila Valley Cowboy Poet Students performances throughout the day. The highlight of the day will be a very special guest star, Americas #1 selling cowboy music performer, Michael Martin Murphey who will make an appearance.

At 7 pm on April 25, the doors open at the Safford Center for the Arts for a Michael Martin Murphey concert sponsored by Gila Valley Cowboy Poets, Inc. and McMurray Communications. A multi-award winning performer and member of the Western Music Hall of Fame, Murphey not only sings the songs of the cowboys, he walks the walk—as a rancher, a saddle-up-and-ride cowboy and a dedicated preservationist of American Cowboy Western history and of the land.

Tickets are available at the Safford Graham County Chamber of Commerce and Richards Music in Safford. Adults $15, students $10.

For more information call 928-348-7663.

Updated 4/10


 

South Dakota poet Slim McNaught and singer and songwriter Hank Harris (www.hankharris.com) appear on the April 16, 2008 Heritage of the American West show in Spearfish, South Dakota, celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week.
 

Popular broadcaster Jim Thompson and Creative Broadcast Services present Heritage of the American West, with "music and poetry of the great American Cowboy" on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM (MT). Produced and hosted by Francie Ganje, the show brings top talent from across the West to an appreciative audience. The show takes place before a live audience at the High Plains Heritage Center in Spearfish, South Dakota and is broadcast simultaneously on the web (archived web broadcasts are available).

Visit the Heritage of the American West web site.

See our feature about the Heritage of the American West here.

Posted 3/31


  Tom and Donna Hatton bring cowboy poetry and music to Colorado schools in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week:

April 14, Woodland Park Middle School. Cowboy poetry and Music. Woodland Park,Colorado

April 29, Cheyenne Mountain Elementary School, Pioneers Days. Colorado Springs, Colorado

May 2, Pikes Peak Elementary School, Barnyard Bash. Colorado Springs, Colorado

[photo of Donna Hatton by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com]

Posted 3/31


  The 3rd Annual Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry and Songs event will be held on April 8, 2008 at 7 PM in the Oklahoma State University Library in Stillwater, in conjunction with Cowboy Poetry Week. Those performing include OSU Alumni Dale Page (pictured), Jay Snider, Lyle Newman, Debra Coppinger Hill, and OSU students Brad Clayton and Tommy Moellering. The event is free and open to the public.

Karen Neurohr, OSU Librarian and Cathryn Christensen, Outreach Coordinator, OSU Rodeo Booster Club co-coordinate the event, whose sponsors are the OSU Library, Friends of the OSU Library, OSU Rodeo Association and OSU Rodeo Association Booster Club.  “Our event is a little early this year because of final exams,” stated Neurohr.

Karen Neurohr shared a photo was created to use in the library and for the Cowboy Poetry Week poster presentation she made to the Oklahoma Library Association conference in 2007:



 

Updated 4/1


Dianetribitt2007.jpg (18039 bytes)  Minnesota rancher, writer, and poet Diane Tribitt has been invited to perform, record, and teach about cowboy poetry at the at the Pioneer Elementary School in Pierz, Minnesota on April 21, 2008 in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 4/1


Wyoming poet, writer, and local historian Jean Mathisen Haugen writes regularly for the Lander Journal. She shared her recent, timely column that touches on Western poetry roots, local poets, National Poetry Month, and Cowboy Poetry Week.

OLD NEWS
 
A POEM AND A PEN IN THE INKWELL

© 2008, Jean Mathisen Haugen


April is celebrated across the U.S. as National Poetry Month and the week of April 20-26, 2008 is Cowboy Poetry Week.

I have been writing poetry since the age of 8—which goes back quite a 'ways in itself but I am not quite yet one of the oldtimers.

When Lander's first grade school was started in 1877 and at many of the one-room school houses throughout the county, one of the popular forms of learning poetry was to memorize and recite such long pieces as Longfellow's "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" or the popular Yukon gold rush poetry written by Robert Service, such as the "Cremation of Sam McGee" or the "Shooting of Dan McGrew" and many others.  I have a small book Readings and Recitations that was used by a young school girl in Lander in the 1890's. Rolla Burch's father was an early day blacksmith at Fort Washakie and later held a two year term as Sheriff of Fremont County.  She has marked her favorite poems, many of which were written about England, Scotland, Ireland, and the eastern portion of the United States. I remember my uncle, K.C. "Tex" Irvine, reciting poetry he had memorized some 50-60 years before in the one room school near the ranch where he'd grown up on Sage Creek. Tex was also a self-taught guitar and fiddle player.  Back in those days, entertainment did not come in the form of a DVD or CD's or TV's—it came by rhymes, recitations, dances and music.
 
Cowboy poetry and what I like to call "historical" poetry is based of course upon the landscape and the tales of the old west. What a lot of people may not realize is, many of the old cowboy songs actually came from Irish, English, Scots and Welsh tunes that were brought over in the 1600's and 1700's by those who settled in the eastern U.S.  Over time different tunes evolved into our own brand of music.  "Streets of Laredo" was originally an Irish song about "The Unfortunate Rake" (who died a rather sad death); "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" was originally a sea chanty—"Bury Me Not In the Deep Blue Sea," and "Get Along Little Dogies" came from another Irish tune, "that you know the baby is none of your own!"  They were a lively bunch, the Irish!

Lander had its own share of early writers and poets.  Mark Countryman (my uncle Tex's grandfather) settled out on the Sweetwater in the early days and was "invited" to participate in the lynching of Ella "Cattle Kate" Watson and  James Averill in 1889.  He declined the invitation because he felt they had not been stealing cattle.   Countryman was a talented poet and wrote a book of poems based on local legends such as "The Legend of Bull Lake" and one about the hanging of Cattle Kate.  His book, "Echoes of the West" is long out of print but some members of his family still have a few copies.
 
A more well known cowboy poet, was Colonel Tim McCoy, who came to Wyoming in the early part of the last century and was around Lander and Thermopolis a great deal.  He became a good friend of old timer, Ed Farlow, and learned Indian sign language from both Farlow and the Arapahoes he made friends with. At the end of World War I, McCoy was appointed Wyoming's Adjutant General and that is where he gained the title of Colonel. He became involved in helping movie companies film early westerns and helped get Indians to take part in the movie "The Covered Wagon" which was mostly filmed in Utah.  Later Ed Farlow and McCoy traveled with a group of those who had taken part in the film to put on a preview to the movie in Hollywood, and shortly thereafter traveled to England to promote the movie over there. One of the better known Arapahoes who made the trip was Goes-In-Lodge who was quite amazed at the subway system in New York City.  He remarked, "White man much the same as a prairie dog—goes down one hole and up another!" (He was well known for his sense of humor).    Tim McCoy later owned a ranch near Thermopolis and was the star of several western movies filmed near Fort Washakie; in later years he owned his own Wild West Show.  He is known to have written several poems. Jules Farlow, son of Ed Farlow, also wrote some poetry though I have only run across a couple poems in my wanderings.

Eva Lambert wrote poetry in the early days also and compiled the history pages that were in the local paper in the 1930's. Many oldtimers submitted reminisces of the days they had known during the South Pass Gold Rush and the early times of Lander.  My great great uncle, Ernest Hornecker, wrote a few poems about family doings, as did my great uncle Ralph Reynolds Hornecker (Ralph was sent with the National Guard down on the Mexican Border during the raids by Pancho Villa in New Mexico in 1916—he was not very fond of building latrines and dealing with the cacti and wrote a poem or two about his opinions).

Porter Coolidge was a lawyer in Lander around its first big boom right after the coming of the railroad. He too was a talented poet and song writer and had a volume of poetry published. Judge E.H. Fourt, first judge of the Ninth Judicial District in this area in the 1920's and 30's also wrote poetry, songs and did several articles on the wilderness areas in the Wind River Mountains. However, having heard one of his songs played—he was not much of a tunesmith.

A later well known poet from Lander is former Wyoming Poet Laureate, Robert Roripaugh, who has written two books of poetry Learn to Love the Haze and The Ranch. He has also written several works of fiction. The poetry in his poetry volumes is largely based on local incidents and local people in the Lander area. Robert served as State Poet Laureate for 7 years from 1995 to 2002. His parents owned what is now called the Bear's Ears Ranch.  He currently lives in Laramie, Wyoming but still considers Lander "home."
 
