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An article here in theElko Daily Free Press notes he, "... will be featured reciting his legendary piece called 'Quakie Braille.' Cheney has been writing poetry for over 40 years, nearly as long as he has buckarooed."
He told us, "They choreographed a dance with five different groups taking different stanzas of my poem 'Cowboy Poetry in Motion.' They all danced the first stanza together and then they all did their different stances throughout the poem and then they all came in together and danced the last stanza and danced their hearts and souls right out to it. It was beautiful. I've come to the conclusion that I'm a dancer trapped in a cowboy's body."
Paul Bliss's poem, "Poetry in Motion," is featured on the new volume ofThe BAR-D Roundup.
In September, poet, writer, and local historian Jean Mathisen Haugen was awarded first place in the Publications Division of the Wyoming State Historical Society Awards for articles she wrote for the Lander Journal History Series.
The popular book Tales of the Frio Canyo: Stories of the Texas Hill Country, by Texas local historian, poet, reciter, and writer Linda Kirkpatrick has received the Will Rogers Medallion Award (willrogersmedallionaward.org). Awards were presented at a banquet in Ft. Worth on October 25, 2014.
Tales of the Frio Canyonincludes stories and rare photographs, and as our review notes, "There are wild hog hunter tales, Texas Ranger mysteries, profiles of early cowboys and ranchers, outlaws, movie stars, ghost tales, and more. Some of her poetry and that of others is included."
Author Mike Cox comments on the book, "...Linda is a natural storyteller. She offers some takes that have never before seen print, and adds new details to others. The result is an excellent work of local history and folklore that is both fun to read and a good source of information for future researchers."
Find more about the book and about Linda Kirkpatrick and her poetry here at the BAR-D,
[photo of Linda Kirkpatrick by Jeri Dobrowski]
The current column is "Impromptu singing groupd surprised respected honoree."
Find links to previous columns here at the Farm & Ranch Guide site.
Rodney is a popular performer at many events, frequently invited to the Western Folklife Center's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and other gatherings and events across the West.
His poem, "Old Bronc Rider's Prayer," is featured on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Seven; "Gift Rift," is featured on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Six; "Good Clean Fun," is featured on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five, and his "Cowboy Laundry" is one of the most-played radio tracks, included on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Four. He has written several chapbooks, has a collection of his Up Sims Creek columns, and a Christmas tale, Wilbur's Gift which is featured on the The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Eight.
Find more about Rodney Nelson in our feature here.
[photo by Jeri Dobrowski]
Respected Colorado poet and writer Jane Morton has received the 2014 Pikes Peak Art Council Award for Excellence in the Arts for Outstanding Page Poetry. The award was presented at a 14th annual event in Colorado Springs on October 15, 2014. Awards were made in ten categories: Classical Music, Popular Music, Visual Art, Dance, Theater, Poetry, Film, Rising Star, Spirit of the Arts, and Lifetime Achievement. Find all of the recipients here.
Jane Morton often writes about her pioneering family. She has a poetry CD and award-winning collections of poetry. Find some of her poetry and more about her here at CowboyPoetry.com.
[Thanks to Dick Morton for the award photos]
Popular ten-year-old cowboy poet Thatch Elmer is featured in an article by June Johnston in the Fall, 2014 issue of Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine. The multi-page profile includes photographs and a poem. Read the entire article here.
Thatch Elmer performs at events across the West. He's featured at the Western Folklife Center's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in January, 2015. Among his performances there, he will take part in a special program devoted to the poetry of S. Omar Barker. Earlier this year he was the recipient of the Western Folklife Center's Rod McQueary and Sue Wallis Scholarship.
The British Columbia Cowboy Heritage Society (bcchs.com) has a new newsletter. Editors Kathy and Mark McMillan write, "It's the October issue and it's full of stories, a couple of reviews, a new award sponsored by the Horse Barn, the 2015 Kamloops Cowboy Festival poster, and a sneak preview of the Festival."
The 19th Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival takes place March 12-15, 2015.
Read the newsletter here.
The Fall, 2014 issue ofThe Western Way from the Western Music Association includes features, news, reviews, music and poetry charts, and more. A poem by Dennis Russell, "Renewin' All Our Hopes" is featured.
Read the current issue and find an archive of past issues at WesternMusic.org.
Posted 10/14Saddlebag Dispatches.
