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The eighth annual Cowboy Poetry Week was celebrated April 19-25, 2009. In 2010, Cowboy Poetry Week will be celebrated April 18-24, 2010.

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, with the newest posts here.

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 2010!  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 2009 media release, below.

Read about poets' and others' 2009 activities below.

 

   

 


Web reproduction permitted for Cowboy Poetry Week promotion with the credit line included:
"Image © 2008, Bob Coronato, courtesy The Greenwich Workshop, Inc. www.greenwichworkshop.com; Cowboy Poetry Week 2009, www.cowboypoetry.com."

"The Horse Wrangler Gather’d The Morning Mounts:
'One That Had’n Lived The Life ... Couldn’t Paint a Picture ...To Please The Eye, of One That Had!'"

 


2007 poster image by Tim Cox 2006 poster image from Joelle Smith's "Heading Home" 2004 image by Julie Rogers 2003 image by Bill Anton 2005 image by Kent Rollins
 

  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, twenty 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, 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 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).

For 2009, the following states' governors are being contacted, alphabetically by state:

Nika Nordbrock (Arizona)

Paul Harris (Arkansas)

Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry (California)   

   Jane Morton and Dick Morton (Colorado)

  Gerard and Kati Thompson  (Florida)

  Doc Stovall (Georgia)

  Verna Keoho (Hawaii)

 Bobbie Hunter (Idaho)

  Ron Wilson (Kansas)

  Diane Tribitt (Minnesota)

  Glen Enloe (Missouri)

 DW Groethe (Montana)

  Yvonne Hollenbeck, Ken Moreland, and the Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering  (Nebraska)

  Hal Swift (Nevada)

  Joe Baker (New Mexico)

  Jim Hawkins (North Carolina)

Rodney Nelson (North Dakota)

Jay Snider (Oklahoma)

  Van Criddle (Oregon)

Francie Ganje, (South Dakota)

  Linda Kirkpatrick (Texas)

  Jo Lynne Kirkwood (Utah)

Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (Washington)

Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns (Wyoming)

Updated 3/6
 

 


News for Cowboy Poetry Week 2009

 Email us your 2009 news and reports.

Cowboy Poetry Week Events, below

See the main Cowboy Poetry Week page here.

 

 



2009 News below, chronologically, newest here:

(See the 2008 information here.)

See the main Cowboy Poetry Week page here.

 

 

    Nevada poet and writer Hal Swift is seeking a proclamation from Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/12


    Popular duo Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (www.nevadaslim.com) are seeking a proclamation from Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/12


    Idaho poet Bobbie Hunter  is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Idaho Governor Butch Otter, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/12


    Songwriter, singer, and poet Doc Stovall of The Booth Western Art Museum, organizer of the Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering in Cartersville, Georgia, is pursuing a proclamation from Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Doc Stovall photo, 2008, by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.

Posted 2/12


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

Posted 2/12

 


  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 15, 2009 show in Spearfish, South Dakota with Minnesota rancher and poet Diane Tribitt and South Dakota cowboy singer Paul Larson.

Posted 2/12


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

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

Posted 2/12


 

    Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Texas Governor Rick Perry, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

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

Posted 2/12


    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, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/12


Cowboy Poetry Week at the Ogden Valley Branch Library  Huntsville, Utah  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Stan Tixier:

Utah poet Stan Tixier and musician Robin Arnold present a Cowboy Poetry Week program on April 20, 2009, at the Ogden Valley Branch Library in Huntsville, Utah, from 7-9 PM.

Posted 2/12


Cowboy Poetry Night at the Touchet Community Library  Touchet, Washington   ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Carlotta Richardson:

We have scheduled April 22, 2009 for our Cowboy Poetry Night. It will be from 7-8:30 at the Touchet School. We will be having a poetry contest once more and inviting all who care to join in to recite their poetry. We are still in the planning stages.

Our address is Touchet Community Library, P.O. Box 166, Touchet WA 99360 (166 Hanson Road) Our phone number is 509-394-2329.

Everyone had a terrific time last year and we're gearing up for the same this year.

See a report from the 2008 event here.

Posted 2/12


Cowboy Poetry Week at the Weber County Washington Heights Branch Library  Huntsville, Utah  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Stan Tixier:

Utah poet Don Kennington and cowboy music group Coyotee Moon present a Cowboy Poetry Week program on April 20, 2009, at the new Washington Heights Branch Library (Weber County) at 7PM.
 

Posted 2/12


  Second Annual Tyrone Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering  Tyrone, New Mexico ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

We are starting to plan for our second annual show. It will be held on April 25, 2009.

Shows all day, 10 AM to 5 PM and the all-star night show at 7 PM.

Vendor booths for food and western items.

Featuring Eddy Harrison, Mike Moutoux, Jim & Nancy Sober and many others.

Tyrone Community Center, 50 Malachite Ave., Tyrone New Mexico.

Contact Pete or Dianne Kennedy, P O Box 621, Tyrone NM 88065, 575-534-0741, petedianne@comcast.net.

Posted 2/12


    Rancher and poet Jay Snider is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/13


    Poet Jim Hawkins is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week letter of recognition from North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/13


  Poet and teacher Jo Lynne Kirkwood pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from from Utah Governor Jon M. Hunstman Jr., proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/13


    Poet Glen Enloe is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/13


  Dianetribitt2007.jpg (18039 bytes)  Rancher, writer, and poet Diane Tribitt is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/13


      Poet and reciter Dick Morton and poet and writer Jane Morton are pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/13


  Radio host Joe Baker is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/13


  Poet Ron Wilson  is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/16


  Poet Van Criddle is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/16


  Poet and writer Rodney Nelson is pursuing a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from North Dakota Governor John Hoeven, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

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

Posted 2/16


    Poet, writer, and cowgirl Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns is pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

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

Posted 2/23


  April 24-26, 2009
12th Annual Missouri Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Mountain View, Missouri ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week
 

One of the largest cowboy poetry and music events in the Midwest returns to Mountain View, Missouri, on April 24-26, 2009, when nearly two dozen performers from five states are expected to participate in the 12th annual gathering of the Missouri Cowboy Poets Association.

Held at the Mountain View Community Center, the annual festival attracts cowboy musicians, singers and recording artists, cowboy poets, storytellers, country humorists, chuckwagon cooks and rope spinners from throughout Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.

The three-day event kicks off Friday afternoon, April 24, with a special performance for Mountain View Elementary students, followed by a "Supper with the Cowboys" dinner and show beginning at 5:00 p.m. Performances that evening will also feature the winners of the Mountain View Elementary 5th grade cowboy poetry competition. Dinner/show tickets are available at the door for $12 per person, or show tickets only for $6.

Saturday morning, April 25, will feature performances for residents of the Mountain View Health Care Center, and a free show for the public at the Community Center. At 1:00 p.m., the public is invited back to the Community Center for a free afternoon show.

At 7:00 that evening, all performers will present a "grand finale" cowboy poetry and music show at the Community Center. Tickets will be available at the door for $6 per person. On Sunday morning, April 26, the poets and musicians will conclude the event with Cowboy Church at the Mountain View Methodist Church.

Mountain View is located in south-central Missouri, about 100 miles east of Springfield. The Missouri Cowboy Poetry Festival is organized by Jennie Cummings, Director of the Mountain View Arts Council, and is underwritten by a grant from the Missouri Arts Council.

For more information: Jennie Cummings, 417-934-2213, cowboypoet50@centurytel.net.


  Ralph's Back Porch radio will be broadcasting two special call-in shows during Cowboy Poetry Week: one on Monday, April 20, and another on Friday, April 24. Poets are invited to email co-host Tamara Boatright (tamaraboatright@hotmail.com) to schedule a time to call in. In 2008, over 30 poets called in to the Ralph's Back Porch Cowboy Poetry Week show.

The show's regular broadcasts take place each Monday and Friday, from 7-9 PM (Central), and there is also a streaming 24/7 internet show at www.live365.com/stations/ralphsbackporch, "spinning cowboy music, poetry and classic western for your entertainment" and including syndicated shows. Listeners can rate selections and there are links for purchasing featured CDs.

The Monday and Friday shows include Western music, cowboy poetry, interviews, and calls from listeners, and the show hosts a simultaneous chat board. Archived shows are available on demand at the Ralph's Back Porch web site.

Ralph's Back Porch welcomes submissions for consideration for airplay on both the live show and the streaming station: Ralph’s Back Porch, 617 S. Liberty, San Augustine TX 75972 (or send mp3’s by email via the address on the Ralph's Back Porch web site).

