Official Proclamations and Declarations
The governors of sixteen states, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Arizona, Missouri, Washington, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Idaho, and California and the mayors of Spearfish, South Dakota, and Safford, Arizona, have recognized Cowboy Poetry Week with proclamations and declarations.
Wyoming poet and host of Clear Out West radio, Andy Nelson, petitioned Wyoming Governor David D. Freudenthal to proclaim Cowboy Poetry Week in Wyoming, and the Governor has issued the proclamation. See it here and on the Governor's site here.
Nevada poet Hal Swift obtained a proclamation from Nevada Governor Kenny C. Guinn, proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week. View the proclamation here, at the Nevada Governor's site and here at the BAR-D.
Oregon poet Van Criddle obtained a proclamation from Oregon Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski, proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week in Oregon. See the proclamation here.
Poet Clark Crouch obtained a Washington state proclamation from Washington Governor Christine Gregoire. See the proclamation here.
Poet Glen Enloe has obtained a proclamation from Missouri Governor Matthew Roy Blunt, proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week in Missouri. See the proclamation here.
Colorado poet, musician, and singer Donna Hatton has obtained a proclamation from Colorado Governor Bill Owens proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week in Colorado. See the proclamation here.
New Mexico poet Mike Moutoux obtained a proclamation from New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week in New Mexico. See the proclamation here.
Francie Ganje of the Heritage of the American West (Creative Broadcast Services) has obtained a proclamation from South Dakota Governor Marion Michael "Mike" Rounds proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week in South Dakota and a proclamation from the City of Spearfish signed by Mayor Jerry Krambeck. See the proclamations here.
Ann Blackford and the Gila Valley Cowboy Poets and The Graham County Historical Society, including Gila Valley cowboy musician and storyteller Skelly Boyd and poet Bunny Dryden, obtained a proclamation from Governor Janet Napolitano proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week in Arizona. View the proclamation here. They also obtained a proclamation from Safford, Arizona Mayor Ron Green. View the proclamation here.
Paul Kern and members of the Cowboy Poets of Utah received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. in a ceremony on April 7, 2006. The Governor was presented with a signed Cowboy Poetry Week poster, books by Cowboy Poets of Utah members, and he became an honorary member of the Cowboy Poets of Utah. In attendance were Phil Kennington, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Terri Taylor, Karen Kern, Sam DeLeeuw, Paul Kern, Steve Taylor, Rod Miller, Val Carter, and Curly Syndergaard. See more photos and the proclamation here.
Oklahoma poet Jay Snider received word that Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry will sign a state Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation on April 18, 2006 in a ceremony at the capitol. Jay Snider, Debra Hill, Robert Beene, Cowboy Kal Cook, members of the Oklahoma State University Rodeo team, Karen Neurohr of the Oklahoma State University Library, and others will take part in the ceremony.
Texas poet Linda Kirkpatrick received a proclamation from Texas Governor James Rick Perry recognizing Cowboy Poetry Week in Texas. See the proclamation here.
Journalist and photographer Jeri Dobrowski received a statement of support for Cowboy Poetry Week in Montana from Governor Brian Schweitzer. See the statement here.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger has issued a statement endorsing Cowboy Poetry Week; the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry is a California non-profit organization. See the statement here.
Poet Jim Dalglish received a proclamation from North Dakota Governor John Hoeven, recognizing Cowboy Poetry Week in North Dakota. See the proclamation here and at the Governor's web site.
Idaho poet, writer, and event producer Smoke Wade received a proclamation from Idaho Governor Dirk Arthur Kempthorne recognizing Cowboy Poetry Week in Idaho. See the proclamation here.
How Poets and Others Got Involved
Lariat Laureate 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. Many poets and others have used this information, and we've posted their activities above.
Many cities' mayors also issue Proclamations and Declarations, and the guidelines would be similar.
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
mail or signed in person with an accompanying ceremony depending on the prior arrangements. U.S.
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.
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 EXAMPLEThanks to Paul Kern for the above information.
Designating the week of April 16 through April 22, 2006, 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
Utahas produced several well-respected contemporary cowboy poets; h
Utahhosts 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 16 through April 22, 2006, as
“Cowboy Poetry Week in the State of
The people of the great State of
are called upon to celebrate the week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs. Utah
We contacted California Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger, as the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry is a non-profit organization in the state of California. This was our cover letter:
To Whom it May Concern:
We respectfully request that Governor Schwarzenegger proclaim the week of April 16-22, 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., sponsors of Cowboy Poetry Week and of CowboyPoetry.com, is a California non-profit organization.