An entry at his blog tells about the publication, edited by Dusty Richards, "... It features Western fiction, poetry, and nonfiction about the West, with stories by some fine writers...."
Rod Miller's story, "The Passing of Number Sixteen" is a three-part serial, a "modern-day mystery with a rodeo setting, all about the strange shooting of a bucking horse."
Find Saddlebag Dispatches at saddlebagdispatches.com/campfire.html. The magazine accepts submissions.
Posted 10/3V: The Legacy of Sheila Varian. Included are Dave Stamey's "Riding Another Circle," written with Dick Gibford, and Juni Fisher's "Listen" as the "feature song."
From the film's producers, "For over 50 years Sheila Varian and Varian Arabians has maintained a shining reputation as a premier breeder of Arabian horses in both the Western and English disciplines. There is
nothing a Varian Arabian can't do, and they do it with the same grace, beauty, and intelligence that Sheila herself possesses and has instilled in decades of her legendary breeding program...
"The film "V: The Legacy of Sheila Varian" brings viewers into Sheila's personal, private world, and includes never-before-seen footage and photos from the early years of Varian Arabians...."
Find more about the film here.
An engaging interview by Thomas D. Mooney in New Slang includes his comments on the honor and on a number of creative matters. Andy Wilkinson quotes Wallace Stegner, "No place is a place until it's had a poet," and says, "...We have an obligation to keep a place alive through our work. The Aboriginals of Australia have this idea of the song line. The map of Australia can be reconstructed by these songs that are kept alive in different parts of the country. Singers in each part take up the mantle of that song. They believe that the world was sung into existence and if you quit singing the song, well, it quits existing. Now I’m not quite sure I’m to that point, but I do think believe that the poetry of a place–and I mean poetry in the classical sense–if it’s not kept up for a place, then you don’t have a place..."
The work of Nevada writer and poet Hal Swift is acknowledged twice in "150 things for 150 years," an article in the Reno News and Review by Brad Bynum, Georgia Fisher, Sage Leehey and Dennis Myers that looks at highlights in Nevada media over the last century and a half; Nevada is celebrating its its sesquicentennial. Hal Swift's poems, “New Year’s Eve in Reno” and “The Colorful Truckee River” are cited.
Read the entire article here.
Find some of Hal Swift's poetry and more about Hal Swift here at the BAR-D.
[photo by Johnny Gunn]
David has spent 35 years leading nonprofit arts organizations, focused on the public presentation of traditional art forms. In his new post, Roche hopes to maintain the quality and integrity of the Folklife Center’s current programs, including the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, while building bridges among diverse communities in the rural West and continuing to move the organization forward in the 21st century...
“The Western Folklife Center and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering are truly gems of Americana. The quality of every aspect of the work—from documentation and archiving to retail and festival management, gallery exhibition and media production—is outstanding and nationally and internationally recognized,” says David. “My task is to maintain that high quality while reaching out to new communities and potential partners while honoring the diversity that exists in Elko and in the region with projects that connect us all.”
Find more about the Western Folklife Center, home of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, at www.westernfolklife.org.
[photo courtesy of the Western Folklife Center]
Past U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser introduces the poem, "The ancient Chinese poets used to say that at some point in each poem the poet ought to lift his (or her) eyes, ought to look beyond the surface of the present into something deeper and more meaningful. Here is just such a poem by Linda M. Hasselstrom, who lives in South Dakota."
American Life in Poetry "provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture." Find more here.
Linda Hasselstrom is the author of acclaimed books, and she offers writing workshops at her Windbreak House.
Find more poetry and more about Linda Hasselstrom in our feature here.
Posted 8/11is featured in a July 26, 2014 article by Kathleen J. Bryan in the Dickinson Press, "Ranch hand and poet has seen oil booms come and go."
In the article, he is quoted on writing, "Words, once they get inside your head, they end up creating a whole new world," and about the rewards of an audience and readers, "Somehow or another it changes their perception or reality of the world. You can't put a price on that." Read the entire article here.
Find more about DW Groethe in our feature here.Posted 7/28
After 16 years as Executive Director of the Western Folklife Center, Charlie Seemann will retire July 31. All of us at the Folklife Center are going to miss Charlie's leadership and friendship. He built a first-class organization, helping the Folklife Center mature into a premiere cultural center dedicated to sharing the traditional arts of the American West with a national and international audience.
