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

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The ninth annual Cowboy Poetry Week was celebrated April 18-24, 2010. In 2011, Cowboy Poetry Week—the tenth annual—is celebrated April 17-23, 2011.

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

This page lists the 2010 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!  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 2010 media release, below.

Read about poets' and others' 2010 activities below.




Web reproduction permitted for Cowboy Poetry Week promotion with the credit line included:
"'Born to This Land' © 1992, by Bill Owen, www.BillOwenCA.com; Cowboy Poetry Week 2010, www.cowboypoetry.com"
 Publications, email us for high resolution print reproduction information.


We're honored to have the work of premier Western artist Bill Owen (www.billowenca.com)—his painting "Born to This Land"featured as the offical poster for the ninth annual Cowboy Poetry Week, 2010. Read more about the art and artist below

Posters are not sold. They are offered to libraries in our Rural Library Project and to supporters of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, which sponsors CowboyPoetry.com, Cowboy Poetry Week, the Rural Library project, and all of our programs.


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


Cowboy Poetry Week News

Cowboy Poetry Week Events


News for Cowboy Poetry Week 2010

 Email us your 2010 news and reports.

Cowboy Poetry Week Events, below

See the main Cowboy Poetry Week page here.

Of special note below:

Rod Miller's essay, "A Brief Introduction to Cowboy Poetry, or..."
Cowboy Poetry Week in the Congressional Record
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's letter


 Washington state's Omak Library sent photos of their Cowboy Poetry Week display:

Posted 5/12

 Library Director Carolyn Blackwelder sent a report and photos about the Third Annual Olive Warner Memorial Library Cowboy Poetry Celebration in Hooker, Oklahoma. Read about it with gathering and event reports here.

Updated 5/11

  Francie Ganje of the Heritage of the American West Performance Series  in Spearfish, South Dakota sends the following report:

Cowboy Poetry, Song on Heritage Stage During Cowboy Poetry Week!

While the story of famed cowboy poet and National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee Georgie Sicking of Kaycee, Wyoming played on the big screen in the Founder's Hall, a steady stream of people browsed an extensive display of official documents and memorabilia, celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week.

As South Dakota's original singing cowboys—the
Heritage Cowboysand Academy of Western Artist award-winning cowboy poet Slim McNaught finished last minute sound checks before appearing to a packed house, show goers enjoyed the classic, glass framed poster from the 1987 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, with pictures of all performing poets from that year.

Vintage and heirloom quilts (some dating to the mid 1800's) and steamer trunks accompanied the "Women of the West" exhibit featuring original oil paintings by Colorado artist, Carol Cox. Turn of the century vintage clothing, antique silver tea services provided by High Plains Western Heritage Center volunteers graced tables especially prepared for the coming Mother's Day weekend. Included were first edition western books, published by early day Plains women.

Contemporary offerings represented cowboy poets and western writers from the five state region of Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota and Nebraska and proved to be a popular draw with audiences.

"We titled this show, "Cowboy Culture" and I think we pretty much covered it," observed Heritage of the American West Performance Series producer Francie Ganje, wrapping up the April 22nd performance with a smile.

It all began earlier in the week with live, on-air interviews with Editor Margo Metegrano of CowboyPoetry.com, followed by more interviews with librarians in the Black Hills region where the focus was Cowboy Poetry Week and the Center for Cowboy and Western Poetry's Rural Library Project.

In addition, several libraries hosted cowboy poetry and western writing programs and displays throughout the week. "I think it was among the more visible Cowboy Poetry Week events we've had," says Heritage show producer Francie Ganje. "People from five states were in touch with state officials, all successful in securing official mentions. That, along with local events, really kept the focus on the recognition of the importance of 'hearing' the working voices of the west."

There were also community-wide presentations such as the one in Spearfish, S. D., where well known cowboy poet Slim McNaught, New Underwood, S. D. accepted the community's city-wide Proclamation. [read more about that below]

"It was definitely a group effort," says Ganje. " I'd have to extend a special thanks to Slim and Darlene McNaught who put so much time into this Heritage performance. They along with Executive Director Peggy Ables of the High Plains Western Heritage Center really did a wonderful job of putting the pieces together. It wouldn't have been the week-long list of great
events it was, without their expertise and help."