Cowboy poetry has become a very popular form of the genre over the past 25 years and gatherings have been held across the west since the first big gathering was held at Elko, Nevada in 1985.  Poets from this area who have participated there include Dr. Kent Stockton of Riverton, Echo Roy Klaproth of Shoshoni, Blondell Mathisen Whitehead and her daughter Irene Henricksen Pecoraro of Lander (both deceased). Cowboy poetry gatherings have been held nearly continually since 1987 at Riverton and on several occasions in Lander, Dubois and Thermopolis . I have participated in all of these along with participating at Big Timber, Montana, Salmon, Idaho, St. Anthony, Idaho and the Cowboy Songs and Range Ballads program at Cody.   Cowboy Poets of Wind River was formed at the Riverton Gathering a few years ago to keep the interest up in this unique brand of both humor and tragedy.

The earliest forms of poetry were chants or ballads composed by bards who performed for Celtic chieftains and later kings of England, Scotland and Ireland and other countries.  It was a way of memorizing historical events and glorifying the deeds of the people and the kings—so it does tie in strongly with history.  Much of the poetry I have written has not been strictly cowboy poetry—I have also written many poems about historical incidents in Wyoming and the west, along with about 30 songs.  Other poets currently in the Lander area include Mickey Douglas, Gerry Sowers, Ada McDonnel, the late Idabel Corbett Cramer and her late brother Glenn Corbett, Lynn Hendrickson Lucas, Verlin Pitt and his brother Rick Pitt and many, many others.
 
We have our own rich culture here and just as in the days of the bards, poets continue today to write and make known the riches of a great land and great people.  A celebration of National Poetry Month and Cowboy Poetry Week is highly appropriate.

I'll include a poem I wrote to celebrate Lander that was published several years ago.

The Valley at Home
Home for me is
wherever I light,
to lay my head down,
to rest for the night.
But the home of my heart
as always and is yet
the wide Lander Valley
where I got my feet wet.
Once touched by its waters
or a soft mountain breeze,
I was haunted by visions
of green growing trees;
or the time, late in May,
when the lilacs all bloom,
filling the valley
with a flowing perfume.
Where meadowlarks sing
with notes blowing sweet.
And a friend's still a friend
whenever we meet.
Popo Agie rolls blue
from Sinks Canyon on down,
racing wild through the rocks
on its way through the town.
There the foothills rise green
above ledges of red.
The whole place soothes my soul
beyond words to be said.
This verse is an anthem,
a love song in short,
to the valley of home—
and this rover's home port.

© 2008, Jean Mathisen Haugen
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Read more about Jean Mathisen Haugen and more of her poetry here.

Posted 4/1

 

   Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick will present cowboy poetry to the students of the Leakey Independent School District on the afternoon of April 22, 2008.

As announced previously, she'll present a program at the Real County Public Library in Leakey, Texas for Cowboy Poetry Week, at a "Brunch Among the Books" event at 10:00 AM, April 22, 2008.  Linda Kirkpatrick has worked with the library to create a cowboy poetry exhibit celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week.

She'll also conduct a Cowboy Poetry Writing Workshop on Saturday, April 26, 2008 for the Abilene Writer’s Guild, in Abilene Texas, in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.

[photo of Linda Kirkpatrick by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Updated 4/3


  From Tom Weatherby and Dennis Golden:

Cowboy Entertainers Celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week at Gold Hill Hotel

Singer songwriter “Texas” Tom Weatherby and range poet Dennis Golden will perform at the historic Gold Hill Hotel, Gold Hill, Nevada, with a special dinner/show celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week on Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nevada’s oldest hotel will feature a special buffet dinner after which the cowboy duo will perform both original and traditional poetry and song as part of the Comstock hotel’s popular Tuesday night entertainment series. 

As Ambassadors for the Nevada Rangeland Resources Commission, they present both original and traditional renditions to help audiences better understand the special challenges the modern rancher faces today from urban encroachment to environmental and bureaucratic challenges.

A Texas native, Weatherby grew up singing and playing in a family with a strong music tradition influenced by their neighbor Bob Wills. An accomplished guitarist, his Texas accent lends authenticity to a great selection of cowboy songs.

Golden grew up in the 40’s and 50’s in the small ranching community of Cedarville, in remote northeastern California. His thought provoking and often-humorous original poetry on contemporary ranching is punctuated with rib tickling poems from the past.

The special buffet dinner and show is $25.00 per person.  Buffet from 5:00 til 7:00 pm with entertainment beginning at 7:30 pm.  For information and reservations call: 775 847-0111.

Posted 4/4
 


  Marvin O'Dell's three-hour Around the Campfire show will feature cowboy poetry for the week starting April 19, 2008 in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.

The show airs six times a week on Heartland Public Radio, which broadcasts 24 hours a day on the internet. 

Marvin O'Dell was named the 2007 Radio DJ of the Year by the Western Music Association (WMA).

CD submissions are welcome for consideration for airplay.  See our feature about Around the Campfire here and listen to the show on Heartland Public Radio here.

Posted 4/4



 

        Poet and reciter Dick Morton and poet and writer Jane Morton have received a proclamation from Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, recognizing Cowboy Poetry Week. See the proclamation here.

Posted 4/7


American Cowboy magazine's web site lists Western events, and Cowboy Poetry Week is listed on their front page and included here in their listings.

American Cowboy includes cowboy poetry in each issue. Utah writer and poet Rod Miller is the magazine's Guest Poetry Editor for 2008. See our feature on the magazine here.

You can add your own event to the magazine's on-line listings. Visit the American Cowboy web site for on-line features and more information.

Posted 4/7


 Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (www.nevadaslim.com) have organized many Cowboy Poetry Week activities, including those with rural libraries, in their area around Prescott, Washington. They will perform, often with others, and will be reading the Governor's Proclamation at all of the events and will give some background on Cowboy Poetry Week as part of every performance.

As part of their efforts, they've collected books and CDs from writers, poets, and musicians for the Prescott Library in Prescott, Washington. Among those who generously provided materials to date are Clark Crouch, Doris Daley, Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue, Rib Gustafson, Rockin' HW, Smoke Wade, Paul Zarzyski, Mick Vernon, Baxter Black, and Western Jubilee Recording Company.

See a list of all of their Cowboy Poetry Week activities above.

Updated 4/8


  South Dakota radio broadcaster and director of the Heritage of the American West show, Francie Ganje, accepted a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Spearfish, South Dakota Mayor Jerry Krambeck at the city's official council meeting, April 7, 2008. See the proclamation here.


Photo by Heather M. Murschel, Managing Editor, Black Hills Pioneer, Spearfish, South Dakota

Spearfish, South Dakota Mayor Jerry Krambeck presents the city's Official Cowboy Poetry Week Proclamation to Heritage of the American West Director, Francie Ganje. The community's western legacy, with its slogan of "Best In The West," is the basis of the poem, "Queen of the Cowtowns," by multiple-award- winning author and poet, Yvonne Hollenbeck. The poem is included in her book, From My Window, which received the Will Rogers Medallion Award.

Francie Ganjie has also obtained a 2008 proclamation from South Dakota Governor M. Michael Rounds. In 2006, she was the first to pursue a governor's proclamation and to inspire others to do so.

The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Three CD includes a radio Public Service (PSA) Announcement by Francie Ganje.

Updated 4/9


  The Leslie J. Savage Library, Western State College of Colorado, Gunnison, Colorado, shares its event poster and information about the forthcoming Cowboy Poetry Week event:
 

Celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week!  An Evening of Cowboy Poetry

Rex Rideout (Time Travel Music) of Conifer, Colorado and John Nelson of Gunnison will present a program of cowboy poetry on Friday, April 25, 7:00 pm in the historic Savage Library, Western State College, Gunnison, Colorado.

Rex Rideout has been performing the music of the American West for the last 25 years. He approaches "cowboy music" as a historian and musicologist.  Rex is a long-time student of the music and songs of the 19th-Century American West. With Mark Gardner from Cascade, CO, Rex co-authored the award winning book and CD, Jack Thorp's Songs of the Cowboys. Originally published in 1908, Songs of the Cowboys by Jack Thorp was the first publication of cowboy poetry.  For this performance, Rex will primarily recite some of the classics of Cowboy Poetry from the late 1800s and early 1900s as well as perform poems that are known as songs.

Rex participates in the Rural Library Project, sponsored by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry to serve rural communities as it works to preserve and promote cowboy poetry and Western heritage.

A long-time Gunnison resident, John Nelson is in his 30th year of operating the Gunnison Country Guide Service.  About 20 years ago, while guiding trips into the backcountry, John began reciting cowboy poetry to entertain guests and wranglers.  Since then, he has performed for numerous gatherings, guest ranches, radio and television, and other events. He has released a CD of poetry, Word Wranglin’ and Wrymin’, and a video, Just One More Day. His first book, My Participle’s Danglin’ was a local bestseller and a new book, My Participle’s Danglin’ Again is due out soon along with a new DVD. John will be performing some of his locally inspired favorites as well as a few of the old classics. 