Among Charlie's many accomplishments, he raised funds to renovate the public spaces of the Pioneer Hotel, established literary and program endowments, increased sponsorship funding for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and successfully guided the Folklife Center through the nation’s worst economic recession in more than 70 years. Seemann also worked with the United States Senate to designate the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering as the “National” Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and led the charge to conduct cultural exchanges with cowboy and ranching people from around the world.
"We are truly grateful for all Charlie has done for the Western Folklife Center,” says Gail Steiger, Chairman of the Folklife Center’s Board of Trustees. “He has broadened our horizons beyond measure, honoring traditions we hold dear here at home and showing us how much we have in common with herding cultures around the world. Charlie has shepherded the Western Folklife Center flock through good seasons and dry times alike, and he leaves the outfit in much better shape than he found it. He'll be missed."
A retirement party to honor Charlie will be held Thursday, July 31, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Western Folklife Center's Pioneer Saloon, 501 Railroad Street, Elko. Refreshments will be served and the bar will be open. All are invited to stop by and wish Charlie well!
Charlie Seeman's successor has not been announced.
[image from a 2012 photo by Betty K. Rodgers]
The work of California photographer Cindy Quigley will be on exhibit at OutWest in Santa Clarita, California, July 1 through September 30, in a show, "Soul Reflection; Through the Lens of Cindy Quigley." Find information about her and her work, along with images from the show's photography here.
Cindy Quigley has shared her work in Picture the West (see the most recent here).
The OutWest Western Boutique and Cultural Center (outwestmktg.com) "... offers classic Native American and Western inspired apparel, accessories, home decor, music, books and more...we present handmade, high quality arts and crafts created by local artisans of our home, the Santa Clarita Valley. In-store and off-site events include art exhibitions, live music and poetry, book signings, designer showcases and more."
Find Cindy Quigley's CMQ Photography on Facebook, www.facebook.com/CmqPhotography.
Cindy Quiqley is also the editor of the newsletter of the Western Music Association, California Chapter.
Cowboy, packer, poet, and reciter Ross Knox is featured in a May 28, 2014 Yahoo! Music video and article by Wendy Geller, "Inside the World (and Mind) of a Real Cowboy Poet." Ross talks about the role of poetry and horses in his life and recites parts of a few poems.
(Listen for the signature Yahoo! yodel by Wylie Gustafson of Wylie & the Wild West at the end of the video.)
Here's a still from the video, of Ross with show host Marc Istook:
photo courtesy of Yahoo! Music
Ross Knox is a popular performer at events across the West. Find more about him and his CD, Make Me a Cowboy Again for a Day, in our feature here.
[photo by of Ross Knox by Jeri Dobrowski]
Much-missed British Columbia cowboy, poet, and gathering organizer Mike Puhallo (1953-2011) was honored in a painting displayed at the recent Downtown Kamloops Spring Festival.
Tanya Hamelock, Administrator of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, who shared a photo of painting, told us it is by local artist Ken Wells, and that, "... Ken chose to paint 'The Cowboy Poet' as the painting is aptly titled because Mike was such a legend here in the Thompson-Nicola Valley."
Find many poems and much more about Mike Puhallo in our feature here.
Kent gathered a large, enthusiastic audience in multiple appearances on The Food Network (see more below).
Food Fighters premieres Tuesday, July 22 at 8/7c on NBC (http://nbc.com/food-fighters). It is described:
This summer, the table is set for the ultimate culinary clash in "Food Fighters," one part cooking competition, one part game show. In a delicious twist, host Adam Richman ("Man v. Food") will give homegrown amateur cooks the chance to test their skills against professional chefs.
Every down-home cook has that one "signature dish" or "secret family recipe" that always gains favor with friends and family. Now, imagine going head-to-head in the kitchen against five professional chefs, who try to cook your specialty dish even better than you - in the hopes of winning over a dinner party made up of the American public. Talk about pressure!
With each savored victory, the cash prize gets bigger and bigger as the home cooks rise to every challenge and out cook the professional chefs. Think you've got what it takes to serve up the competition?
From creator Tim Puntillo ("Minute to Win It," "Baggage") comes "Food Fighters," the competition that proves it's not about the size of your kitchen, it's how you use it! ...