Cowboy poetry has a rich history in
Californiaand is celebrated at festivals throughout the state. In the words of Senator Conrad Burns, sponsor of the U. S. Senate resolution, "...it is important to understand that cowboys live and breathe a unique culture which few may be exposed to. I would encourage all my colleagues to take a walk in their boots one day, and read a little cowboy poetry."
Enclosed is suggested text for the proclamation.
Thank you for your consideration.
It's easy to request a proclamation. We:
searched the internet for the Governor's web site
called the listed number and asked how to submit a request for a proclamation
received the answer, that in California, you fax the request to the Executive Writers Department
faxed the request
In some states, the request can be sent by email or even by a form on the Governor's web site.
There's a list of states' governors here.
Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week
Charles Williams, Executive Vice President of the Academy of Western Artists announced the 2006 Will Rogers Medallion Awards during Cowboy Poetry Week. The Will Rogers Medallion Award is given annually by the Academy of Western Artists to Cowboy Poetry books that exemplify outstanding excellence in content and design. Read more about the award and past winners in our feature here.
Jim Cardwell and others, including Susan Parker, Tony Argento Jr., Fred Gibbons and Gene Davis, and Harold Roy Miller celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week at the Third Annual Cowboy Poetry Event in Grass Valley, California, April 22, 2006. Read more about the event here.
Linda Kirkpatrick and Cowboy Sunset Serenade performed a Cowboy Poetry Week show on April 20, 2006 at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, at the college's annual program about the West, Texas, and the Texans.
On April 17 and 18, 2006 Linda Kirkpatrick gave a Cowboy Poetry Week performance for the Leakey (Texas) Independent School District.
[photo by Jeri Dobrowski]
Andy Nelson presented a program at the Converse County Library in Douglas, Wyoming, in celebration of National Poetry Month, Library Week, and Cowboy Poetry Week on April 7, 2006.
[photo by Stuart Johnson]
South Dakota's Live With Jim Thompson! program celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week on its daily show, April 16-20, 2006 with cowboy poetry from Rod Nichols, Andy Nelson, Yvonne Hollenbeck, other special guests, and a daily poster and CD give-away for listeners. Broadcast daily at 1:00 PM (Mountain), you can listen live on the web.
Lariat Laureate Paul Kern brought his poetry program to the Sons of the Utah Pioneers on April 13, 2006, in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.
Jane Morton's poem, "Cowboy Poetry" (written for Cowboy Poetry Week in 2004) will be included in text books distributed across the United States, "Sidewalks," forthcoming from Scott Foresman, the world's leading elementary educational publisher.
The Heritage of the American West show celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week in a special program on April 20, 2006 in Spearfish, South Dakota at before a live audience (and broadcast live on the web; listen to the archive here) at the High Plains Heritage Center, with Yvonne Hollenbeck, Wally Bazyn and South Dakota's first screening of Ridin' & Rhymin', the award-winning documentary about Georgie Sicking. Georgie and Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns also recited poetry. Read more and tune in the official web site.
Read more about the Heritage of the American West show in our feature here.
The Gila Valley Cowboy Poets, Safford Arizona, celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week with a number of events throughout the week. On April 19 local poets, musicians, storytellers and students will guest for a day-long Open House at the Graham County Library in Safford. The library will take on the look of the old west, with saddles, hay bales, tack and western art displayed by local artist Maggie Polan Bryce. Among those performing will be musician and storyteller Skelly Boyd, poet Bunny Dryden, musician Ralph "Fingers" Smith and plenty of other local talent. Student poets will perform some of their work prior to the evening Arizona Humanities Program "From the Trickster to the Braggart: Folk Tales of Arizona" presented at 7 pm by Peter MacMillan Booth of the Arizona Humanities program. During the day The Gila Valley Poets will gift the library with several books of cowboy poetry as well as cowboy poetry CD's.
On Thursday April 20, the Graham County Historical Society Museum hosted a Cowboy Poetry week reception (refreshments provided) in the Ranch and Farm room of the museum in Thatcher. Gila Valley Cowboy Poets will provide some poetry, stories and toe tapping family entertainment.