Updated 4/10


  Oklahoma State University's Daily O'Collegian reported on the preparations for the 3rd Annual Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry and Songs event in an article by Eli Nichols, "Group to Preserve Cowboy Poetry."

The 3rd Annual Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry and Songs event was held April 8, 2008 at  the Oklahoma State University Library in Stillwater, in conjunction with Cowboy Poetry Week. Those performing included OSU Alumni Dale Page, Jay Snider, Lyle Newman, Debra Coppinger Hill, and OSU students Brad Clayton and Tommy Moellering. The event was free and open to the public.

Karen Neurohr, OSU Librarian and Cathryn Christensen, Outreach Coordinator, OSU Rodeo Booster Club co-coordinate the event, whose sponsors are the OSU Library, Friends of the OSU Library, OSU Rodeo Association and OSU Rodeo Association Booster Club. 

Posted 4/10


  Idaho's Buhl Public Library presents its first Cowboy Poetry Week event April 24, 2008 from 7-9 PM.

From the library:

Our event will feature poet Marie Gotfredson Scoville (originally from Montana) and poet Hannah Jane. We will also have some cowboy music and a singalong led by Lois and Issac Hooley. We think it will be a night to remember.

Find more information here at the library's web site.

Posted 4/11


  An article in Arizona's Silver Belt announces the Gila Valley Poets' Cowboy Poetry Week activities, which include and April 25, 2008 Michael Martin Murphey ( www.michaelmartinmurphey.com) concert and an event early that day, where Michael will appear at the  Safford City-Graham County Library with Cindy Ray, Mike Moutoux, Larry Harmer, Skelly Boyd, Bunny Dryden,  and the Gila Valley Cowboy Poet Students and other local performers.

Find more information about the events here at the BAR-D.

Posted 4/11


  About the Olive Warner Memorial Library Cowboy Poetry Week event, from Carolyn Blackwelder


Meet the authors Saturday, April 26, 2008 at the Oliver Warner Memorial Library in Hooker, Oklahoma. They will be hosting two of their hometown heroes—Chimp Robertson, a former Bull Rider, and Vietnam Veteran, who has written several books, will read from his newest release, Killin' Time, a collection of short stories. Also featured will be Janet Eggleston, who will be reading from her first book of Cowboy Poetry, Horses, Hats and Heroes. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The Library is also hosting a kids cowboy poetry contest, and the first place winner will be reading his or her poem with the now-famous authors. 2:00 PM, Sat, April 26, come one and all to 111 S. Broadway, next to the Police Station in Hooker, Oklahoma. Refreshments will be served. We like Cowboys, after all, our town is named after a roper. For more information, email director@owl.lib.ok.us or carolynb@ptsi.net or arvel@ptsi.net 580-652-2835 (OWL)

Library Director Carolyn Blackwelder writes that she is always glad for an opportunity to clarify the origins of her city's name, and shared some information from Lost Trails of the Cimarron by Harry E. Chrisman.

"The Legend of Hooker Threlkeld"

John “Hooker” Threlkeld was so nick-named after General “Fighting Joe” Hooker of Civil War fame, some say. Others say he received his name after an old cattleman on the Beaver River whose name was Hooker. Still others say he received his name by being such a “Hooker—of cattle”—that is, a top roper. Wherever he received that nickname, we know how the town of Hooker, got it’s name for it was named after John “Hooker” Threlkeld. Hooker was born in Kentucky, November 134, 1846. He came west with his parents to Missouri. On May 15, 1864, he joined up with a freight outfit and bullwhacked west from Omaha to Virginia City, Montana with his two brothers. In 1873, Hooker came to No Man’s Land where he spent the next thirty years in the saddle. He was foreman for the OX Ranch many years. When the OX withdrew to Montana after the disastrous blizzards of 1886, Hooker was given their side camp on the Frisco, later the Tom Stratton Ranch. That year Hooker married Hannah Davis of Greeley, Kansas. When Hannah’s folks came to that region, Hooker yielded his ranch, the XX Frisco, they called it, to her parents, and he and Hannah went to open up a new place farther up the Frisco. They called the new ranch the Hooker Ranch. He hauled lumber for his new home from Dodge and also built outbuilding of sod and stone....

Old cowboys who have seen Hooker in action described him as one of the really great ropers of the day, a man who could ride quietly into a heard, drop a tight, small, and fast loop from either side of his mount and catch calves standing beside or under their mothers. This type of roping, more so than the sensational run and catch kind, accomplished the day’s work on the range with speed and without ostentation. It was the sort of roping most highly regarded by the cowmen themselves..... He died December 5, 1939 at Redondo Beach, California.

Posted 4/14


April 15-18, 2008

 

   Missouri poet Glen Enloe has received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. See the proclamation here.

Posted 4/15


      Poet, writer, and cowgirl Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns has received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal. See the proclamation here.

[photo of Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Posted 4/16


  Jon F. Noland, Seward County Community College Library Director in Liberal, Kansas, has received Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and a "Cowboy Poetry Day" proclamation from Liberal Mayor Larry Koochel, recognizing a Cowboy Poetry Week event, which took place April 16, 2008. See the proclamations here.

Posted 4/17


    South Dakota radio broadcaster Francie Ganje, Mid-Day Anchor at KBHB 810AM radio, Sturgis, works tirelessly on behalf of Cowboy Poetry Week, the Rural Library Project, CowboyPoetry.com, and cowboy poets and Western musicians.

She has created Cowboy Poetry Week Public Service Announcements (PSA's) for KBHB. KBHB is the premier farm/ranch radio station in a five state region that covers two-thirds of South Dakota and large portions of North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska. KBHB responded generously, and will air the PSAs during Cowboy Poetry Week. They also have a banner for Cowboy Poetry Week at the KBHB web site.

The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Three CD includes a radio PSA by Francie, which is being played on a number of Western radio stations. To hear that PSA, click here.

Francie Ganje is also the director of the Heritage of the American West show and fills in regularly on the Live! with Jim Thompson show. She was the first to pursue a governor's proclamation for Cowboy Poetry Week and her work has inspired many others to do the same (twenty governors have since issued official recognition for the event). For the past three years, she has arranged for proclamations from the South Dakota Governor and from the Mayor of Spearfish, South Dakota. She has arranged programs at libraries and has produced special Cowboy Poetry Week shows for the Heritage of the American West.

Francie provided the following summary of events that she initiated in the Black Hills of South Dakota for the 2008 celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.

 

 

Cowboy Poetry Week Happenings in the Black Hills of South Dakota

During National and South Dakota Cowboy Poetry Week, April 20-26th, local libraries will host displays of cowboy and western literature, video and audio presentations available to library patrons. This effort to involve libraries is part of the Rural Library Project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry 

  • Grace Balloch Memorial Library, Spearfish, South Dakota, where a good selection of classic cowboy poetry works are available in addition to audio and video selections;

  • Belle Fourche Public Library, Belle Fourche, South Dakota where a good selection of classic cowboy poetry works are available in addition to audio and video selections;

  • Whitewood Public Library, Whitewood, South Dakota. This community was home to well-known cowboy poet Robert V. Carr. His first book, Black Hills Ballads, was published in 1902. See more information here at CowboyPoetry.com. The Whitewood Library will be displaying his memorabilia during Cowboy Poetry Week.  In addition, they will exhibit other cowboy poetry works available to patrons.

Expanding the use of PSA’s provided by the Center of Western and Cowboy Poetry

Contacting local radio stations to increase and/or localize the play time of PSA’s on Cowboy Poetry Week is an approach that can be used in any location.

In Sturgis, South Dakota, with the support of program director Gary Matthews of KBHB 810AM, Cowboy Poetry Week PSA’s will air every day from April 20 – 26th.  Additional copy was developed that promotes the station’s year-long commitment in airing the stories of the West through it’s weekly cowboy programming and the monthly performance of the Heritage of the American West, directed by Francie Ganje.

In total, there will be 42 spots at a length of 60 seconds each.

In addition, the station (the most powerful AM station in South Dakota) will place a banner ad on Cowboy Poetry Week linked to CowboyPoetry.com the week of April 20 – 26th on its home page. See the banner online at: www.kbhbradio.com

The commercial value of the PSA’s and the website banner ad is $1,100.

Following is the localized text developed for KBHB Radio that is an add-on to the PSA developed by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.