Posted 2/24


Arizona gathering organizer and reciter Nika Nordbrock is pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 2/27


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

Governor Schweitzer writes, in part, "I am pleased to recognize Cowboy Poetry Week in the state of Montana...Cowboy poetry has a rich history in Montana and has been an integral part of our rich cultural legacy. I am proud of our numerous well-respected contemporary cowboy poets and look forward to the next generation of storytellers from Big Sky Country."

See the letter here.

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

Posted 3/1


  Arkansas poet, songwriter, and cowboy Paul Harris  is pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 3/4


  Verna Keoho of Hawaii is pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Verna Keoho is a wood artist, and you can see some of her work here. Her brother is artist Edwin Kayton, who has been prolific in the mediums of oils, drawing and sculpture for over 25 years, portraying the cultures of Hawaii, Italy (where he lives in the summer) and the western genre. His work is collected internationally. Ed Kayton is related to Yvonne Hollenbeck. Visit his web site, www.kayton-art.com, for his paniolo paintings, which include a portrait of cowboy, horseman, and poet Joel Nelson, who worked at the Parker Ranch.)

Updated 3/6


  Jerry and Kati Thompson of Florida are pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Florida  Governor Charlie Christ, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week. The Thompsons are related to Texas poet Linda Kirkpatrick.

Posted 3/6


    Poet, writer, and cowgirl Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns has received a proclamation from Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

See the proclamation here.

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

Posted 3/9


 

      Poet and reciter Dick Morton and poet and writer Jane Morton have received a proclamation from Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

See the proclamation here.

Posted 3/13


  Yvonne Hollenbeck, Ken Moreland, and the Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering  are pursuing recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from Nebraska Governor  Dave Heineman, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 3/16


    Nevada poet and writer Hal Swift received a proclamation from Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, proclaiming  Cowboy Poetry Week.

See the proclamation here and at the Governor's web site, here.

Posted 3/16


  Radio host Joe Baker received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

See the proclamation here.

Posted 3/16


  South Dakota's Sturgis Friends of the Library presents a program featuring Cowboy Poet Yvonne Hollenbeck, April 26, 2009, at 2:00 pm at the Sturgis Community Center.

The event is a part of the Sturgis Area Arts' Council's Between Fences events, which take place April 6 - May 19, 2009. From the Sturgis Area Arts' Council's web site:


Sturgis Public Library

“Between Fences” is a Museum on Main Street exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Sturgis is the only west river community in South Dakota to be able to host this exhibit. “Between Fences” is about our homes and the land on which they’re built. It’s the story of the settling of the United State and the creation of communities. It’s about different kinds of fences, where they’re used, and the materials used to make them. It’s about why people build fences. It’s about intimacy and conflict, creativity and industry. Between Fences is about defining ourselves as Americans—our philosophies, our lifestyles, our values and beliefs, our national ethos, and our national borders. For more information, please visit the Smithsonian's Between Fences website at: http://www.museumonmainstreet.org/exhibs_fences/fences.htm. Between Fences is s part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the SD Humanities Council. This Exhibit, as well as many of our Between Fences related events, are sponsored in part by the SD Humanities Council.

Find details about the many Between Fences programs at the Sturgis Area Arts' Council's web site.

Posted 3/17


 From the Olive Warner Memorial Library:

The Olive Warner Memorial Library is planning their 2nd Annual Cowboy Poetry Celebration for Saturday, April 25th at 2:00 pm in Hooker, Oklahoma.

A Poetry Contest for 4th grade through adults is open to folks residing at a Hooker, Oklahoma mailing address, since the town was named for that famous early day Cowboy; John "Hooker" Threlkeld. Winners will be invited to share their poem with the group that day.

Guest Speakers will be the authors Gary and Margaret Kraisinger who wrote the big book The Western: Greatest Cattle Trail from Texas. Books will be available for sale. The Library group is hoping their featured authors of last year's celebration will also be on hand; Janet Eggleston, author of Horses, Hats and Heroes, and Chimp Robertson, who wrote Killin' Time. An art contest is also open to Hooker residents for the best representation of Hooker Threlkeld, his life, or his work in any media.

From the 2008 event description:

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.

For more contest rules or more information about the event, please email the library at OWL73945@yahoo.com or write PO Box 576, Hooker, Oklahoma 73945 or phone 580-652-2835 Tue or Thurs 11:00 to 6:00 pm.

Posted 3/18


  Colorado musician Rex Rideout (Time Travel Music), always an active participant in Cowboy Poetry Week, takes part in four events celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week:

April 8, 2009 at the Conifer Library, 7:00 PM; Conifer Library, 10441 Highway 73, Conifer, Colorado

April 11, 2009 at the historic Leslie J. Savage Library, Western State College of Colorado, Gunnison, Colorado with John Nelson, 7:00 PM; Leslie J. Savage Library, Western State College, 600 North Adams Street, Gunnison, Colorado

April  21, 2009 at the Colorado School of Mines Arthur Lakes Library 12:00 noon; Arthur Lakes Library, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado

April 22, 2009 at the Bailey Pubic Library, 7:00PM; Bailey Public Library, 350 Bulldogger Rd., Bailey, Colorado

[photo by Mark L. Gardner]

Updated 3/18 


 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 each performance.

April 21 Prescott Library event at Prescott Lions Hall, Prescott, Washington, 7 PM, featuring Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue  

April 22 Touchet Community Library event, Touchet, Washington 7 PM (Read more about this event here)

April 23 Dayton Memorial Library, Dayton, Washington, 6:30 PM. Featuring Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue with Hank Cramer

April 25 Cowboy Poetry and Music by
Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue, Tuxedo Bar & Grill, Prescott, Washington, 6-8 PM. 509-849-2244

Posted 3/19
 


  As libraries in the Rural Library Project begin to receive the Cowboy Poetry Week poster and an invitation for The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Four for their collections, some report they will have programs and exhibits for Cowboy Poetry Week. A list of events is posted below, along with a separate list of libraries planning exhibits.

If you have a library to suggest for the Rural Library project, email us. We particularly like to add libraries that serve ranching communities.

Posted 3/19


American Cowboy magazine's events calendar lists Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 3/20


    Poets & Writers magazine literary events calendar lists Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 3/20


  The Alpine (Texas) Public Library announces Cowboy Poetry Week in the library's News blog.

Posted 3/20


  The Southern Oregon Farm Festival, held April 25-26, 2009 near Eagle Point, Oregon, will celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week.

From organizer Kathy Barlow:

The Lake Creek Historical Society is working with an 1870's Antique Farm House organization and hosting a Farm Festival the last weekend in April, April 25 & 26, 2009. The location is the Walter Wood House property, on 36 acres right beside Hwy. 62, north of Eagle Point, Oregon.

Southern Oregon Farm Festival
Location: 12988 Hwy. 62, Eagle Point, OR.
Admission: Adults $3.00/Seniors & Children $2.00
Open: Sat. 9am-5pm, Sun. 9am-4pm.

In celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week, the Southern Oregon Farm Festival is host to Cowboy Poets:
Kathy and Van Criddle, Duane Nelson, Richard Schmidt, David Wahl, Diana and Harold Roy Miller. Other events: Early Gas Engines & Tractors, Sheep Herding, Dutch Oven Cooking, Windmill Restoration, Beekeeping, Black Smith, Stage Coach, Western Artist & Photographer, So. OR. Extension-Farming & Ranching, Grange, Children's Wild West Games, and more. Parking Attendants & Shuttle Service-FREE/ Food Vendors on site.

The Farm Festival is located in So. Oregon, just 30 minutes from the California boarder. We hope that folks from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California will participate.

For more information please contact me at e-mail trooperkit@charter.net or  phone (541)324-0972.

Updated 3/27


     The Frio Canyon Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Community Appreciation Banquet, April 18th, 2009 at 6:30 PM in Leakey, Texas, in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week.

Local cowboy poet
Linda Kirkpatrick will present cowboy poetry and information on the history of cowboy poetry and the role that it plays in the history of the west.

Tickets ($10.00) are on sale at Hondo National Bank, First State Bank Frio Canyon Branch and Pioneer Real Estate or call 830-232-5222.

Posted 3/30


Karen Neurohr, librarian at Oklahoma State University Library in Stillwater will create an exhibit for Cowboy Poetry Week.

Karen Neurohr has planned cowboy poetry and music events, and has made a presentation to the Oklahoma Library Association conference about Cowboy Poetry Week.

Posted 3/30


  Arkansas poet, songwriter, and cowboy Paul Harris received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.

The proclamation notes that the state "...recognizes the importance of this art form filled with the vivid imagery and dignity of cowboy life" and recognizes that, "This year marks the eighth anniversary of celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week, which emphasizes the significance of rural libraries through the Rural Library Project, and is held each year during the third week of April, in conjunction with National Poetry Month in the United States and Canada..."

See the proclamation here.