Safford Mayor Ron Green will be signing a Cowboy Poetry Week city proclamation and join the performers at the valley wide events with his trusty "doghouse bass" when his time permits.
Ann Blackford and the Gila Valley Cowboy Poets and The Graham County Historical Society obtained a proclamation from Governor Janet Napolitano proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week in Arizona. View the proclamation here.
Updates from Ann Blackford:
Safford Mayor Ron Green signed an official proclamation on Friday April 7, 2006, declaring the week of April 16 - 22, 2006, Cowboy Poetry Week in Safford. (View the proclamation here.)
During the week, Safford's Manor House Restaurant--our major fall gathering sponsor--offered up a Cowboy Poetry Week Special on their menu. Step Back in Time Coffee Company on Main Street in Safford had a Cowboy Poetry Week beverage special and hosted an appearance by one of the local talents from the Gila Valley Cowboy Poets on April 19. Pollock's Western Wear displayed a Cowboy Poetry Week poster and a copy of Governor Napolitano and Mayor Ron Green's official Cowboy Poetry Week proclamations.
April 21 & 22 Gila Valley Cowboy Poets will provide music, poetry and stories at the annual Heritage Days at the Eastern Arizona Museum in Pima.
Special invitations have been extended to all county students and educators, as well as local Senior Citizen groups to attend and enjoy this weeklong celebration of the heritage and culture of the Gila Valley.
Dennis Golden and Texas Tom Weatherby appeared at the Gold Hill Hotel, Goldhill, Nevada, on April 18, 2006 in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week, in a program presented by the Nevada Rangeland Resources Commission. The event included a buffet dinner, followed by Tom and Dennis.
Tom and Donna Hatton worked with teacher John Nicklas of Colorado's Woodland Park Middle School and 7th graders in a special poetry unit. Students were mixed among the three language arts teachers in three different poetry workshops: Poetry Biography, Music Poetry, and Cowboy Poetry. For the Cowboy Poetry workshop, Tom and Donna Hatton shared their history with the genre and educated students about the elements of cowboy poetry. Students' final work on projects coincided with Cowboy Poetry Week.
The Cowboy Poets of Utah will have a "Tribute to Cowboy Poetry Week" on April 22, 2006, with dinner and a program, in Payson, Utah. The official Cowboy Poets of Utah web site announced "We're having a Cowboy Poetry / Western Music Get-together Saturday, April 22 at 5 pm at Mi Rancherito's (85 E. Utah Ave.) in Payson. Come enjoy food, friends and have a Cowboy Poetry Week Jam Session." See the Cowboy Poets of Utah web site for additional details.
Smoke Wade's article about Cowboy Poetry Week appears on the Cowboy Entertainer Magazine web site. (Smoke arranged the Idaho proclamation from Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne).
Jeri Dobrowski's April, 2006 Cowboy Jam Session column reports onCowboy Poetry Week and The BAR-D Roundup, the new compilation CD from the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry and CowboyPoetry.com. The column appears here at CowboyPoetry.com and in the Tri-State Livestock News and Cowboy Troubadour.
Photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski, obtain permission for reproduction rights
Montana ranchers T. J. and Nate Wald and their son pose with the 2006 Cowboy Poetry Week poster at Cody's Annual Cowboy Songs and Range Ballads gathering, in April, 2006.
TJ and Nate Wald of Lodge Grass, Montana, are the pictured riders in Joelle Smith's painting, "Heading Home," which was selected for our Cowboy Poetry Week Poster, as the cover art for The BAR-D Roundup CD, and for the current Art Spur subject. Read TJ Wald's memories of Joelle Smith and of how the painting came about here.
Photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski, obtain permission for reproduction rights
Nate and T. J. Wald at Cody's Annual Cowboy Songs and Range Ballads gathering, in April, 2006.
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.
Thanks to Rod Miller for the photo information; Paul Kern for the proclamation.
"Cowboy Poetry and Western Songs," an event sponsored by the Oklahoma State University Library (OSU/Stillwater), OSU Rodeo Association, and OSU Rodeo Association Booster Club celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week and National Poetry Month on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 8:00 PM in the Peggy V. Helmerich Browsing Room, of the Edmon Low Library.