 1. Stories of the working west can be heard every day on KBHB 810…winner of the Academy of Western Artists Top Radio Station.  We support the Rural Library Project that preserves and promotes cowboy poetry and our Western heritage. Stop by your local library….and begin experiencing the cowboy culture during National Cowboy Poetry Week, April 20th – 26th

2. Winner of the Academy of Western Artists Top Radio Station, KBHB Salutes National Cowboy Poetry Week April 20th – 26th.  As supporters of the Rural Library Project, we hope you’ll visit your local library to learn more about the story teller’s of the West.  During Cowboy Poetry Week, see special displays at the Whitewood Public Library, the Grace Balloch Memorial Library in Spearfish and the Belle Fourche Public Library. And tune-in to KBHB 810 Radio every week for cowboy entertainment from Red Steagall to Ken Overcast to the Heritage of the American West.….it’s the music, poetry and song of the Great American Cowboy on the Big 81. 

3. For 50 years, KBHB Radio has been bringing you the stories of the West….about the people who ‘live the West’. As among the Top Radio Stations recognized by the Academy of Western Artists, here’s our opportunity to tip our hats to Cowboy Poetry Week and the writers who record ‘life in the West’.  It’s a story with a colorful history and an ongoing legacy….of living and working ‘the cowboy way’ …. Right here on the Big 81. 

4. Did you know that the most famous of cowboy poets Badger Clark, called the Black Hills home?  That a United States Poet Laureate – Ted Kooser – hails from Nebraska or that Robert V. Carr wrote a number of his better known books in Whitewood, SD? Did you know the movement for an official U.S. Senate Resolution for cowboy poetry began in Montana? ….or that among the most recognized names in contemporary western writing and poetry …many are from Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North and South Dakota? Did you know?  It’s National Cowboy Poetry Week April 20 – 26th…in a state near you!

5. The most prestigious awards in western literature and poetry hang on the walls of writers ….from right here in KBHB Five State Country.  We’re proud to salute Cowboy Poetry Week April 20 – 26th … proclaimed by the Governors of South and North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Our listeners "live the West"….an adventure that plays out every day on KBHB Radio!

6. Cowboy Poetry is as close as your local library.  During National Cowboy Poetry Week, find out more about the Rural Library Project that works to preserve and promote cowboy poetry and our Western heritage.  See special displays at the Whitewood Public Library, the Grace Balloch Memorial Library in Spearfish and the Belle Fourche Public Library during Cowboy Poetry Week April 20 – 26th.  Experience ‘cowboy culture’ …. with KBHB Radio!

Special thanks to Francie Ganje and KBHB.

Posted 4/18


      Utah rancher and poet Paul Kern has received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Utah Governor Jon M. Hunstman Jr. See the proclamation here.

Posted 4/18


   The Nevada Observer, "Nevada's Online State News Journal," devotes special coverage Cowboy Poetry Week. The Cowboy Poetry Week feature includes Editor Johnny Gunn's commentary; Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons' Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation; poetry by Dave P. Fisher and Hal Swift; the official U.S. Senate resolution for Cowboy Poetry Week (CowboyPoetry.com initiated Cowboy Poetry Week in 2001; for the celebration's second year, in April 2003, we led the effort to have a resolution passed in the United States Senate, which recognized the celebration with unanimous approval).  See the Cowboy Poetry Week feature article here.

The Nevada Observer  is a web-based news magazine published on the first and fifteenth of each month. Nevada poet and writer Hal Swift's column, A Brush with an Old Sage, is a regular feature.

Visit the Nevada Observer web site.

Posted 4/18


  Marvin O'Dell's three-hour Around the Campfire show for the week starting April 19, 2008 features cowboy poetry, in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.

Poetry is included from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Three: Andy Nelson's "The Old Crockett Spurs," Ken Cook's "Bloodlines," and Paul Zarzyski's "The Luck of the Draw."

Many other poets are featured, including Linda Kirkpatrick, Diane Tribitt, Smoke Wade, Mike Moutoux, Dave Watson, the late Larry McWhorter, and others.

The show airs six times a week on Heartland Public Radio, which broadcasts 24 hours a day on the internet. 

Marvin O'Dell was named the 2007 Radio DJ of the Year by the Western Music Association (WMA).

CD submissions are welcome for consideration for airplay.  See our feature about Around the Campfire here and listen to the show on Heartland Public Radio here.

Posted 4/18


  Jon F. Noland, Seward County Community College Library Director in Liberal, Kansas, has received Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and a "Cowboy Poetry Day" proclamation from Liberal Mayor Larry Koochel, recognizing a Cowboy Poetry Week event, which took place April 16, 2008. See the proclamations here.

Posted 4/17


     California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has sent a letter of recognition to the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry  for Cowboy Poetry Week.

The Governor writes, part:

Greetings to all who are celebrating "Cowboy Poetry Week."

I commend your efforts to promote literacy and educate others about an important part of our Western heritage. These literary works tell the tales of an exciting and extraordinary chapter in our history, while also depicting the lives of today's ranchers and those in rural communities.

I also deeply appreciate your work to enhance the resources of rural libraries and encourage an interest in literature in people....

See the entire letter here.

Posted 4/21


  The Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio show celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on its syndicated broadcast, the week of April 21-27, 2008. (The show will be available on the show's web site starting April 28, 2008, and then available on demand from the show's archives.)

The show includes selections from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Three: Joel Nelson's "Shadow on the Cutbank"; Doris Daley's "Bones"; Hal Swift reciting "Bill's in Trouble" by James Barton Adams; Yvonne Hollenbeck's "Prairie Patchwork"; and  Andy Nelson's "The Old Crockett Spurs." 

There are also selections of songs written in collaboration with poets, including Belinda Gail, "Amigo" (Les Buffham); Wylie & the Wild West, "Bucking Horse Moon" (Paul Zarzyski); David Anderson, "It's Been a While" (Jo Lynne Kirkwood); Rex Allen, "Moonshine Steer" (Gail I. Gardner); and Jean Prescott, "March Winds" (Yvonne Hollenbeck).

Clear Out West (C. O. W.) co-hosts, brothers Jim and Andy Nelson, received the Western Music Association's 2006 Top Radio DJ's of the Year Award. 

Andy Nelson, who is also a popular poet, humorist, and emcee, co-produces The BAR-D Roundup.

Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio is broadcast to many radio stations and past shows are available for listening on demand from the Clear Out West web site  

Updated 4/21


    Oklahoma rancher and poet Jay Snider has heard from the office of  Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry that a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation has been issued.

Posted 4/21


  Bainville (Montana) School Library and Elementary aide Christine Hexom and other teachers and students once again celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week with activities and displays. Christine Hexom created bookmarks and notebooks, and students have their photos posted in a Cowboy Poetry Week display. They shared the following photos, which include their hometown favorite, poet and musician DW Groethe.

See our feature about the school's 2006 Cowboy Poetry Day Celebration, when Bainville School students, teachers, parents, and community members gathered for a Cowboy Poetry Day celebration, the culmination of the school's "I Love to Read" month.

Posted 4/21


  Montana poet, songwriter, and ranch hand DW Groethe has received a letter of recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. See the letter here.

DW Groethe photo, 2005, by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.

Updated 4/22


    North Dakota radio broadcaster Al Gustin, known widely throughout the region as the "dean" of farm broadcasting, celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on his shows on KBMR and KFYR, which are heard throughout the day.

His Monday, April 21 broadcast highlighted the Rural Library Project and featured an interview with Mary Alice Gaebe of the Morton Mandan Library, which has a display for Cowboy Poetry Week. He also spoke with Margo Metegrano from CowboyPoetry.com and the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry. Poets, including South Dakota's Elizabeth Ebert and DW Groethe were featured throughout the week.

Al Gustin's previous Cowboy Poetry Week broadcasts featured  DW Groethe, Ken Overcast, Rodney Nelson, Elizabeth Ebert, Ken Overcast, and others.

Read more about Al Gustin here at KFYR.

Updated 4/25


  Larry Wines' weekly Acoustic American Music Calendar & News includes information about Cowboy Poetry Week, and includes a quote from poet Doris Daley.

Larry Wines is the programmer-producer-host of "Tied to the Tracks," acoustic Americana radio and television, syndicated from Los Angeles, with live in-studio performance-interviews. He describes the format as "...featuring blues-to-bluegrass, Cajun-to-cowboy-to-Celtic-to-Quebecois, new-old-trad-alt-post folk, and the best of the singer-songwriter 'acoustic Renaissance.'"  He's a musician and songwriter as well, and a feature writer for FolkWorks.

Posted 4/24


    Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick has received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Texas Governor Rick Perry. See the proclamation here.

The Governor writes, in part:

The great philosopher Plato once said, "Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history." Throughout the history of the American West, and especially the history of Texas, 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.

Just as the cowboy way of life has been passed from generation to generation, cowboy poetry continues to transcend time as well...
 