With the addition of Arkansas, a total of twenty-one states' governors have officially recognized Cowboy Poetry Week to date. Find the list of states here.

Posted 3/31


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

The proclamation notes that, "Through cowboy poetry, we are allowed into the emotions and thoughts of those who made history and those who continue to live and work in the cowboy culture today...cowboy poetry gives us access to life on the range with all its accompanying excitement, hardships, and dreams..."

See the proclamation here.

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

Posted 3/31


 

   The Cowboy Poets of Utah hold their annual Heritage Dinner, in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week, on April 25, 2009, at the Mi Rancharito Restaurant, in Payson (85 E. Utah Ave), starting at 3 PM. The annual Heritage Award will be bestowed on a member. President CR Wood writes, "We'll share good food, good ideas, give out some awards, and hear from folks who'll help us widen our exposure...Plan to share a poem, song, thought or tribute."

Contact Jan Erickson by email or Jo Lynne Kirkwood (email) for information or to sign up.

Updated 4/6
 


  Calling All Cowboys, with host Charley Engel ("Chuckaroo the Buckaroo") will air a special Cowboy Poetry Week show for the week starting April 22, 2009. The show will include an interview with Australian bush poet Milton Taylor.

Calling All Cowboys is a weekly, two-hour show from Bend, Oregon, which includes cowboy music, cowboy poetry, and interviews. The show is broadcast live on Wednesdays at 6 PM and rebroadcast Sundays at 8AM. Each current show is available on demand for one week at the Calling All Cowboys web site. 

See our feature here.

Posted 4/3


    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 Cowboy Poetry Week a proclamation from Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.

See the proclamation here.

Doc Stovall photo, 2008, by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.

Posted 4/6


From Tom Weatherby:

Cowboy Entertainers Celebrate National Cowboy Poetry Week at Gold Hill Hotel

Look for a high energy performance featuring cowboy poetry, song, guitar and harmonica licks, rib tickling humor and buckaroo banter when singer songwriter “Texas” Tom Weatherby and range poet Dennis Golden kick off  National Cowboy Poetry  Week at the historic Gold Hill Hotel, Tuesday, April 21st. 

Appropriately located in Gold Hill, a mile south of Virginia City on Highway 342, 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. 

The sing’in sidekicks say they dare folks to come out and try to have more fun than they do as they josh each other and the audience between presentations of both their original material and traditional renditions of cowboy poetry and western song.

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 hilarious 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 4/8


    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.

He is assisting North Dakota's Morton Mandan Library with their Cowboy Poetry Week display.

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

Read more about Al Gustin here at KFYR.

Posted 4/9


  Poet Ron Wilson received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

See the proclamation here.


Ron Wilson with Governor Sibelius, June, 2008

Posted 4/10


  Ralph's Back Porch radio will be broadcasting two special call-in shows during Cowboy Poetry Week: one on Monday, April 20, and another on Friday, April 24. Poets are invited to email co-host Tamara Boatright (tamaraboatright@hotmail.com) to schedule a time to call in. In 2008, over 30 poets called in to the Ralph's Back Porch Cowboy Poetry Week show.

The show's regular broadcasts take place each Monday and Friday, from 7-9 PM (Central), and there is also a streaming 24/7 internet show at www.live365.com/stations/ralphsbackporch, "spinning cowboy music, poetry and classic western for your entertainment" and including syndicated shows. Listeners can rate selections and there are links for purchasing featured CDs.

The Monday and Friday shows include Western music, cowboy poetry, interviews, and calls from listeners, and the show hosts a simultaneous chat board. Archived shows are available on demand at the Ralph's Back Porch web site.

Ralph's Back Porch welcomes submissions for consideration for airplay on both the live show and the streaming station: Ralph’s Back Porch, 617 S. Liberty, San Augustine TX 75972 (or send mp3’s by email via the address on the Ralph's Back Porch web site).

Updated 4/13


  Top cowgirl poet Doris Daley presents West Word Ho!, a cowboy poetry writing workshop in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week at Alberta's Cochrane Library (Friday, April 24, 2009, 6-8 pm), sponsored by the Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association.

Doris writes the workshops is "...geared for youth and adults, you don't have to have any experience to come. Just be someone with an enthusiasm for the English language, a sense of fun, and a willingness to put the 'try' into poetry."

Find more information at the Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association web site.

[photo by M. Knowler]

Posted 4/13


  Josh Westbrook, Prescott (Washington) Library Manager/District Technology Manager, Walla Walla County Rural Library District, sent a link to photos from the library's 2008 Cowboy Poetry Week event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcwestbrook/sets/72157616479200730/detail/

He writes:

The Prescott Library in Washington State participated in the Rural Library Program for Cowboy Poetry Week last year—and we are gearing up for our event this year! We have an event planned on April 21st featuring Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (www.nevadaslim.com) and cowboy poet Jessica Hedges (www.jessicahedgescowboypoetry.com).
 

[pictured: Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue]

Posted 4/13


  The Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio show celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on its syndicated broadcast, the week of April 20, 2009. (The show will be available on the show's web site starting April 27, 2009, and then available on demand from the show's archives.)

The show includes interviews with poets and selections from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Four: Doris Daley's "Average Girl"; Pat Richardson's "Henry"; Yvonne Hollenbeck's "A Plain Ol' Ranchwife"; Rodney Nelson's "Cowboy Laundry"; Elizabeth Ebert's "Cowboy"; and Gail I. Gardner's  "The Sierry Petes."

There are also selections of songs written in collaboration with poets, including Jean Prescott's "Queen of Diamonds" (Les Buffham); David Anderson's "The Saddle" (CR Wood); Eli Barsi's "Just Call Him Cowboy" (Doris Daley); Wylie & the Wild West's "Lasca" (Frank Desprez).

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  

Posted 4/14



 

  South Dakota's monthly Heritage of the American West show, directed by Francie Ganje and produced by Jim Thompson and Creative Broadcast Services (CBSI) celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on the April 15, 2009 show in Spearfish, South Dakota with Minnesota rancher and poet Diane Tribitt and South Dakota cowboy singer Paul Larson.

The show is available live on the web at 7:00 pm (Mountain).

Posted 4/15


    Rancher and poet Jay Snider has received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry.

Additionally, the Oklahoma State Representative Joe Dorman and State Senator Tom Sweeden have co-authored HCR 1021, a Concurrent Resolution recognizing cowboy poetry in the State of Oklahoma and designating “Cowboy Poetry Week” in the State of Oklahoma.

Posted 4/15


  Through Tennessee poet Woody Woodruff's efforts, Tennessee State Senator Doug Jackson has introduced SJR0244, a joint Senate Resolution Naming and Designating Cowboy Poetry Week, April 19-25, 2009, in Tennessee. There's a video of the reading of the consent process at about 1:41 here.

Woody Woodruff has also received a Proclamation from Hickman County Tennessee, from County Mayor Steve Gregory, Proclaiming the week of April 19 through 25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week in Hickman County, Tennessee.

Posted 4/15


  Arizona gathering organizer and reciter Anita C. "Nika" Nordbrock has received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

Posted 4/16


Backforty Bunkhouse radio host Joe Baker announces a special Cowboy Poetry Week show on Saturday, April 25, 2009:

Joe Baker’s Backforty Bunkhouse Show will extend the regular Cowboy Hour to two full hours Saturday morning, April 25, 2009 (6 am to 8 am Mountain).

All poems will be from The Bar-D Roundup from CowboyPoetry.com, Volumes 1 through 4.

A very special tip of the hat to New Mexico’s Governor Bill Richardson for his continued support of the Cowboy and for his proclamation declaring April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week in the Land Of Enchantment. [Ed. note: See the proclamation here.]

You can hear the entire show by going to: www.BackfortyBunkhouse.com. Scroll down to black banner and click on W-105 radio logo, turn up your volume, and enjoy. Or in New Mexico and West Texas, tune your raio to KWMW, 105.1FM & 99.1FM or KNMB, 96.7FM.

See our feature about the Backforty Bunkhouse here.

Posted 4/17


  Francie Ganje has obtained a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds. She read the proclamation on the  Heritage of the American West show April 15, 2009, which she directs.

The show, produced by Jim Thompson and Creative Broadcast Services (CBSI) celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week on the April 15, 2009 show in Spearfish, South Dakota with Minnesota rancher and poet Diane Tribitt and South Dakota cowboy singer Paul Larson.

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 everyone celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week...today's modern ranchers, cowboys, and cowgirls continue to inspire. As you gather to celebrate this heritage through poetry, I offer California's gratitude for the men and women [who] make our land the greatest in the world. Thank you for your efforts to support the arts in such a fantastic way, and please accept my best wishes for your success."
 

See the entire letter here.

Posted 4/19


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

See the proclamation here.

Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue are taking part in several Cowboy Poetry Week programs in their region. 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 each performance.

April 21 Prescott Library event at Prescott Lions Hall, Prescott, Washington, 7 PM, featuring Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue  

April 22 Touchet Community Library event, Touchet, Washington 7 PM (Read more about this event here)

April 23 Dayton Memorial Library, Dayton, Washington, 6:30 PM. Featuring Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue with Hank Cramer

April 25 Cowboy Poetry and Music by
Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue, Tuxedo Bar & Grill, Prescott, Washington, 6-8 PM. 509-849-2244

Posted 4/19


  We're proud to announce the release of The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 4, the Center's fourth annual cowboy poetry compilation CD.  The CD is offered to libraries in our community outreach Rural Library Project, available to our supporters, and available for purchase.

The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Four includes a vintage recording of Gail Gardner (1892-1988) reciting his famous work, "The Sierry Petes (Tying Knots in the Devil's Tail)." Also included are the epic "The Red Cow" by the late Larry McWhorter, and "Tracks that Won't Blow Out" by the late Ray Owens. Among other classic selections are poems by Bruce Kiskaddon and Henry Herbert Knibbs recited by the respected Randy Rieman and Jerry Brooks and the traditional "Roundup in the Spring" recited by the late JB Allen, and "The Cattleman's Prayer" recited by Dick Morton.

Gail Steiger recites "The Dude Wrangler" written by his grandfather, Gail Gardner, and Jesse Smith recites "The Black Beauty" by the late rodeo legend Johnie Schneider. The CD has a fourth annual selection from Grass, the master work by the late Buck Ramsey, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, recognized as the modern spiritual leader of cowboy poetry.

There are many additional tracks of classic and contemporary poems, most from poets who frequently please audiences from contemporary gathering stages, including: Allen Clark (reciting a poem by Arthur Guiterman), Ken Cook, Doris Daley, Elizabeth Ebert, DW Groethe, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Linda Kirkpatrick, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Slim McNaught, Rod Miller, Jane Morton, Andy Nelson,
Joel Nelson, Rodney Nelson, Pat Richardson, Georgie Sicking, Jay Snider, and Diane Tribitt.

The CD includes a radio public service announcement written and delivered by top cowboy poet and philosopher Baxter Black.

This year's cover features an irresistible image of Gail Gardner as a boy, from an 1890s tintype, provided by the Gardner and Steiger families. Inside, there's a contemporary photo of three generations of the cowboys in Jay Snider's family, taken on the Snider ranch in Cyril, Oklahoma.

Poems and permissions were generously donated by poets, musicians, families, and publishers.

Past editions of The BAR-D Roundup have enjoyed wide radio airplay, and the new edition has been distributed to hundreds of Western radio stations, thanks to Joe Baker of New Mexico's Backforty Bunkhouse. Wyoming's Andy Nelson, poet, humorist, popular emcee and co-host of the award-winning Clear Out West (C. O. W.) Radio show is the CD's co-producer.

Find more information in our feature here, along with order information and special offers.

Posted 4/19


    During Cowboy Poetry Week, North Dakota radio broadcaster Al Gustin is presenting interviews and poetry on his shows on KBMR and KFYR, which are heard throughout the day. He will feature Fran Armstrong of Beulah, North Dakota, on Monday; Bob Petermann of Wibaux, Montana, on Wednesday; and Bill Lowman of Belfield, North Dakota, on Friday.  

Known widely throughout the region as the "dean" of farm broadcasting, he has assisted North Dakota's Morton Mandan Library with their Cowboy Poetry Week display.

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

Read more about Al Gustin here at KFYR.

Posted 4/20


  Toe Tappin' Tommy Tucker and co-host Smoke Wade (pictured) celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week on the Western Heritage Show, Friday, April 24, 2009. The show is broadcast live on KRLC 1350AM in Lewiston, Idaho 10:00 - Noon (Pacific). They invite listeners to call 208-746-7669 during the show "and let us know how you are celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week."

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

Posted 4/20


  Poets Jane Morton (pictured) and Dick Morton, Black Forest cowboy singer Roger Stone, and local poets bring their talents to the Black Forest Community Hall near Colorado Springs, Colorado for an evening of cowboy poetry, Thursday, April 23, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the program, sponsored by the Black Forest Community Club, celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week.

Updated 4/21


  Ralph's Back Porch radio aired its second annual Cowboy Poetry Week "cowboy poetry jam session" show (the first of two during Cowboy Poetry Week) on Monday, April 20, 2009. Poets and reciters who called in and performed included Jay Snider of Oklahoma, Ken Cook of South Dakota, Jane Morton of Colorado, Linda Kirkpatrick of Texas, Paul Kern of Utah, Slim McNaught of South Dakota, Smoke Wade of Idaho and Nevada, Dick Morton of Colorado, Jessica Hedges of Washington, Woody Woodruff of Tennessee, Harold Roy Miller of Nevada, Tamara Hillman of Arizona, Buck Helton of Texas, T.J. Casey of Montana, and Fred Engel of Utah. Linda Kirkpatrick and Dick Morton recited poems by the late Rod Nichols.

Ralph's Back Porch will be broadcasting another special call-in show during Cowboy Poetry Week, on Friday, April 24, 2009. Poets are invited to email co-host Tamara Boatright (tamaraboatright@hotmail.com) to schedule a time to call in. In 2008, over 30 poets called in to the Ralph's Back Porch Cowboy Poetry Week show.

The show's regular broadcasts take place each Monday and Friday, from 7-9 PM (Central), and there is also a streaming 24/7 internet show at www.live365.com/stations/ralphsbackporch, "spinning cowboy music, poetry and classic western for your entertainment" and including syndicated shows. Listeners can rate selections and there are links for purchasing featured CDs.

The Monday and Friday shows include Western music, cowboy poetry, interviews, and calls from listeners, and the show hosts a simultaneous chat board. Archived shows are available on demand at the Ralph's Back Porch web site.

Ralph's Back Porch welcomes submissions for consideration for airplay on both the live show and the streaming station: Ralph’s Back Porch, 617 S. Liberty, San Augustine TX 75972 (or send mp3’s by email via the address on the Ralph's Back Porch web site).

Posted 4/21


  Francie Ganje shares the Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation she obtained  from South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds. She read the proclamation on the  Heritage of the American West show April 15, 2009, which she directs.

See the proclamation here.

The Heritage of the American West show, produced by Jim Thompson and Creative Broadcast Services (CBSI) celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week on the April 15, 2009 show in Spearfish, South Dakota with Minnesota rancher and poet Diane Tribitt and South Dakota cowboy singer Paul Larson.

Posted 4/21


  Tennessee poet Woody Woodruff shares the Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation he obtained from Hickman County Tennessee, from County Mayor Steve Gregory.

See the proclamation here.

Through Woody's efforts, Tennessee State Senator Doug Jackson has introduced SJR0244, a joint Senate Resolution Naming and Designating Cowboy Poetry Week, April 19-25, 2009, in Tennessee. There are videos of the resolution's process here.

Posted 4/21


  Lubbock, Texas' KJDL 105.3 FM radio is featuring Cowboy Poetry Week programming, with daily tracks from The BAR-D Roundup. Cathy Whitten reports they will also feature local poets, and Ranch Day (April 25, 2009) at the National Ranching Heritage Center.

Posted 4/21


Karen Neurohr, Assessment Librarian at the Oklahoma State University Library in Stillwater writes:

For three years, the Oklahoma State University Library collaborated with the OSU Rodeo Team and Booster Club and hosted an Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry and Songs Event. Even though we weren’t able to hold an event this year, the library still wanted to participate in Cowboy Poetry Week. We put up an attractive exhibit in a high-traffic area of the library. I’ve included two photos of this display. Four students stopped and looked at it within 15 minutes after it was finished, so I think it has turned out well and is serving the purpose of promoting the library collection and Cowboy Poetry Week!

Posted 4/22



  The Kimble County Library in Junction, Texas reports on their Cowboy Poetry Week event:

... It just so happened that Cowboy Poetry Week was a week after National Library Week, and we at Kimble County Library combined the two and had a celebration for both. We thought you might be interested in hearing about the celebration. It was held April 21 (11:30 AM until 1:30 PM) on the front lawn of our library. We had a local cowboy poet, Pete Davis, share some of his poetry. As we served beans and cornbread throughout this time, R.C. Lackey, a local musician performed many old cowboy songs. The entire community was invited. (Our county population is 2500). There were about 50 that attended and enjoyed all the festivities. They all vote to do it again next year...

Posted 4/22


  The Creswell (Oregon) Chronicle marks Cowboy Poetry Week on its front page, with an image of the Cowboy Poetry Week poster and the text of the Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick obtained the proclamation, which you can see here.