World Talk Radio's Best of America on Horseback show, Monday April 17, 2006, featured a segment on Cowboy Poetry Week. Regular guest T. J. Casey and CowboyPoetry.com editor Margo Metegrano talked about the celebration with hosts Tom Seay and Doug Sloan (who also host the Best of America by Horseback television show). The radio show is broadcast live on the internet, and you can listen on the web, where there are also archives of past shows. Learn more about the show at the Best of America by Horseback web site.
Smoke Wade (pictured), Charlie Camden, and others took part in Toe Tappin' Tommy Tucker's Western Heritage radio show in Lewiston, Idaho on Friday, April 14, 2006, with poetry and more in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.
Jay Snider (pictured), Debra Hill, Robert Beene, Cowboy Kal Cook, members of the Oklahoma State University Rodeo team, Karen Neurohr of the Oklahoma State University Library, and others took part in a ceremony at the capitol in Oklahoma City on April 18, 2006 to receive Cowboy Poetry Week citations from state House and Senate representatives and Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry.
d The BAR-D Roundup in a celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week, in their program airing the week of April 17, 2006 on radio stations. The program is available on demand from the Clear Out West web site the week of April 24, 2006 and in their archive. The C. O. W. boys featured Rod Nichols' "Yep," Deanna McCall's "Endangered," A. K. Moss' "The Truth," and Jay Snider's "300 Miles to Go." The show also includes a many good music selections and the unpredictable banter and antics of the Nelson brothers.
Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio, hosted by Jim and Andy Nelson, feature
Poets and musicians in Kanab, Utah, home of the Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week at a special event at Kanab's Crescent Moon theatre on April 20, 2006 at 7PM. Sam A. Jackson (pictured) who conceived and produces the Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, was the emcee and performed along with Doug Keller, Brent Owens, Myrna Cox, Laurali Noteman, Kenny Hall, and others.
North Dakota radio broadcaster Al Gustin, known widely throughout the region as the "dean" of farm broadcasting, celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week in his broadcasts. His April 17, 2006 shows featured DW Groethe (pictured) reciting his poem, "There's a Silence." Al Gustin's program is heard throughout the day on KBMR, KFYR, KCIB, and KLTC. The April 18, 2006 broadcasts featured Ken Overcast and others were included during Cowboy Poetry Week. During last year's celebration, poetry from Rodney Nelson, Elizabeth Ebert, Ken Overcast, and others were featured during Cowboy Poetry Week. Read more about Al Gustin here.
[photo by Jeri Dobrowski]
Francie Ganje, sitting in for Jim Thompson on Live With Jim Thompson! radio show on April 17, 2006 talked with Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) sponsor of the original Cowboy Poetry Week Senate Resolution. Senator Burns talked about his friends and poets Baxter Black and Wally McRae, and commented, "There's a little cowboy in every American."
The Live With Jim Thompson! show features other guests during Cowboy Poetry Week, including Rod Nichols, Hal Swift, Andy Nelson, Yvonne Hollenbeck, and other poets. Broadcast daily at 1:00 PM (Mountain), you can listen live on the web and shows are archived for listening on demand.
Francie Ganje is the host and a producer of the Heritage of the American West show, which celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week in a special program on April 20, 2006 in Spearfish, South Dakota before a live audience (and broadcast live on the web; listen to the archive here) at the High Plains Heritage Center, with Yvonne Hollenbeck, Wally Bazyn and South Dakota's first screening of Ridin' & Rhymin', the award-winning documentary about Georgie Sicking. Georgie and Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns also recited poetry. Read more and tune in the official web site.
Smoke Wade, Charlie Camden (pictured), Kathy Camden, Bodie Dominguez, Margo Metegrano from CowboyPoetry.com and others took part in Toe Tappin' Tommy Tucker's Western Heritage radio show in Lewiston, Idaho on Friday, April 21, 2006, with poetry and more in the show's second celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week, 2006.
Smoke Wade joined Howard Norskog (pictured) and the Christian Cowboy Balladeers at an evening show in Juliaetta, Idaho at the First Bank of Pizza, in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week on Friday, April 21, 2006.