[photo of Linda Kirkpatrick by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Posted 4/23


    Utah poets and musicians, organized by Stan Tixier, presented a Cowboy Poetry Week program on April 21, 2008, at the Ogden Valley Branch Library in Huntsville, Utah. Stan reports:

We had a successful cowboy poetry and music program. Our two-hour show from 6 to 8 PM featured the popular cowboy music group, Coyote Moon (Lisa Stubblefield and Steve Lewis), cowboy poet Matt Urry and his daughter Kourtnee, an aspiring third-generation cowboy poet who is helping with the youth poet activity for the First Annual Golden Spike Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival (May 8- 10), plus yours truly.

The large conference room or auditorium in the library was packed full. They used every chair they had and there were a few folks standing in the back when we finished. It was an enthusiastic audience that seemed to truly enjoy the presentation.

This will continue to be a yearly event in the Huntsville Library

Posted 4/24


  The Live! With Jim Thompson show, a great friend to cowboy poets and cowboy poetry, has been celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week by airing The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Three on their internet broadcast; giving copies to listeners; reading cowboy poetry. Jim Thompson read the late Rod Nichols' "Saddle Bag of Memories" on Tuesday, April 22; Slim McNaught's "Cowboy Prayer for Rain" on Wednesday, April 23; S. Omar Barker's "Mustang Manners" on April 24; and "Ridin' Job" by Steve Tolton and Slim McNaught's "Circle Unending" on April 25. He took calls from poets (Ken Cook and Slim McNaught both read poems on Monday, April 21, when the show was hosted by Francie Ganje); and spreading the word about Cowboy Poetry Week activities.

Live! With Jim Thompson broadcasts daily on the the radio and on the web, at 1 PM Mountain.  Visit the Live! with Jim Thompson web site for more information, email links and phone numbers, a quick on-line connection, and access to archived shows.

[photo of Jim Thompson by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Updated 4/25


   Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick, joined by her "Sunset Serenade" partners Frank Roberts and Joe Wells, presented a program at the Real County Public Library in Leakey, Texas for Cowboy Poetry Week, at a "Brunch Among the Books" event on April 22, 2008. 


Joe Wells (Frank Roberts in back)

Linda worked with the library to create a cowboy poetry exhibit celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week.

 

[photo of Linda Kirkpatrick by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Updated 4/25


  In recognition of Cowboy Poetry Week, poets called in to Ralph's Back Porch Show on April 25 to recite poems. Among those calling in were Linda Kirkpatrick, Ken Cook, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Mick Vernon, Van Criddle, Sandy Seaton, T.J. Casey, Biscuits O'Bryan, Paul Harris, Cora Wood, Jean Prescott, Slim McNaught, Buck Helton, Risky Betts, Monty Teel, Joe Herrington, Mag Mawhinney, Brian Brannon, Donna Guffey, Woody Woodruff, and Alexia.  Visit Ralph's Back Porch Show for program archives.

Updated 4/26


The Booth Western Art Museum, sponsors of the Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering, announced the winners of their statewide Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest:


Doc Stovall, Moby Radio Personality and Gene Choate of Banker's Fidelity with the Winners
Finalists recited their poems in the Booth Theatre on April 19, 2008.

Read the winning poems and also find audio of the first-place poems recited here at the Booth Western Art Museum site.

Grades 5 and 6

  • First Place: Joseph Nease from Cartersville, Ga., Bartow County 4-H

  • Second Place: Lauren Nicole Seymour from Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville Middle School

  • Third Place: Victoria Staley from Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville Middle School

 Grades 7 and 8

  • First Place: Maria Cabanas from Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville Middle School

  • Second Place: Ben Vagase from Cartersville, Ga., Cartersville Middle School

  • Third Place: Mallory Fleming from Cartersville, Ga., South Central Middle School

 Grades 9 through 12

  • First Place: Kayla Frazier from White, Ga., Adairsville High School

  • Second Place: Rachel Potter from Rydal, Ga., Adairsville High School

The contest was opened to students in grades 5 -12. The top fifteen finalists competed at the Booth Western Art Museum on Saturday, March 8, 2008 as part of the Cowboy Gathering. Three finalists in each category returned to the Booth to compete for cash prizes in the final competition on Saturday, April 19, in Cartersville, Georgia, in recognition of Cowboy Poetry Week.

About the Booth Western Art Museum

The Booth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is an 80,000 square foot museum located in Cartersville, Georgia, where guests are invited to explore the American West through contemporary Western artwork. The Museum also houses a Presidential Gallery, Civil War art gallery, and Sagebrush Ranch – featuring hands-on art activities. Visitors to Booth Museum also enjoy the intimate downtown setting with unique specialty and antique shops, boutiques and nationally featured restaurants all within walking distance of the Museum. Open since August 2003, the Booth Museum is the only museum of its kind in the Southeast and is the second largest art museum in the state of Georgia. To learn more about the Booth Western Art Museum, visit www.boothmuseum.org.

See our feature about the Booth Museum and the Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering here.

Updated 4/28


  Dianetribitt2007.jpg (18039 bytes)  Minnesota rancher, writer, and poet Diane Tribitt appeared at the Pioneer Elementary School in Pierz, Minnesota on April 21, 2008 for a program celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week.

An article in the Morrison County Record, "Hillman cowboy poet laureate inspires students to write" by Lorae Vardas reports on her visit and tells about her life and work.

The school's web site has an impressive Poetry Month podcast feature, which includes presentations with audio for two of Diane Tribitt's poems, "Half the Hand" and "Minnesota Cowgirls."

Posted 4/28


   Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick, joined by top singer and songwriter Jean Prescott, presented a Cowboy Poetry Writing Workshop on Saturday, April 26, 2008 for the Abilene Writer’s Guild, in Abilene Texas, in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 4/28


  Calling All Cowboys radio celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on its April 23, 2008 show, which is available in its archive (for two weeks) here at the show's web site.

The Cowboy Poetry Week show includes Robert Service's recitation of his poem, "The Cremation of Sam McGee" from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Three; Badger Clark's recitation of his poem "Ridin'" and Paul Zarzyski's recitation of S. Omar Barker's "Horses versus Hosses" from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Two; and Buck Ramsey's recitation of "Anthem," from the first edition of The BAR-D Roundup.

The show is filled with interesting programming: Badger Clark's recitation of "Ridin'" is followed by Don Edwards' version of the poem put to music. There are additional poetry tracks, including Randy Rieman's recitation of Will Ogilvie's "Hooves of the Horses," paired with Wylie Gustafson of Wylie & the Wild West's version of the poem put to music.

The weekly three-hour show from Bend, Oregon, includes cowboy music, cowboy poetry, and interviews. Host Charley Engel ("Chuckaroo the Buckaroo") invites submissions for consideration for airplay: Calling All Cowboys Radio, KPOV 106.7 FM, 22470 Rickard Road, Bend, OR 97702.

Visit the Calling All Cowboys web site to listen and for more information.

Posted 4/25


   Agri-News, a weekly general ag newspaper based in Billings, Montana, celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week each year with a  cowboy poetry contest, open to its subscribers.

Agri-News received high-quality submissions, and Editor Tami Jo Arvik Blake has announced the contest winners:

First Place Adult: "Ropin' The Stars," by Patricia Frolander of Sundance, Wyoming
Second Place: "Only A Ranch Wife," by Lorraine Seaford of Zortman, Montana

First Place Youth (8-12): "Branding Day," by Cheyenne Fauber, of Wright, Wyoming
Second Place: "A Cowboy's Job," by Tessa Chinery, Clearmont, Wyoming
 

First- and second-place winners' poems appear in the April 25, 2008 edition of Agri-News, and other finalists' poems will be printed in future issues.

For more about Agri-News, visit www.cattleplus.com.

Posted 4/25


Brian Allmer's BARN network celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week with a segment on its show, April 21.

Broadcaster Brian Allmer describes his programming:

The Brian Allmer Radio Network, better known as the BARN, covers Agriculture 24/7/365 on the air and on line, delivering Ag News, Market Reports, Ag Feature Stories PLUS a plethora of information pertaining to all the facets of Agriculture and all those industries that touch it, including Cowboy Poetry. Brian Allmer is a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB). The BARN continues to work diligently to help "bridge the gap" between rural and urban communities, and share with its listeners the importance of Agriculture.

You can hear the BARN on the air, currently on 3 radio stations out of northeastern Colorado. You can also listen to the BARN on line anytime by logging on to www.BARNmedia.net. And if you have a radio station in your area that you think may want to pick up the BARN's Ag Reports, let me know. The BARN would love to hear from anyone who might have an issue or event in their area that they think people need to hear about. Simply drop me an e-mail: brian.allmer@gmail.com.