Posted 4/22


  Cowboy poetry and Cowboy Poetry Week segments created by Cathy Witten (www.rockinwproductions.com) are featured on KJDL 105.3 FM (and NewsRadio 1420 in Lubbock, Texas.

Some of the poets featured in the Cowboy Poetry Week segments (which also include the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry public service announcements) include Linda Kirkpatrick, Janice Gilbertson, Elizabeth Ebert, Georgie Sicking, and Jim Thompson. The poetry and segments are from volumes of The BAR-D Roundup.

The stations are also featuring local poets and promoting Ranch Day (April 25, 2009) at the National Ranching Heritage Center.

Posted 4/23


  Jan Elliott, Library Director for the Safford City-Graham County Library in Safford, Arizona, writes:

This is the fourth year that our local cowboy poets and musicians have joined with us at the library to celebrate Cowboy Poetry week and National Library Week through a Library Open House.

On Friday of Cowboy Poetry week the library hosts an open house to show off all the resources we have. The local cowboy poets and musicians have performed for us all day long to keep things lively and interesting. The musicians or poets perform for a half hour, then the library staff takes the next half hour to demonstrate our new website, or newly remodeled areas or new programs or whatever we have new for this year. We continue to switch all day long, while people drop in, eat cake, listen to music and poetry and learn about the library. It has been a huge success each year, with over 500 people attending throughout the day.

One feature that is really nice is that our young, up and coming cowboy poets (grade school age and up), write and perform their own pieces. We want to encourage their future interest in poetry.

Posted 4/24
 


  The Tri-State Livestock News carries Jeri Dobrowski's popular Cowboy Jam Session column, and the April edition, which you can read here at the paper's web site, showcases Cowboy Poetry Week, the Rural Library Project, and The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Four.

Tri-State Livestock News describes itself, in part, as "...the commercial cattlemen’s publication, located in the heart of one of the greatest beef cow/calf producing regions in the world. This area is home to many of America’s most astute ranchers, reputable commercial cow herds, high performance feeder cattle, progressive auction markets, purebred beef cattle leaders, top notch horse operations and leading sheep producers."

Other regular Tri-State Livestock News columnists include Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns and Baxter Black, and Slim McNaught is a frequent contributor.

Visit the Tri-State Livestock News web site.

Posted 4/24


      Poets and singers Dallas and PJ McCord and Kathy and Van Criddle participated in a Cowboy Poetry Week celebration at the Creswell Historical Museum in Creswell, Oregon on April 18, 2009.

John Franklin, the President of the Creswell Area Historical Society, sent his thanks to the participants:

I write this note to thank all those that helped your Creswell Historical Museum provide a magical eve kick off to Cowboy Poetry Week.

An evening in historical setting, listening to Dallas & PJ McCord and friends Van & Kathy Criddle, provide cowboy lore, song, and wonderfully emotional cowboy poetry. We thank all who attended this special event. It has helped with needed funding to keep your museum functioning.

[2008 photo (at right, above) of Kathy and Van Criddle by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com]

Posted 4/25


Poets Del Gustafson and Clark Crouch performed in Monroe, Washington in a Cowboy Poetry Week celebration on April 22, 2009.

From Clark Crouch:

Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week in the Puget Sound Area of Washington State, Clark Crouch and Del Gustafson, both contributors to CowboyPoetry.com, entertained an audience of about 100 in Monroe, Washington on Wednesday, April 22, 2009. The public "Cowboy Up" meeting was sponsored for the community by the Monroe Toastmasters Club. In addition to their poems on this site, the two cowboy presenters have also been featured in Open Range Magazine, a publication based in Glenrock, Wyoming.

Posted 4/25


Many radio shows celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week, and some have archived shows that you can listen to on-demand on the web:

  Joe Baker's April 25, 2009 Backforty Bunkhouse radio show features two hours of poems from all four volumes of The Bar-D Roundup in a special Cowboy Poetry Week. You can listen to the entire show at www.BackfortyBunkhouse.com and it will remain in the archives for at least six weeks.

Poets include: Doris Daley ("A Letter To Mr. Russell"), Mark Gardner (What's Become of the Punchers" by Jack Thorp), Paul Zarzyski ("Horses vs Hosses" by S. Omar Barker), Red Steagall ("Born To This Land"), DW Groethe ("Yearlin' Heifers"), Jay Snider ("Tyrone and Tyree), Jane Morton ("Yoo Hoo"), Darrell Arnold ("Cowboy Poultry Gathering"), Pat Richardson ("Cowboy Banker"), J.B. Allen ("The Sierry Petes" by Gail Gardner), Chris Isaacs ("Change On the Range"), Don Kennington ("The Last Nail"), Larry McWhorter ("Johnny Clare"), Kent Rollins ("Horseshoes and Heaven"), Joel Nelson ("Men Who Ride No More"), Elizabeth Ebert ("The Cowboy"), Ken Cook ("The Conversation"), Ross Knox ("The D2 Horse Wrangler" by D.J. O'Malley), Georgie Sicking ("To Be A Top Hand"), Yvonne Hollenbeck ("A Plain Ol' Ranchwife"), Wallace McRae ("Urban Daughter"), Jesse Smith ("The Black Beauty" by Johnie Schneider), Linda Kirkpatrick ("Bronco Twister's Prayer" by Bruce Kiskaddon), Randy Rieman ("An Old Western Town" by Bruce Kiskaddon), Smoke Wade ("A Change of Seasons"), Jerry Brooks ("The Shallows of the Ford"), Susan Parker ("Homemade Cigarette"), Rod Miller ("The Staff of Life"), Hal Swift ("Bill's In Trouble"), Mick Vernon (" Jack Potter's Courtin'" by S. Omar Barker), Diane Tribitt ("Half the Hand"), Paul Kern ("At Codding's Place"), Deanna McCall ("Advice"), and Ray Owens ("Tracks That Won't Blow Out").

See our feature about the Backforty Bunkhouse here.


  The Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio show celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on its syndicated broadcast, the week of April 20, 2009. (The show will be available on the show's web site starting April 27, 2009, and then available on demand from the show's archives.)

The show includes interviews with poets and selections from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Four: Doris Daley's "Average Girl"; Pat Richardson's "Henry"; Yvonne Hollenbeck's "A Plain Ol' Ranchwife"; Rodney Nelson's "Cowboy Laundry"; Elizabeth Ebert's "Cowboy"; and Gail I. Gardner's  "The Sierry Petes."

There are also selections of songs written in collaboration with poets, including Jean Prescott's "Queen of Diamonds" (Les Buffham); David Anderson's "The Saddle" (CR Wood); Eli Barsi's "Just Call Him Cowboy" (Doris Daley); Wylie & the Wild West's "Lasca" (Frank Desprez).

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  


  The April 22, 2009 show from Calling All Cowboys with host Charley Engel ("Chuckaroo the Buckaroo") celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week and includes an hour- long interview with Australian bush poet, Milton Taylor. It includes  J.B. Allen's recitation of Gail Gardner's "The Sierry Petes" from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Two and Badger Clark reciting "Ridin'" from the first edition of The BAR-D Roundup.

Calling All Cowboys is a weekly, two-hour show from Bend, Oregon, which includes cowboy music, cowboy poetry, and interviews. The show is broadcast live on Wednesdays at 6 PM and rebroadcast Sundays at 8AM. Each current show is available on demand for one week at the Calling All Cowboys web site.


  Ralph's Back Porch radio with co-hosts Tamara Boatright and Ralph Hampton aired its second annual Cowboy Poetry Week "cowboy poetry jam session" show (the first of two during Cowboy Poetry Week) on Monday, April 20, 2009. Poets and reciters who called in and performed included Jay Snider of Oklahoma, Ken Cook of South Dakota, Jane Morton of Colorado, Linda Kirkpatrick of Texas, Paul Kern of Utah, Slim McNaught of South Dakota, Smoke Wade of Idaho and Nevada, Dick Morton of Colorado, Jessica Hedges of Washington, Woody Woodruff of Tennessee, Harold Roy Miller of Nevada, Tamara Hillman of Arizona, Buck Helton of Texas, T.J. Casey of Montana, and Fred Engel of Utah. Linda Kirkpatrick and Dick Morton recited poems by the late Rod Nichols.

The second show was broadcast on Friday, April 24, 2009 and callers included Jane Morton and Dick Morton of Colorado, Tamara Hillman of Arizona,  Slim McNaught of South Dakota, Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns of Wyoming, Cora Wood and Bonner Wood of Wyoming, Paul Harris of Arkansas, Sam DeLeeuw of Utah, DW Groethe of Montana, Bruce Roseland of South Dakota, Jessica Hedges of Washington, Sandy Seaton of Montana, and others.