The Western Folklife Center celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week by highlighting its Back at the Ranch - An Artful Life virtual exhibit, which "showcases the expressive culture of the ranching community." They invite visitors to "Hear poets J.B. Allen, Badger Clark, John Dofflemyer, Tom Eaton, Elizabeth Ebert, Bill Gunn, Sunny Hancock, Linda Hasselstrom, Linda Hussa, Wally McRae, Waddie Mitchell, Joel Nelson, Buck Ramsey, Randy Rieman, Jesse Smith, and Paul Zarzyski. Enjoy cowboy poetry in song from the Arizona Wranglers, Slim Critchlow, Glenn Orhlin, and Harry Stevens."
Rod Nichols is part of a special feature on Cowboy Poetry Week for the Ft. Bend Focus magazine, a Texas monthly publication that features articles about people in the arts. Rod says he was contacted "because my cowboy poetry is listed on the Texas Landmarks & Legends." The article includes some of his poetry, photos, and a discussion about cowboy poetry and its history.
KNBN TV in Rapid City, South Dakota featured an interview with Andy Nelson and Prickly Pair on April 18 and April 19, 2006, as a part of their Cowboy Poetry Week coverage. The interview was filmed in March when Andy and Prickly Pair were featured at the Heritage of the American West show.
Poet Dave P. Fisher took part in a fundraiser for Piper's Opera House in Virginia City, Nevada, that also celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week. Harold Roy Miller and Diana Miller were also a part of the Piper's Opera House event.
Read a report and see photos here.
Linda Kirkpatrick has a report on South Texas Cowboy Poetry Week events, posted here with other reports.
The Cowboy Poets of Utah had announced a "Tribute to Cowboy Poetry Week" on April 22, 2006, with dinner and a program, in Payson, Utah. The heart of that event was a surprise: the honoring of poet Colen Sweeten, an idea conceived by Jerry ("Brooksie") Brooks and carried through by many Cowboy Poets of Utah members and Colen's family and other friends. Colen was awarded the Cowboy Poets of Utah Pioneer Heritage Award, "for living the life, dreaming the dreams, and telling the stories of Utah's pioneer cowboys." Long-distance warm wishes were sent from across the West, both recorded and written, including those from Doris Daley, Stephanie Davis, Baxter Black, Michael Martin Murphey, and many others. Read Jo Lynne Kirkwood's report and see photos here.
[Pictured: Brooksie delivers a hug on behalf of Colen's friends everywhere.]
Hal Swift's poem, "Cowboy Poetry Week," written in 2003 after the U. S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Cowboy Poetry Week, is featured in the April 14, 2006 issue of Montana's Agri News, along with information about Cowboy Poetry Week.
The Heritage of the American West show celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week in a special program on April 20, 2006 in Spearfish, South Dakota before a live audience at the High Plains Heritage Center, with Yvonne Hollenbeck, Wally Bazyn and South Dakota's first screening of Ridin' & Rhymin', the award-winning documentary about Georgie Sicking. Georgie and Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns also recited poetry. You can listen to the archive here. Producer Francie Ganje created a colorful report with photos and more, which you can see in full here.
Jay Snider reports on the events that he and others took part in at the capitol in Oklahoma City on April 18, 2006 to receive Cowboy Poetry Week citations from state House and Senate representatives and Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry. Among those attending the festivities were Debra Coppinger Hill of Chelsea, Oklahoma, Calvin "Cowboy Kal" Cook of Apache, Oklahoma, Jay Snider of Cyril, Oklahoma, Angela and Robert Beene of Jones, Oklahoma, Sandra and LeRoy Jones of Mountain View, Oklahoma, Lavern "Straw" Berry of Cordell, Oklahoma, Karen Neurohr, assessment librarian at Oklahoma State University, Linda and Phil Rexwinkle of Welch, Oklahoma, and David and Dusty King of Claremore, Oklahoma.
Angela Beene (www.abcphotography.net) sent along the group photo and one of the citations. Read the report and see photos here.
Susan Parker reports on the Third Annual Cowboy Poetry Festival in Grass Valley, California, which celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week. Among the performers were the Stardust Cowboys, Jim Cardwell , Susan Parker, Tony Argento, Diana and Harold Roy Miller, Gene Davis, Fred Gibbons, and Mandy Gibbons. The report includes photos by Diana and Harold Roy Miller. Read the report here.