The BARN is a proud supporter of the FFA and 4-H Programs in Colorado and around the US. The BARN would like to also SALUTE the men and women serving in the US Military around the globe, and as well SALUTE all those who are involved in Cowboy Poetry, who always make us stop, think and laugh a lot!

Posted 4/25


  Rex Rideout (Time Travel Music) of Conifer, Colorado and John Nelson of Gunnison appeared in a Cowboy Poetry Week program at the Leslie J. Savage Library, Western State College of Colorado, Gunnison, Colorado, on April 25. Rex shared a photo and comments about the event:

John and I did a show on Cowboy Poetry at the historic Savage Library, Western State College in Gunnison, Friday, April 25th. It was well attended. In addition to town folk interested in such things, some of the faculty offered their students extra credit to see the show. I recited some of the early poems of Jack Thorp, Badger Clark and others, and John recited some of his own. I also backed him up on fiddle and banjo for some of his recitations. We've been asked to come back so I guess everyone enjoyed themselves. I would perform with John anytime.
 

From the original announcement:

Rex Rideout has been performing the music of the American West for the last 25 years. He approaches "cowboy music" as a historian and musicologist.  Rex is a long-time student of the music and songs of the 19th-Century American West. With Mark Gardner from Cascade, CO, Rex co-authored the award winning book and CD, Jack Thorp's Songs of the Cowboys. Originally published in 1908, Songs of the Cowboys by Jack Thorp was the first publication of cowboy poetry.  For this performance, Rex will primarily recite some of the classics of Cowboy Poetry from the late 1800s and early 1900s as well as perform poems that are known as songs.

Rex participates in the Rural Library Project, sponsored by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry to serve rural communities as it works to preserve and promote cowboy poetry and Western heritage.

A long-time Gunnison resident, John Nelson is in his 30th year of operating the Gunnison Country Guide Service.  About 20 years ago, while guiding trips into the backcountry, John began reciting cowboy poetry to entertain guests and wranglers.  Since then, he has performed for numerous gatherings, guest ranches, radio and television, and other events. He has released a CD of poetry, Word Wranglin’ and Wrymin’, and a video, Just One More Day. His first book, My Participle’s Danglin’ was a local bestseller and a new book, My Participle’s Danglin’ Again is due out soon along with a new DVD. John will be performing some of his locally inspired favorites as well as a few of the old classics. 

Posted 5/2


 

 Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (www.nevadaslim.com) performed at many Cowboy Poetry Week activities, including those with rural libraries, in their area around Prescott, Washington. Sue Matley ("Cimarron Sue") organized the many activities and sent the following report:

 

The Touchet Valley Scoop
 by Cimarron Sue 

The Touchet River Valley is a little-traveled gem in Walla Walla and Columbia Counties (southeastern Washington State). The area is alive with western history and was on the return route of the Lewis and Clark expedition in May, 1806. Many of the people who live in the Touchet Valley today are descended from the earliest settlers who arrived in the mid-nineteenth century, initially to raise cattle on the abundant bunch grass. In the 1870s the railroad arrived and wheat production became the dominant force in the local agricultural economy.

Nevada Slim and I (aka Bruce and Susan Matley) settled here a year ago. This January we started talking about what we could do to bring Cowboy Poetry Week to our new community. The idea caught on like a grass fire and we ended up helping with 8 local events in a 35-mile radius.

 Here’s the week in review:

April 3: (An early-bird event) Burbank Library invited us to play, recite and talk about Cowboy Poetry Week at their fourth annual poetry slam. Jim Crawford from the Columbia River Cowboy Heritage Society was on hand to spread the good word as well. The library’s poetry contest (all ages) drew over 50 entries with a variety of themes. Librarian Virginia Gutierrez recited some of the winning poems when the kids proved too shy to get up in front of a crowd. Though the following poem didn’t win a prize, it stuck in my mind:

Wiener Dogs

Black and brown down to the ground.
Wiener dogs have a lot to say.
They bark and bay all day.
You should get a Wiener dog today right away.

by Mayci Beck (3rd Grade)

In a stretch, this could be considered a cowboy poem (think “git a long little doggie” . . .).

Contest winners (all themes were sought) and their poem titles: Eunice Worden, "Kayaking Sunday Morning"; Dan Stenkamp, "Shoelace"; Taylor Gridley, "What We Have Forgotten"; Jena Gordan, "Who am I?  ME"; Abram, "Butterfly"; Lily Gridley and Sammy Combs, "Fishes"; Emigh Wallace, "Mustangs"; Teagan Aune, "A Duck Named Chuck"; Emma Glazier, "Wear Green on Saint Patrick's Day"; Ali Martineau, "Little Boy Pat"; and Michelle Maine, "Basket Ball."

April 20: The official week opened in Waitsburg with The Touchet Valley Western Show at Ye Towne Hall. Guest performers cowboy poet Clark Crouch (the “Sandhill Sage”) from Bothell, Washington and Barbara Nelson (Western Swing Diva) of Pendleton, Oregon joined us for shows at 2 PM and 6:30 PM. The audiences enjoyed the mixture of music and poetry, and Barbara and Clark gained some solid new fans.

April 21: 3 PM Dayton Memorial Library- “Red Ridin’ ” Robin Dale, cowgirl singer, poet and yodeler joined us for a children’s hour program. Librarian Janet Lyons introduced us to a mixed audience of adults and kids, about 40 in all. Slim navigated the challenging waters of connecting with the pre-teens through a Q & A approach (What is poetry? What do you think might be different about cowboy poetry? etc.). The mixture of seriousness and fun held their attention. The youngest audience members danced along to “Pecos Bill” and Robin’s poem about a cow-dog that doesn’t like pancakes was a big hit.

Robin, Slim and I then traveled down the road to the Weller Library in Waitsburg for a community celebration starting at 5 PM. A brave Waitsburg High School sophomore, John Hockersmith, performed the song “Cows With Guns” to an all-female audience; he did a fine job and we’re hoping more local talent will emerge for 2009. Robin Dale shared her original poem “Oops!” about a range-ridin’ cowgirl who remembers to pack everything but her horse. The ladies were tickled by Slim’s recitation of “The Bra” (Bill Hirschi) and I put forth Wally McRae’s “Reincarnation.” Robin and Slim then alternated leads in an impromptu Jack Hannah songfest (the two of them are, I think, Jack’s biggest fans). Thanks to librarian Jan Chronkite. Men of Waitsburg, we hope you are part of the fun next year! 

April 22: Prescott, 7 PM. Librarian Josh Westbrook wisely anticipated a crowd that would exceed the limits of the much-loved one-room library and moved the event next door to the Lion’s Hall (thanks, Lions!). In a first-time event he attracted 5 entrants to the kids poetry contest. First place (selected by audience vote) went to Sonya Crispin, 1st Grade, for her poem "TV is Boring" (not a cowboy-sounding title but she seems to be headed in a good direction). There was a tie for second place: Thalia Crispin - Kindergarten and Mary Groom 1st Grade. Two of our Prescott neighbors, Jim Fenley (“Pigpen” and 3 other poems) and Gene Gerkey (“Old Fences”), stood before the audience of 30-plus and delivered their original cowboy-themed work. Larry Pitcher tickled the crowd with his rendition of “Reincarnation.” I got my first chance to recite Doris Daley’s “The Answering Machine,” the humor of which successfully crossed international borders. Slim and I filled out the program with a selection of cowboy-poems-turned-songs and ended with our “Westward Bound Medley” of songs from the great westward migration of the 1840s and 50s. Said librarian Josh, “. . . there was a moment at the end where everyone was toe tapping and singing along. That was great.  We should do it again next year!”

The Prescott Library was the recipient of a fine collection of cowboy poetry and prose books, CDs and DVDs, 22 items in all! These works are currently being cataloged through the Walla Walla County Rural Library System and will be on display in the Prescott Library window when they are returned. Thanks to Baxter Black, Clark Crouch, Doris Daley, Rib Gustafson, Wylie Gustafson, Rockin’ HW, Smoke Wade, Mick Vernon, the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Western Jubilee Recording Co., and Paul Zarzyski for their generosity!