Archived shows are available on demand at the Ralph's Back Porch web site.

See our feature about Ralph's Back Porch here.

Posted 4/27


  Donnette Engebrecht, involved with the popular Saddle Up! at Pigeon Forge (Tennessee) event is a great friend to cowboy poets and musicians. She came up with a way to help spread the word about Cowboy Poetry Week. She works with many people involved in the entertainment world, and in the lead up to and during Cowboy Poetry Week she added a notice about it to her email signature. She tells us that it elicited interest from a number of people. Thanks to her for a good suggestion that anyone can implement.

Posted 4/28


  We're pleased to have reports from those involved in Cowboy Poetry Week activities. Your report is welcome. Email us.

Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (www.nevadaslim.com) initiated several Cowboy Poetry Week celebrations at libraries and other venues. Those events have grown. 

Cowboy Poetry Week in South Central Washington State
by Susan “Cimarron Sue” Matley
 

2009 is the second year we’ve celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week in Walla Walla and Columbia Counties (south central Washington State). In 2008 I proposed the event to the rural librarians and provided administrative support for “the week” as well as volunteering Slim and I as performers. The celebration proved popular—not surprising as this part of the country is rich in western history and heritage—and this year the librarians initiated their own programs. We were invited to participate in three library programs (with one more to come April 30th) and took the story of the cowboy to a local watering hole. In detail: 

Tuesday, April 21

The second annual Cowboy Poetry Week celebration in Prescott, Washington (population 300) was held at the Prescott Lions Hall as the crowd of 38 was too large for the library. The books, CDs and DVDs donated by a dozen cowboy poets last year were on display, dog-eared and covered with fingerprints after 12 months in the Walla Walla County Rural Library system. Librarian Josh Westbrook had his laptop on hand, ready to check out the collection on-the-spot. The Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Gov. Chris Gregoire was also on display.

Rural Library District Executive Director Jean “Punkie” Adams was on hand to enjoy the festivities. She and the other attendees were treated to an evening of cowboy poetry and song, including the original work of the Cowboy Poetry Contest winners:

 K-4th Grade     Thelia Crispin “What Cowgirls Do”
5th-8th Grade    Dusty Alandi “Cowboy”
9th-12th Grade  No entries! Josh will re-double his considerable efforts with this group next year.
Adult               Martin McCaw “Smitty and the Devil”

A number of those present participated in the “open mic” poetry session, performing a wide variety of original cowboy and western-themed work.

Cowboy poet Jessica Hedges traveled from Coulee City to share her original work. This young woman has recently moved to Washington State from her home near Elko, Nevada, and it’s evident that her regular attendance at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering has contributed to her craft. Of particular note were Oregon/California Trail-themed “Resting Place” and “History in the Barn”, the title track of her soon-to-be released CD; watch for details at her website www.jessicahedgescowboypoetry.com.

Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue started and ended the evening of entertainment with a selection of traditional cowboy poetry set to music and a sing-along medley of songs dating from the westward migration of the nineteenth century.

Prescott Mayor Libby McCaw rallied the bakers in the community to provide a generous assortment of cookies and cakes for the event, so generous that everyone present was invited to “take some home.” Librarian Josh Westbrook declared the evening a success, and is already planning for 2010. 

Wednesday, April 22nd

Wednesday evening brought the second annual cowboy and western heritage event at Touchet (pronounced “too-she”) Library, Touchet, Washington. Librarian Carlotta Richardson hosted a variety of western entertainers including Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue, cowboy poet Jessica Hedges, musicians Coyote Joe Sarton and Little Joe, cowboy poet and yodel queen Red Ridin’ Robin, the City Clicker Cloggers and the Steppin’ Country line dancers.

An enthusiastic crowd was also treated to original poetry from Touchet Elementary fourth graders. First prize winner was Robert Fulgham with Maddie Fenton second, plus runners-up Elise Brown and Karlee McMakin.

Thursday, April 23rd

The Columbia County Rural Library District in Dayton, Washington, sponsored a Cowboy Poetry Week event, their second annual, organized by librarian Janet Lyon. An enthusiastic crowd of 48 packed the Delaney Room of the Dayton Memorial Library for a double-bill of Hank Cramer and Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue.

Hank’s powerful set of storytelling and song kicked off the evening, including the compelling cautionary tale of poet Carl Sandburg’s cowboy “song catching” and the resulting preservation of the song “The Colorado Trail.” Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue engaged the audience for the second half of the show with a combination of cowboy poetry set to music and straight cowboy poetry, including Slim’s nearly true coming-of-age-on-the-ranch piece “Growing Pains.” In a spirited finale, the three performers led the audience in a sing-along of “You Are My Sunshine.” 

Friday, April 24th

A full house from Prescott and the surrounding communities (Waitsburg, Dayton and Walla Walla) joined Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue for an evening of cowboy poetry and song at the Tuxedo Bar & Grill in Prescott, Washington. During intermission and after the show, audience members shared their memories of ranch life in decades past, including one woman’s confession of sneaking into the bunkhouse to read the parentally forbidden Ranch Romance Magazine. 

Thursday, April 30th

The influence of Cowboy Poetry Week will reach beyond April 25th, 2009; Burbank Library (part of the Walla Walla County Rural Library system) will feature Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue in a special performance at their annual poetry slam Thursday, April 30th. One more hour to spread the good word of National Cowboy Poetry Week!


  Smoke Wade sent a report to his list, and invited them to share their own reports. Following is his and another light-hearted take on the week:

Cowboy Poetry Week in Review
April 19 – 25, 2009

Lewiston, ID. With well-intentioned plans and ideas, I had thought of Cowboy Poetry Week for several months in advance, and I had thought about what I might do to celebrate the week. Yet, when the 19th of April drew nigh, the best thing I could think of was to cook a pot of beans and bake a pan of sourdough biscuits—cowboy food. And perhaps if I would eat this cowboy food each day of the week, some how I would feel connected to the celebration and feel that I had contributed to the experience.

Then it dawned on me that perhaps I would keep of journal for the week, take a few notes and see if something spawned besides sitting by the wayside eating biscuits and beans.

April 19: What started off as a routine Sunday morningchecking out all the news that is news on www.cowboypoetry.com - I soon found my self writing several media releases for 2010 cowboy gatherings. Now in the mood to contribute, I continued by writing a report on the Lee Earl Memorial Scholarship Cowboy Gathering and got it sent off to the Bar-D Ranch and to Rope Burns. Ate a bowl of beans and three biscuits. Very good, this cowboy food!

April 20: Lacking high speed internet, I spent an hour on the phone listening in to poet’s from across America share their poetry on www.blogtalkradio.com/ralphsbackporch. Wrote some cowboy poetry related emails with others, then ate a bowl of beans and two biscuits. Not bad!

April 21: Today the emails started rolling in from a few cowboy poets and musicians telling what they were up to. Listened to a new cowboy poetry CD, Rhyme Without Reason (2009) by Orvil Sears of Washington. Ate a bowl of beans (added more catsup) and one slightly stale biscuit.

April 22: By now the Cowboy Poetry Week event emails are rolling in faster than I can answer them, and by golly, it looked like Cowboy Poetry Week was being celebrated every where. Took a mid-week look at www.cowboypoetry.com to keep up on all the happenings.

Spent an hour reading from Songs of the Outlands, a book of poetry by Henry Herbert Knibbs. Ate a bowl of beans skipped the biscuit.

April 23: Began working on another report for a cowboy gathering and spent time working cowboy poet and musician photos through my photo workshop. Found that if I put the biscuit in the bowl first with beans on top, it was edibleextra catsup.

April 24: Woke up dreaming that I had eaten steak. This was the best day of the week. As co-host of the Western Heritage Show with Toe Tappin’ Tommy Tucker on KRLC 1350 AM, Lewiston, ID, I joined with the "Toe Tapper" to spend two hours celebrating cowboy poetry and Cowboy Poetry Week. Live telephone interviews included Margo Metegrano, publisher of CowboyPoetry.com, and Susan Parker, cowgirl poet from California. Several tracks were played from The Bar-D Roundup: Volume Four (2009) including: "Henry" by Pat Richardson; "Star Cavvy" by DW Groethe; the Henry Herbert Knibbs poem, "The Shallows of the Ford" recited by Jerry Brooks; "Average Girl" by Doris Daley; and "The Sierry Petes" by Gail I. Gardner. Smoke Wade recited his original poem "Leather Gods" as a tribute to cowboy poets everywhere.