[photo courtesy of Shannon and Kent Rollins]
Posted 5/13Wylie & the Wild West's "Yodel Boogie" song will be featured in the new series, Fargo, which airs on FX television on Tuesday nights (fxnetworks.com/fargo). The song appears on Episode 109, which airs June 10, 2014.
The show is "...an original adaptation of the Academy Award-winning feature film,Fargo..."
Wylie & the Wild West have a new CD,Relic.
The American West. We have arrived in a world where human life would seem to be impossible: an arid, mythical landscape characterized by absence. Absence of water, trees, life. In the beginning there was nothing. But then traces start appearing. Desert Haze tells the many layered story of
human presence in the American Desert...
View the film's trailer here and find more at the
Desert Haze web site, and on Facebook. See a short video with Sofie Benoot here, in which she tells about her vision for the film.
Jerry Brooks is also a part (along with Joel Nelson and Andy Hedges) of the outstanding film, Beneath Earth and Sky, in which the three recite Buck Ramsey's poem, "Anthem." View the film here on YouTube.
Find more about Jerry Brooks in our feature here.
[photo by Jeri Dobrowski]
Top cowboy poetBaxter Black has announced he is going on hiatus. From the official announcement:
Baxter will be taking a hiatus from speaking appearances beginning
April 1, 2015. The column, radio program, RFD TV, U.S. Farm Report,
sponsor commitments, commercials (audio or video), and book/CD/DVD
production and marketing will continue uninterrupted.
Reason: Health is good, just 'takin' a break'!"
Ridin' and Rhymin' an outstanding documentary by Far Away Films about much loved cowboy and poet Georgie Sicking will air on Wyoming Public Television on Tuesday, March 18, as a part of their recognition of Women's History Month.
Georgie, now, 92, fell as she was leaving the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in early February and is recuperating. Read more here.
Andy Hedges, respected musician and interpreter of classic songs and poems is offering free downloads of his acclaimed
Cowboy Songster album through NoiseTrade (for a limited time): www.noisetrade.com/andyhedges/cowboy-songster.
From our brief review, "... Perhaps there is no better endorsement of his work than that of great American cowboy troubadour Don Edwards, who calls Andy Hedges' music 'undeniably real,' and states, 'Andy could very well carry on the traditions when all us old guys are gone. I'd feel assured in knowing the music of our great American West was in good hands.'"
Cowboy Songster includes a satisfying range of traditional songs—among them, "Diamond Joe," "Old Chisholm Trail," Chuck-Wagon Blues," "The Bronc That Wouldn't Bust," "The Brazos River Song"—all arranged by Andy Hedges, along with Curley Fletcher's "Wild Buckaroo," and "Down South on the Rio Grande," a traditional piece with original music. "Boll Weevil" and "James Alley Blues" are particular standouts. Liner notes list his father's rebuilt guitar as one of the instruments used in the recording, along with "one of Ramblin' Jack's old guitar picks."
Based on actual events and Mark Rashid's book, the film-in-progress
Out of the Wild is described as, "... the story of Henry McBride, an alcoholic, down and out, modern era cowboy who has lost everything. McBride’s self-discovery begins when a no-nonsense rancher with a deep love for horses, Jessie King, introduces him to a quieter way of training a troubled mustang, a horse whose past and temperament mirror his own. What transpires is a story of love, redemption, and moving both man and horse beyond their deepest wounds to discover lives they never thought possible...
"In a world of pop culture idols, relative moral values, over promoted entitlement and failed communication between generations and cultures, we find ourselves seeking genuine heroes in America that might have the ability to help us overcome at least a portion of these challenges. Mark Rashid, with his philosophy and the story he has to tell, is one of them. He is a firm believer in the resiliency of the human spirit and it’s ability to overcome even the toughest of life’s challenges, particularly alongside the tender, entrancing, profoundly powerful spirit of the horse."
Top songwriter, singer, and horsewoman Juni Fisher's award-winning song, "Listen," is featured on the film's songtrack.
Producers are donating significant portions of their net profits to The Pegasus Project Horse Rescue of Eastern Texas and Helping Hand Healing Hooves of Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
To get involved, see Out of the Wild on Kickstarter, where there is a video introduction; the film's web site, outofthewildmovie.com; and its Facebook page.