April 23: Touchet Community Library, 5-8 PM. The Friends of the Touchet Library are an active bunch and their publicity efforts, which included special mailings and wide-spread promotion of their poetry contest, netted nearly 50 contest entries (judged by the other Walla Walla County rural librarians) and an audience of 118 (not bad for a town of 500). The poetry contest winners presented their work from the stage. Congratulations to:

K-grade 3:1st Danaka Jaggar, 2nd Melody Griffin, 3rd Katie Skramstad
4-6 grade: 1st Kalie Adams, 2nd Autumn Rea, 3rd Andrew Flagstead
7-8 Grade: 1st Kim Courson, 2nd Robert Elsinghorst
9-12 Grade: Kira Flagstead, Austin Kentch

Librarian Carlotta Richardson hosted the event at the school multi-purpose room (once again, the library building was too small for the level of interest). She recruited a wide selection of cowboy and western-themed presenters:

The Dutch Oven Cookers Joe and Laura Schmidt and members of the "3 Rivers Cast Iron Cookers"
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mantz-Powers of the "Blue Mountain Dutch Oven Society"
Jim Crawford from the Columbia River Cowboy Heritage Society
The City Clicker Cloggers and Steppin' Country (line dancers)
Gold Vein Photography took photos that will appear on the library’s website.

Our saddle pal Red Ridin’ Robin joined us again. She’s the gorgeous red-head in the middle


photo by Robert Remus
Nevada Slim, Robin Dale, Cimarron Sue, and librarian
Carlotta Richardson

 

Librarian Carlotta Richardson is already talking about adding a library fundraiser chili feed/cook off to the program next year.

April 24: Slim and I return to Dayton for “Cowboys Singing Under the Blues,” sponsored by the Touchet Valley Arts Council and benefiting the Liberty Theater annex “open the doors” campaign. Janet and Robert Phinney of Dayton cooked up the concept and an army of volunteers cooked up a chuck-wagon style dinner (served in the theater annex, the renovation of which will benefit from the evening’s proceeds). Patrons moved from the annex to the lobby of the beautifully restored Liberty Theater. Western bronze sculpture and paintings by Keith MacMasters graced the lobby and readied the audience for an evening of cowboy poetry and song. Over 100 folks attended, and once again we had the opportunity to spread the word about Cowboy Poetry Week. The level of interest in keeping western heritage alive is strong in this part of the country; at the Liberty, as everywhere else during the week, the regional and personal pride expressed in being a part of this continuing history makes the hard work of all cowboy and western performing, literary and visual artists seem very, very worthwhile.

April 25: Back to Prescott. We’re on for an evening of poetry and song at the one-and-only watering hole, the Tuxedo Bar & Grill. Of all the venues we’ve played this week, the Tux is the only one we’ve played before. In the crowded bar and dining room we picked out a couple dozen folks who had attended three or more of the week’s events. I suspect demand for a bigger, wider celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week in 2009 is on the horizon. As we vamp near the end of our last song, I remind the audience about the wonderful new cowboy poetry collection at the Prescott Library and encourage them to read/listen to find their own “favorite” to learn for next year, and maybe write a few of their own. 

April 26: Finally! We have a minute to take off our hats, kick off our boots, and listen to the Bar-D Roundup. It’s restorative to hear the voices of friends and performing comrades. My own plans for Cowboy Poetry Week 2009 begin as I listen to Kent Rollins “Horseshoes and Heaven” on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Two (2007)—think I’ll drop him a line and see if he’d mind if I worked this one up.  

Susan Matley
aka Cimarron Sue
www.nevadaslim.com

 

Posted 5/5


    Idaho writer and poet Smoke Wade  received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Idaho Governor Butch Otter. See the proclamation here.

[photo of Smoke Wade by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.]

Posted 5/7


  Jo Lynne Kirkwood has a report and photos from the First Annual Utah, Arizona, Nevada (& Neighbors) Cowboy Poetry Gathering & "Old Timers" Get Together held in Kanab, Utah in April, 2008. Sponsored by the Western Writers and Poets Association and held in conjunction with Cowboy Poetry Week, performers included Smoke Wade, Kenny Hall, Phil Kennington, Sam DeLeeuw,  Doug Keller, Don Kennington, Western Shadows, Jan Erickson, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Sam Jackson and Susie the Sheeppoetdog, Myrna’s kids (area youth poets), and others.

See the report here.

Posted 5/30

 


 

See our complete Events Calendar here with links to event details.

 


2008 Cowboy Poetry Week Events

See our complete Events Calendar here.

April 3, Burbank, Washington
April 8, Stillwater, Oklahoma
April 14, Woodland Park, Colorado
April 16, Liberal, Kansas
April 16, Spearfish, South Dakota
April 19, Cartersville, Georgia

April 20, Touchet, Washington
April 20, Waitsburg, Washington
April 20, Conifer, Colorado
April 21, Huntsville, Utah
April 21, Dayton, Washington
April 21, Pierz, Minnesota
April 22, Prescott, Washington
April 22, Leakey, Texas
April 22, Gold Hill, Nevada
April 23, Touchet, Washington
April 24, Dayton, Washington
April 24, Buhl, Idaho
April 25, Safford, Arizona
April 25, Prescott, Washington
April 25, Gunnison, Colorado
April 25, Safford, Arizona
April 25-27, Kanab, Utah
April 25-27, Mountain View, Missouri
April 26, Grass Valley, California
April 26, Hooker, Oklahoma
April 26, Abilene, Texas
April 29, Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 2, Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

See our complete Events Calendar here with more events celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week and links to more event details.

 

Email us your event info.

 


Radio and other programs that will celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week, available on the internet:

Clear Out West (C. O. W.)
Live! With Jim Thompson
Heritage of the American West

Western Heritage Show
Around the Campfire

Other radio features:

Francie Ganje on KBHB
Al Gustin on KBMR and KFRY

 


 

See our full Events Calendar here.

 


Get Involved!

Everyone can be a part of Cowboy Poetry Week. Below are suggestions about how you can get involved.

Libraries, Schools, Communities

Proclamations from Governors and Mayors

States' Representatives and Senators

Arts Councils

Newspapers and Radio

Art Spur

Support CowboyPoetry.com


Libraries, Schools, and Communities

Get your schools, libraries, and communities involved! 

Cowboy Poetry Week continues to grow, and poets and others have been instrumental in having 19 states' governors and several cities' mayors and other officials recognize Cowboy Poetry Week with proclamations and declarations. Cowboy Poetry Week also inspires events and expands interest and activities. Just two examples:

Arizona's Gila Valley Cowboy Poets got their entire community involved, with performances and activities in museums, the library, shops, and restaurants. Group member Ann Blackford commented they were excited about Cowboy Poetry Week "and the avenue it opens for us to achieve some additional community awareness." 

The Cowboy Poets of Utah, after meeting with their Governor to receive the state proclamation, used the occasion to honor octogenarian poet Colen Sweeten for his lifetime of accomplishments at a gala event. 

You can encourage programs at libraries, schools, and community centers where you and others can recite cowboy poetry; suggest a display of materials about cowboy poetry and Western life; donate a book or CD to your schools and libraries; bring cowboy poetry to classrooms; and share your knowledge in other ways. Read about some activities from 2006 here.


Rural Library Project

Send us your library's address, and we'll add them to the Rural Library Project. The project is an important Cowboy Poetry Week activity, an important outreach program that helps fulfill our mission to serve a mostly underserved community of rural Westerners. In 2007, our second annual compilation CD of top classic and contemporary cowboy poetry, The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Two, will be offered, along with Cowboy Poetry Week posters, to libraries across the West.  

The production of The BAR-D Roundup, the Cowboy Poetry Week poster, and other Cowboy Poetry Week activities are made possible by the generous funding support from the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry's sustaining donors

To suggest a library for inclusion, please email us the complete library address. We particularly like to add  libraries that serve ranching communities.

 


Contact your Governor and Mayor

 


Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. met with members of the Cowboy Poets of Utah and signed a state Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation on April 7, 2006.  In attendance were Phil Kennington, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Terri Taylor, Kathie Kern, Sam DeLeeuw, Paul Kern, Steve Taylor, Rod Miller, Val Carter, and Curly Syndergaard.  See more photos and the proclamation here.

 

In 2006, Paul Kern, who petitioned Governor Jon M. Hunstman Jr. of Utah to proclaim Cowboy Poetry Week, shared some background and information below about how to contact a state's governor. It is a simple process, and many governors have web sites where you can request the proclamation on line. Many poets and others have used this information, and to date, 19 states' governors, and some mayors, and other officials have issued proclamations and declarations. You can read about the 2008 efforts and see some examples above.