Cowboy music complemented the poetry with songs such as "The Habit" by Don Edwards, "The Wonder of it All" by Ian Tyson, "Man Walks amongst Us", by Les Gilliam, "Ballad of Boot Hill" by Johnny Western and "Act Naturally" by Wylie & The Wild West. As the show drew to a close, both Tommy and I gave The Bar-D Roundup: Volume Four (2009) "Ten Big Toes a Tappin" for excellence in quality, production and entertainment value. This is one heckuva CD folks, and we recommend you get one by visiting www.cowboypoetry.com.

The evening was spent once again listening to www.blogtalkradio.com/ralphsbackporch as cowboy poets shared their poems and stories of the cowboy. Ate the last bowl of beans with a half a bottle of catsup. Threw the last stale biscuit into the walnut grove out back for the squirrels to eat.

April 26: Up early and off to the cowboy breakfast at the Asotin County Fair, Asotin, WA. Almost twisted my ankle when I stepped on the rock-hard biscuit the squirrels had left on my front step during the night. Ate hotcakes and sausage links at the breakfastreal cowboy foodand asked for more. Didn’t realize how hungry I was. Listened to poetry and songs from Stuff That Works (2008) by Criddles & McCords. Rode in the parade with Toe Tappin’ Tommy Tucker as representative of the Western Heritage Show to further celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week in America. Came home after the rodeo to find the fridge was empty. Cooked up a pot of beans and a pan of sourdough biscuits for dinner. Cowboy Poetry Week was a good week!

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


Dick Morton responded to Smoke Wade and added his report:

OK, Smoke you got me started. I sure liked your week's activities and the diet your living onsure wish I could cook like you. I can't recall every thing I did, that week, because I didn't keep a journal—but here goes.
 
Sunday, April 19thJane and I had left Mesa the Tuesday before to drive back to Colorado Springs to our summer pasture. But, I left our pick-up truck so I flew back to Mesa to retrieve it. I left Colorado Springs late, with no dinner, and got to Phoenix at 7:15 pm where I was picked up and taken to a soccer game. I had thought maybe a peanut butter sandwich would taste good but that didn't happen. I wasn't a bad boy but went to bed without any supper. 
 
Monday, April 20th. Put on my cowboy hat and called Ralph's Back Porch and heard some pretty good poetry by others. My little contribution was Rod Nichols', "Yep." Found some left over ham in the refrigerator, from Easter, for a sandwich. 
 
Tuesday, April 21st. Gathered my cowboy outfits, hats, boots et. al and packed them for the summer drive back to Colorado. Had a ham sandwich for lunch and chili for dinner. Cowboy diet.
 
Wednesday, April 22nd. Got into my trusty, Chev. Colorado at 5:15 am and headed for Colorado and home on the range. Dug into my CD compartment and pulled out several Don Edwards recordings, The Bar D-Round Up (first recording) some good music by the Desert Suns and reviewed some of my own which I don't do very often. Stopped in Bernalello, NM and bought a $1..00  McD. and ate it 40 miles later at the rest stop just west of Santa Fe. Stopped 80 miles short of Colorado Springs and had a half order of huevos rancheros. Got home at 8:15 pm with Jane waiting at the door. She had eaten and I wasn't hungry.

Thursday, April 23rd. That was our big night for Cowboy Poetry. Several weeks ago, in early April, I contacted the editor of the Black Forest News, Judy P. von Ahiefeldt, to restart our subscription coming here. Now our little community in the Black Forest is semi rural and we have many people who own horses and have a ranch background, so I asked Judy to run an article plugging Cowboy Poetry Weekshe was delighted. Not only that, through her, we planned  a Cowboy Poetry Night for the community. That was set for this night. We had a good group show up and several others performed as well. Judy played her violin. We hope this will become an annual affair....
 
OK, Friday, the 24th. Jane and I, again, called into the Ralph's Back Porch program and did our partsure was fun. So many good poets out there and we all seem like a big family.  I am back on a regular diet. Had some split pea soup tonight with the left over ham bone...

Posted 4/28


  Martin McCaw attended the April 24, 2009 Cowboy Poetry Week event in Prescott, Washington, and wrote to Bruce Matley (Nevada Slim) (see the reports above from Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue). With his kind permission, here are his comments:

I think what you, the cowboy poets, and all verbal storytellers do is important. It's fighting against the wind, reminding us of our roots, connecting us to what's earthy (rather than the superficial, the technology that dominates our present culture), and connecting members of the community. It's also a 'So there!' to the academic elitists who pretty much dominate modern poetry. I remember when poetry was available to most people (and no one sneered at Robert Service), not just the few who read literary journals. I guess the same could be said for short stories, but so far there's no equivalent to cowboy poetry nights for them. I also got more of a feel these last two nights for the camaraderie among the poets and singers. They're speaking to each other as well as to the rest of the audience...

I think what you and Jessica [Hedges] and the other poets do matters, even though you might wonder sometimes after driving a hundred miles to sing or recite to a small audience. All it takes is connecting with a few people, because you are enriching their lives, and you never know when you'll light a spark in someone's mind. (I'm thinking of Maddie and of the little girl who waited through the Touchet program, eager to go up and read her poem).

Bruce Matley tells us that Mr. McCaw attended three of the Cowboy Poetry Week performances in the area, and that he is
"a member of one of the first five families to settle this valley."

Posted 4/29


From Hank Cramer:

Howdy!

I'm keeping pretty busy this month, trying to help celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week in my part of the West.  It's actually stretched into a 2-3 week episode, which suits me just fine.


I began my trip with Ed Dailey's Columbia River Cowboy Get-together in Kennewick, WA on April 11-12.  Smoke Wade has given a pretty good summary of that event. It was a grand time!  A new wrinkle was that Smoke added cowboy song & poetry contests, run "American Idol style".  He started with four contestants in each category, and I'm here to tell you they were ALL crowd-pleasers!  Great main-stage performances by Sourdough Slim, Wylie & The Wild West, and the High Strung Band.
Next stop on my journey was Cody, Wyoming.  The original intent of the Cody trip was to participate in the 25th Annual Cowboy Songs & Range Ballads celebration at the Buffalo Bill Historic Center.  Much to my surprise and deep disappointment, BBHC had to cancel the event and put the whole program on "hiatus" until next year. The principal reason, apparently, is the state of the economy and a steep dropoff in Wyoming tourism revenues.  Meanwhile, I had committed to giving additional performances at the library and school.  When BBHC canceled their show, I decided to carry on with those programs regardless. The Park County Library hosted me for a cowboy concert at their brand-spanking-new library in Cody on the evening of April 14.  The following day I gave a history and music presentation to the 4th-grade students at Livingston Elementary School.  In Wyoming, 4th grade is the year that kids learn their state's history. The kids were very knowledgeable of cowboy life and culture, and were pretty enthusiastic singers. They were also the best-behaved batch of nine-year-olds I've seen in a long time!!!

Rolling homeward , I linked up with Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue on April 23 at the Columbia County Library in Dayton, WA.  Turnout was great—a packed house, ranging from little kids to a 90-year-old great-grandmother. I performed one set, Slim & Sue did another, and we finished out by joining forces on "You Are My Sunshine."  Slim and Sue did a weeklong tour of other local libraries, and Sue successfully lobbied Governor Gregoire to officially proclaim Cowboy Poetry week across the State of Washington.  After the show, I drove five hours through the night in order to perform live on KOMW Radio in Omak at 8:00 am on April 24.

Although Cowboy Poetry Week is now officially passed, we're rounding up some real fine folks in Winthrop, WA this weekend (May 1-3) to have a Cowboy Song & Poetry Camp (www.cowboysongcamp.com). Don Edwards will kick off the event with a solo concert at The Winthrop Barn on Friday evening.  On Saturday and Sunday, we'll have workshops on everything from songs and poetry to press kits and PA systems. Our leaders will include Don Edwards, Dean Cook, and Rob Thran (songwriting); Smoke Wade and Paul Steuermann (poetry); Toe Tappin' Tommy Tucker (radio airplay); and Mark Iler and Rob Folsom (stage sound). Saturday night will feature a cowboy chuckwagon steak dinner, complete with horsedrawn wagon ride and songs and poems around the bonfire.

 
I hope everyone had a grand week, wherever you are and whatever you did.  Just keep the poems and songs coming, and the West will never die!

Hank Cramer
www.hankcramer.com


  Dianetribitt2007.jpg (18039 bytes)  Rancher, writer, and poet Diane Tribitt received a proclamation from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, proclaiming Cowboy Poetry Week.

See the proclamation here.

Posted 5/4


From Stan Tixier:

The Cowboy Poets of Utah (CPU) is encouraging its members to cooperate with cowboypoetry.com in presenting cowboy poetry and western music programs at local libraries each year during Cowboy Poetry Week in April.