An article in the Black Hills Pioneer on April 25, 2006, "Cowboy Poetry Celebrated at the Heritage Center," by Anna Kooistra reports on the April Heritage of the American West show at the Heritage Plains Center in Spearfish, South Dakota, and the proclamations by Mayor Jerry Krambeck and Governor Mike Rounds recognizing Cowboy Poetry Week locally and throughout the state. The article reports on the event, which included Yvonne Hollenbeck, Wally Bazyn, Georgie Sicking, Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, and others. The article quotes Georgie Sicking, "When asked what advice she would give young women of today, she hesitated briefly and then exclaimed: 'Don't expect anybody to hand it to you, go get it yourself. Work for it. A lot of women never find out what their potential is.'" Read the entire article here and read more about the Heritage of the American West Cowboy Poetry Week show here.
Ann Blackford and Arizona's Gila Valley Poets, including Bunny Dryden, Ralph Smith, and Skelly Boyd, organized many activities for Cowboy Poetry Week. They were joined by Safford Mayor Ron Green and poet, songwriter, and musician Jon Messenger at events at the Graham County Library, the Graham County Historical Museum, and Pima's Eastern Arizona Museum. The group took part in additional activities around the area, and many local businesses joined in. Read Ann Blackford's report and see photos here.
Read some event reports here.
The Rural Library Project is an important part of Cowboy Poetry Week, conducted as a part of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry's mission to serve rural communities as it works to preserve and promote cowboy poetry and Western heritage.
In 2006, many libraries received the fifth annual Cowboy Poetry Week poster and an invitation for the new, annual cowboy poetry compilation CD, The BAR-D Roundup. Recipients included libraries in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
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 in 2007, please email us the complete library address. We particularly like to add libraries that serve ranching communities.
SAN FRANCISCO--The fifth annual Cowboy Poetry Week (April 16-22, 2006) has a special focus on rural libraries this year, with the distribution of a contemporary Western art post poster and commemorative CD to many locations across the West. Cowboy Poetry Week, sponsored by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry (www.CowboyPoetry.com), celebrates a venerable and popular folk form, as vibrant today as it was over a hundred years ago, during the days of the great cattle drives.
"Heading Home," a painting by noted artist Joelle Smith (1957-2005), was selected as the 2006 Cowboy Poetry Week poster art and the cover art for The BAR-D Roundup, an annual compilation CD recording of top classic and contemporary poetry. The poster and CD are offered to libraries as a part of the mission of CowboyPoetry.com and the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry to serve rural communities in its efforts to preserve and promote cowboy poetry and Western heritage.
"The BAR-D Roundup" is a treasury of outstanding examples of cowboy poetry, including Texas Poet Laureate Red Steagall's "Born to This Land"; "What's Become of the Punchers?" by Jack Thorp, America's first collector of cowboy music and poetry, recited by music historian and author Mark L. Gardner, from his recent New Mexico Museum Press book and recording, "Jack Thorp's Songs of the Cowboys"; the first recording of Buck Ramsey's "Anthem," from Grass, a new book and recording from Texas Tech Press. Ramsey is recognized as the spiritual leader of cowboy poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, who died in 1998; respected octogenarian poet and working cowboy, Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee Georgie Sicking, from an acclaimed new documentary about her, "Ridin' 'n Rhymin'" by Faraway Films; and over 20 additional poems from many other modern cowboy poets.
Inaugurated in 2002, Cowboy Poetry Week was officially recognized by unanimous resolution of the United States Senate. The celebration is held during the third week of April each year, in conjunction with National
Poetry Month in the United States and Canada.
Poets get involved with activities including poetry events, readings and programs at schools, libraries, and community centers. Many have petitioned their governors to proclaim Cowboy Poetry Week in their states, and sixteen governors have issued proclamations for their states in 2006: Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. of Utah, Governor David D. Freudenthal of Wyoming, Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski of Oregon, Governor Kenny C. Guinn of Nevada, Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona, Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington, Governor Matthew Roy Blount of Missouri, Governor Bill Owens of Colorado, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana, Governor Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, North Dakota Governor John Hoeven, Idaho Governor Dirk Arthur Kempthorne, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.
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, with their insight, humor, and storytelling talents, are great ambassadors from the rural world."
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 Annual National Cowboy
Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, which marked its 22nd year in 2006.
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.
In the words of the Senate resolution sponsor, Senator Conrad Burns of Montana "...it is important to understand that cowboys live and breathe a unique culture which few may be exposed to. I would encourage all my colleagues to take a walk in their boots one day, and read a little cowboy poetry."
See the description of Cowboy Poetry Week and more on Page 1.
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