To avoid duplicate efforts, please email us if you are going to contact your governor. Those working on 2008 proclamations and declarations to date  include:

  Hal Swift: Nevada
  Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue with Clark Crouch:  Washington  
 
Linda Kirkpatrick:  Texas
  Joe Baker: New Mexico
  DW Groethe: Montana
georgiaflag.gif (2579 bytes)  Doc Stovall: Georgia
  Jim Hawkins: North Carolina
minnflag.jpg (3792 bytes)
  Diane Tribitt: Minnesota
  Glen Enloe:  Missouri  
  Smoke Wade: Idaho
  Francie Ganje: South Dakota

  Van Criddle:  Oregon
  Jay Snider: Oklahoma
  Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns: Wyoming
  Ann Blackford/Gila Valley Cowboy Poets:  Arizona
 
Dick Morton and Jane Morton: Colorado
  Paul Kern:  Utah
 Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry:  California

What is a Proclamation?

 

1)  Proclamations (and /or Declarations) are issued by the Governor’s Office of a given state.

2)  A Proclamations Coordinator normally administers proclamations.

3)  Proclamations can be for anything noteworthy and can be issued on behalf of individuals or organizations.

4)  The Proclamation document can either be delivered via the U.S. mail or signed in person with an accompanying ceremony depending on the prior arrangements.

 

How to obtain a Proclamation for Cowboy Poetry Week

 

1)  Call the Governor’s Office front desk and ask for the Proclamations Coordinator.

2)  The Proclamations Coordinator will guide you through your state’s process to obtain a proclamation.

 

 

Sample Proclamation

 

1)  You will be requested to provide a proposed text for the proclamation.

2)  Below is the text we have submitted to the Governor’s Office of the State of Utah. It may be modified for use in other states.

3)  Good luck and have fun!

 

 

PROCLAMATION EXAMPLE

Designating the week of April 20 through April 26, 2008, as  

 

Cowboy Poetry Week in the State of Utah  

 

Whereas throughout the history of the American West and Utah in particular, cowboy and pioneer poets have played a large part in preserving western heritage and the culture of Utah through oral and written poetry;

 

Whereas the long tradition and endearing qualities of these old stories and poems demonstrate that cowboy poetry is a cherished Utah tradition;

 

Whereas Utah has produced several well-respected contemporary cowboy poets;

 

Whereas Utah hosts major cowboy poetry gatherings in Heber City, Richfield and Kanab;

 

Whereas recognizing the contributions of these poets dates as far back as cowboys themselves;

 

Whereas the celebrations and official designations and proclamations of a state should reflect the traditions and values of its people;

 

Whereas it is necessary to recognize the importance of cowboy poetry among the general public:

 

Now, therefore, be it proclaimed,

 

That Governor Jon M. Hunstman Jr. designates the week of April 20 through April 26, 2008, as

 

“Cowboy Poetry Week in the State of Utah

 

The people of the great  State of Utah are called upon to celebrate the week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

 

Thanks to Paul Kern for the above information.

We've contacted California Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger, as the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry is a non-profit organization in the state of California.  This is our cover letter for 2008:

To Whom it May Concern:  

We respectfully request that Governor Schwarzenegger proclaim the week of April 20-26, as Cowboy Poetry Week in California.  

Inaugurated by CowboyPoetry.com in 2002, Cowboy Poetry Week has been officially recognized by unanimous resolution of the United States Senate (S. Res. 108, April 8, 2003).

The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., sponsor of Cowboy Poetry Week and of CowboyPoetry.com, is a California non-profit organization.

Cowboy poetry has a rich history in California, where "the West began," with the important influence of the early vaquero culture. The heritage and poetry and is celebrated at festivals throughout the state, notably in Monterey, Salinas, Visalia, Santa Clarita, and many other locations in California. To quote the U. S. Senate resolution, "...it is important to understand that cowboys live and breathe a unique culture which few may be exposed to."

We are grateful for the Governor's 2006 and 2007 proclamations.

Enclosed is suggested text for the 2008 proclamation.

Thank you for your consideration.


It's easy to request a proclamation. In preparing our California request, we:

In some states, the request can be sent by email or even by a form on the Governor's web site.

There's also a list of current states' governors here at Wikipedia.


United States' Representatives and Senators

All states' Congressional Representatives and Senators have newsletters that include information for and about their constituents. Many seek content. 

Send a short piece to your Representative and your Senators about Cowboy Poetry Week (see our media release below for content, or write your own message), let them know that your state's governor has recognized the celebration, and include one of your poems.

You can find contact information for all states' Representatives here at the House of Representatves' web site and for all states' Senators here at the Unite States Senate web site.

We welcome your news of any resulting articles. Email us.


Arts Councils

Let your local Art Council know about your interest and involvement in cowboy poetry, and about Cowboy Poetry Week. Tell them about our Rural Library Project. Many councils have newsletters; send a short piece about Cowboy Poetry Week (see our media release below for content, or write your own message). 

You'll find a list of many Art Councils here at the National Assemby of Arts Agencies web site.


Newspapers and Radio

Newspapers and radio stations are always interested in stories of interest to the communities they serve. You can suggest a feature article or interview, write a letter to the editor, and offer your poetry. Let them know about events in your community.  Spread the word about Cowboy Poetry Week and pass along our media release.

We send The Bar-D Roundup CD of classic and contemporary cowboy poetry to Western radio stations for airplay. Have your station email us if they are interested in airing the CD.


Favorite Cowboy and Western Poems Project

We launched our Favorite Cowboy and Western Poems Project in conjunction with Cowboy and Western Poetry Week, which we celebrate the third week of April each year, during National Poetry Month.  

In part, the inspiration for this project came from The Favorite Poem Project by former United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. In its first year, over 18,000 Americans responded.  A selection of those responses were recorded on audio and videotape.

Read about the poems our visitors have named as their favorites here.

We invite you to tell us about your favorite classic or contemporary Western or Cowboy poem.  

Simply send an email and tell us:

  • the name of your favorite Western or Cowboy poem

  • the author's name

  • why it's a favorite

  • your name


Art Spur

  It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words...we know many that are worthy of a poem.

In Art Spur, we invite poets to let selections of contemporary Western art inspire their poetry.

For Cowboy Poetry Week 2008, we have master painter, designer, and musician William Matthews' painting, "Waxed Jacket" to "spur" the imagination. The painting is the image on our 2008 Cowboy Poetry Week poster.

Read more about Art Spur here.

 


Reproduction prohibited without express written permission
"Waxed Jacket"

© 2006, William Matthews, www.williammatthewsgallery.com
 


Support CowboyPoetry.com

The production of The BAR-D Roundup, the Cowboy Poetry Week poster, and other Cowboy Poetry Week activities are made possible by the generous funding support from the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry's sustaining donors

If you appreciate our programs, please show your support.

 

Become a supporter, make a donation, perhaps in memory of someone who treasured our Western Heritage: Make a difference.

Read some of our supporters' comments here,  visit the Wall of Support, and donate!

Read all about our history, the Center, and about how you can be a part of it all right here.

You can make a donation by check or money order, by mail (please use the form here for mail to PO Box 330444, San Francisco, CA 94133) 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.




Media Release for Cowboy Poetry Week 2008

SAN FRANCISCOThe seventh annual Cowboy Poetry Week (April 20-26, 2008) 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, is held during the third week of April each year, in conjunction with National Poetry Month in the United States and Canada. Nineteen states’ governors and other officials have proclaimed Cowboy Poetry Week, and there are activities across the West and beyond. 

 

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer commented in his 2006 Cowboy Poetry Week letter of support, "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..."


“Waxed Jacket,” a painting by top Western artist William Matthews (www.williammatthewsgallery.com) is this year’s Cowboy Poetry Week poster art. Posters go out to hundreds of libraries as a part of the Center’s Rural Library Project, an important Cowboy Poetry Week outreach activity, part of the Center's mission to serve a mostly underserved community of rural Westerners.

 

A new edition of The BAR-D Roundup, a compilation CD of the best in classic and current cowboy poetry will be released during Cowboy Poetry Week. The CD is also offered to libraries and available for purchase; proceeds help fund the Center’s programs, including CowboyPoetry.com.

 

This third annual edition of The BAR-D Roundup showcases contemporary and traditional works, including Robert Service's vintage recording of "The Cremation of Sam McGee"; the poetry of past Texas Poet Laureate Red Steagall, National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow Wallace McRae, and Montana Governor’s Arts Award for Literature recipient Paul Zarzyski; noted reciters Randy Rieman, Ross Knox, and Jerry A. Brooks presenting classic poems by Henry Herbert Knibbs, D. J. O'Malley, and Badger Clark; a third annual selection from Grass, the master work of the late Buck Ramsey, an NEA National Heritage Fellow, recognized as the modern spiritual leader of the genre; and eighteen additional offerings from today’s top poets and reciters.


CowboyPoetry.com is a central resource for cowboy poetry and associated Western arts, a project 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 24th year in 2009.

 

 


See the description of Cowboy Poetry Week and more on Page 1.


 

www.cowboypoetry.com

 

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