The Huntsville branch library of Weber County in northern Utah has hosted such programs for the past three years. In 2009, the newest library in Weber County was added to the schedule.

Western music singer and guitar picker Robin Arnold joined cowboy poet Stan Tixier at the Huntsville library on April 20 for an hour-and-a-half of cowboy entertainment before an audience of about 100 people. The library served refreshments afterward and some books and CDs were purchased.

The brand new Washington Terrace branch library concluded its opening day ceremonies with an outstanding program of western music by Coyotee Moon (Lisa Strubblefield and Steve Lewis) and cowboy poetry by local favorite Don Kennington and Stan Tixier. About 75 people attended. Again a few CDs were sold.

Next year Weber county plans to expand its cowboy poetry and music entertainment offerings to all five county libraries by adding North Ogden, Roy and the main library in downtown Ogden to the schedule. There is plenty of local talent with members of CPU and the Utah Chapter of Western Music Association (WMA) ready and willing.

Posted 5/4


The Georgia Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest finals were held at the Booth Western Art Museum's 6th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering in March, 2009. Winners were declared in three categories, Grades 5-6, Grades 7-8, and Grades 9-12 with a prize fund of $1000 dedicated to each category. See www.boothmuseum.org to view the winners. Below, they are pictured with the 2009 Cowboy Poetry Week poster, with art by Bob Coronato.

Find a report from the Booth Western Art Museum's 6th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering here.

Posted 5/4


    Rancher and poet Jay Snider received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry.

See the proclamation here.

Additionally, the Oklahoma State Representative Joe Dorman and State Senator Tom Sweeden have co-authored HCR 1021, a Concurrent Resolution recognizing cowboy poetry in the State of Oklahoma and designating “Cowboy Poetry Week” in the State of Oklahoma.

Posted 5/5


Poet Dale Page took part in a Cowboy Poetry Week event at the Melton Library in French Lick, Indiana on April 23, 2009. Dale writes, "As the third state east of the Mississippi to be part of the Rural Library Project, we are proud to recognize Cowboy Poetry Week...Although the crowd was small,the audience was attentive and interested. We plan a more extensive advertising campaign next year and a different venue to attract a much larger crowd."

Dale, a native Oklahoman, took part in last year's Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry and Songs Event at Oklahoma State University Library in Stillwater, co-coordinated by Karen Neurohr, OSU Assessment Librarian and Cathryn Christensen, Outreach Coordinator.

Posted 5/7


 Kathy Barlow shared photos from the Southern Oregon Farm Festival, April 25-26, 2009, which celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week. The event was held near Eagle Point, Oregon, a collaboration between the Lake Creek Historical Society and an 1870's Antique Farm House organization. Among the poets were Kathy and Van Criddle, Duane Nelson, Richard Schmidt, David Wahl, Diana and Harold Roy Miller. Read the original announcement here.

Kathy sent photos and wrote, "The Southern Oregon Farm Festival went well....The cowboy poet participants' stories were great and all had a good time. We're looking forward to putting on a special event just for cowboy poets, to be held in Southern Oregon, next year."

Posted 5/12

 


 

  Cowboy Poets of Utah (CPU) member Laurie Tye took part in a Cowboy Poetry Week program at Utah's West Jordan Library, on April 21, 2009. Laurie was joined by Don Korth and STAMPEDE! (Terri Taylor, Steve Taylor, and David Anderson). Laurie writes, "It went very well and we are excited to do more next year."

Posted 5/14


 

    Idaho poet Bobbie Hunter  received a proclamation from Idaho Governor Butch Otter, proclaiming April 19-25, 2009 as Cowboy Poetry Week.

See the proclamation here.

Posted 6/4

 

 

Find the main Cowboy Poetry Week page here.

 


 

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

 


2009 Cowboy Poetry Week Events

See our complete Events Calendar here.

 

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

April 8, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Conifer Library Conifer, Colorado

April 11, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Leslie J. Savage Library Gunnison, Colorado

April 15, 2009
Heritage of the American West   Spearfish, South Dakota

April 18, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week Celebration  Creswell, Oregon

April 18, 2009
Frio Canyon Chamber Appreciation Dinner  Leakey, Texas

April 20, 2009
 
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Ogden Valley Branch Library  Huntsville, Utah 

April  21, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Colorado School of Mines Arthur Lakes Library Golden, Colorado

April  21, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Prescott Library Prescott, Washington
 

April 21, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week Dinner Show  Gold Hill, Nevada

April 21, 2009
Kimble County Library  Junction, Texas

April 21, 2009
West Jordan Library West Jordan, Utah

April 22, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Bailey Pubic Library Bailey, Colorado

April 22, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Night at the Touchet Community Library  Touchet, Washington

April 22, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week Celebration   Monroe, Washington

April 23, 2009
 
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Weber County Washington Heights Branch Library Huntsville, Utah   

April 23, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Dayton Memorial Library
, Dayton, Washington

April 23, 2009
Black Forest Cowboy Poetry
, near Colorado Springs, Colorado

April 23, 2009
Cowboy Poetry at the Melton Library, French Lick, Indiana

April 24, 2009
West Word Ho!  Cochrane, Alberta

April 24, 2009
Cowboy Poetry Week at the
Safford City-Graham County Library  Safford, Arizona

April 24-26, 2009
12th Annual Missouri Cowboy Poetry Gathering  Mountain View, Missouri

 April 25, 2009
Second Annual Tyrone Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering  Tyrone, New Mexico


April 25, 2009
Second Annual Cowboy Poetry Celebration  Hooker, Oklahoma

April 25, 2009
Cowboy Poetry and Music  Prescott, Washington

April 25, 2009
Cowboy Poets of Utah Annual Heritage Dinner  Payson, Utah

April 25-26, 2009
Southern Oregon Farm Festival near Eagle Point, Oregon

April 26, 2009
Between Fences  Sturgis, South Dakota

 


 

Libraries in the Rural Library Project with exhibits for Cowboy Poetry Week

Lubbock Public Library, Lubbock, Texas
Cochran County Love Memorial Library, Morton, Texas
Crockett County Public Library, Ozona, Texas
Oklahoma State University Library  Stillwater, Oklahoma
Morton Mandan Library  Mandan, North Dakota
Lyon County Central Branch Library
Yerington, Nevada
 

League of Canadian Poets (poster display)

 


Radio and other programs that regularly 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
Calling All Cowboys
Backforty Bunkhouse

Other radio features:

Francie Ganje on KBHB
Al Gustin on KBMR and KFRY

KJDL 105.3 FM in Lubbock, Texas

 


 

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, 21 states' governors, and some mayors, and other officials have issued proclamations and declarations. You can read about the 2009 efforts and see some examples above.

To avoid duplicate efforts, please email us if you are going to contact your governor. Those working on 2009 proclamations and declarations to date  are listed above.

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 18 through April 24, 2010, 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 ___ designates the week of April 19 through April 25, 2009, 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:

  • searched the internet for the Governor's web site (check the National Governors Association 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 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.

Our special Cowboy Poetry Week subject offered to "spur" the imagination is noted Western artist Bob Coronato's painting, "The Horse Wrangler Gather’d The Morning Mounts: 'One That Had’n Lived The Life ... Couldn’t Paint a Picture ...To Please The Eye, of One That Had!'," the image chosen for the 2009 Cowboy Poetry Week poster.

Read more about Art Spur here.


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.

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Media Release for Cowboy Poetry Week 2009

SAN FRANCISCOThe eighth annual Cowboy Poetry Week (April 19-25, 2009) 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 with its Rural Library Project, is held during the third week of April each year, in conjunction with National Poetry Month in the United States and Canada.

 

Twenty-one states' governors and other officials have issued Cowboy Poetry Week proclamations. Texas Governor Rick Perry has commented, "...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." Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has commented, "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..."


"The Horse Wrangler Gather'd the Morning Mounts...," a painting by notable Western artist Bob Coronato of Hulett, Wyoming, was selected as this year's Cowboy Poetry Week poster art. Bob Coronato is an invited Master Artist at 2009's 12th Annual Autry National Center Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. Posters are sent to libraries as a part of the Center's Rural Library Project.


The BAR-D Roundup, the Center’s annual compilation recording of the best in classic and current cowboy poetry is also offered to libraries. Each edition includes vintage recordings of poets reciting their own works (this year includes a recitation by Gail Gardner (1892-1988) of his famous "The Sierry Petes (or Tying Knots in the Devils Tail)") and contemporary poets reciting their works and classic poems. The 2009 CD has a fourth annual selection from "Grass," a master work by the late Buck Ramsey, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, recognized as the modern spiritual leader of the genre.
The CD includes a radio public service announcement written and delivered by top cowboy poet and philosopher Baxter Black.


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 25th year in 2009.

 

 


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


 

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