Photographer, journalist, designer, and editorJeri Dobrowski (Lamesteer Publishing) captures the experience of the Western Folklife Center's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in an article, "Elko Poetry Gathering Preps for 30th Anniversary," in the Autumn, 2013 issue of Persimmon Hill magazine from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
The article gives a comprehensive look at the gathering's many activities, along with a history of the event. The piece includes her photographs of poetsGeorgie Sicking, Rodney Nelson, and Baxter Black; musicians Liz Masterson and Brigid Reedy; and other views from the gathering.
View some of Jeri Dobrowski's photographs and articles at JeriDobrowski.com and visit the Lamesteer Publishing Facebook page.
Jeri Dobrowski writes the monthly "Cowboy Jam Session" column, which appears at CowboyPoetry.com and in the Tri-State Livestock News. Find all of the "Cowboy Jam Session" columns here.
Dialogue on Idaho Public Television presented a conversation with Betty K. Rodgers and Ken Rodgers on November 8, 2013, about their documentary, Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor. The film explores the experiences of the men of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines during the 1968 siege at Khe Sanh, Vietnam. Find the episode here, which also includes Steve Wiese, who was a part of the battle and of the film. There are also additional segments and web extras. Idaho Public Television showed the entire film on November 10, 2013.
Betty K. Rodgers is also a noted photographer and the founder of Idaho Writer's Update, a free bi-weekly newsletter featuring Idaho's thriving literary community. Her photo, "After the Gathering," was featured as the 2011 National Day of the Cowboy Art Spur subject. See more about her in our feature here.
Ken Rodgers is also a writer, teacher, and poet. His most recent book is The Gods of Angkor Wat, a collection of short stories. Find more about him and some of his poetry here at CowboyPoetry.com and visit kennethrodgers.com.
Betty and Ken Rodgers have contributed photos to Picture the West, the most recent here, with images from Idaho's "Trailing of the Sheep" event.
Chopped Grill Masters, returns for a new episode seeking redemption. Rollins, along with three other former runner-up Chopped contestants will compete again in hopes of reclaiming a victory. Shot in the New York City studio location, this will pose a new adventure for the Oklahoma cowboy. "During Grill Masters, I was more in my element - outside with live fire. New York is a bit intimidating because it's in their kitchen. I may not know what groceries they give me, but I'm out to prove I can cook anything, anywhere, in any condition.
Kent Rollins, a fan favorite from the Food Network's
Many may remember Rollins from the widely popular grilling tournament that aired last summer. After a gripping finale and close call, Rollins placed second out of 16 of the nation's top grillers.
Rollins was a unique addition to the cast with his authentic and polite cowboy nature. But what impressed judges the most was his ability to take bizarre foods and make them simple and satisfying. "Like I told Chef Murphy, life is simple, it's people who complicate it."
Rollins makes his home in Hollis, Oklahoma, with his wife Shannon. They are the owners of Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon which was named the Official Chuck Wagon of Oklahoma by its Governor in
1996. The couple travel the country cooking for festivals and private events and are also among a small handful of chuck wagon cooks who maintain the tradition of cooking for cowboys on working ranches during spring and fall works. Rollins has also appeared on the Food Network's Throwdown with Bobby Flay, beating Flay with his famous chicken fried steak.
The episode "Redeemed or Re-Chopped" will premiere on the Food Network November 5, 10 PM ET/PT, with re-air dates: November 6, 1 AM ET/PT and November 14, 9 PM ET/PT.
Kent and Shannon Rollins take their restored 1876 Studebaker wagon to ranches for spring and fall gatherings; to events such as Saddle Up at Pigeon Forge and Silver Dollar City's "Salute to the American Cowboy" at the National Harvest Festival and also cater weddings and corporate events.
Don't miss two exceptional two-part video, "Spring Works on the Bell Ranch: Reviving Tradition," produced by Kent and Shannon Rollins, with music by Don Edwards and Chuck Cusimano. It is described, "Not since 1958, has a traditional chuck wagon been pulled out on The Bell Ranch. This mini-documentary follows the crew of The Ranch, and chuck wagon cook, Kent Rollins, for four weeks during spring works. Cowboys, remuda and wagon trek across the 290,100 acres of the Bell in northern New Mexico on a mission to revive tradition:
Part 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIpSxRxnS3Q
Part 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5221folSMQ
Kent recites his poem, "Horseshoes and Heaven" on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Two.
[photo courtesy of Shannon and Kent Rollins]
Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
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