 Artist and Heritage Center supporter Mavis Madison, cowboy poet Slim McNaught
and Executive Director of the Heritage Center, Peggy Ables.

Find our feature about the Heritage of the American West Performance Series here.

Posted 5/4

  North Carolina poet Keith Ward received a Cowboy Poetry Week letter of recognition from North Carolina Governor Beverley Eaves Perdue.

The Governor writes, in part, "Cowboy poetry celebrates our country's heritage and the pioneering spirit that built our great nation. It represents the rich rural life of many diverse cultures and celebrates the stories that came from life on the frontier. Cowboy Poetry, like all verse, pierces the soul and leaves a lasting emotional impression."

See the letter here.

Posted 5/4

    Idaho poet Bobbie Hunter received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Idaho Governor Butch Otter.

See the proclamation here.

Posted 5/4


     Popular duo Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (www.nevadaslim.com) plan and take part in Cowboy Poetry Week activities in and around Prescott, Washington. They have laid the groundwork for several library programs. Sue (Susan Matley) sent a report on to of their activities:

Cowboy Poetry Week in Prescott, Washington! What, you’ve never heard of Prescott, Washington? We’re just north of Walla Walla, just east of the Tri Cities, just west of Lewiston, Idaho. The scenery around here today is wheat, wheat and more wheat, but Prescott was first settled as cattle country in the late 1850s due to the abundance of bunch grass. Just a few miles north the rolling hills grow craggy and our neighbors in nearby Starbuck are serious cattle ranchers.

This is Prescott’s third year of Cowboy Poetry Week celebration, and Bruce and I (aka Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue) were honored by an invitation of Prescott School District Superintendent Dr. Carolyn Marsh to perform at an assembly for the entire K-through-12 student body. Students and staff packed the gymnasium bleachers for a forty-minute presentation of classic cowboy poetry (set to music) and a discussion of its origins. Bruce’s rendition of the "Bad Brahma Bull" was especially appreciated by the students, many of whom have attended the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days rodeo. The third grade class (all 19 of them) stood in line to shake our hands afterwards; they were especially excited about the program as they’d studied the Great Trail Drives earlier this year, including some age-appropriate cowboy vocabulary.

That evening the Prescott Library and Prescott Friends of the Library sponsored a cowboy poetry event for the general public. According to Prescott Library Manager Josh Westbrook, “Our annual cowboy poetry event continues to be a great community draw and attendance increased again this year. Cimarron Sue and Nevada Slim, Jessica Hedges, and Robin Dale entertained a crowd of forty people at our event. We're aiming for fifty next year!” Not bad for a town of three hundred!

Bruce and I opened with musical renditions of Gail Gardner’s “The Sierry Petes (or Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail)” and “Border Affair” by Charles Badger Clark. Next up was Nevada-born poet Jessica Hedges (now from Coulee City, Washington). She debuted a new poem “Cowgirl Craze” and explored the hardships of being a ranch wife with “Listening For His Cinch Bell.”  “Red Ridin’” Robin Dale charmed the audience with her renditions of songs made popular by Patsy Montana. Robin has one heck of a yodel and taught the audience “how to” in a sing-along.

Librarian Josh Westbrook announced the winners of the Prescott Library cowboy poetry contest:

Sonya Crispin (4th Grade) "Klyde"
          Samantha Delgado (10th Grade)"Cowboy"

Both girls were invited to read their poems. 

The program then opened up for participation from the audience. Friends of the Library officer Patsy Adams shared a poem from Prescott’s historic past. Doctor Ernest E. Hardy was Prescott’s community doctor for 36 years, starting in 1924. He also operated the drug store and penned poems for friends on special occasions. Ms. Adams read a poem Dr. Hardy had written for her father in 1949, as a thank you for taking him to the Pacific International Livestock Show in Portland, Oregon.

Local author Martin McCaw had the audience in stitches with his tale "The Equinophobic Bronc Rider" featuring the exploits of hero Burly Bold (who was neither). Martin could certainly hold his own in a “tall tales” contest in both content and delivery, and I hope he’ll be a permanent fixture at future gatherings. He recently joined the Western Music Association, and along with Bruce, Robin, Jessica and me is a member of the newly formed Columbia Chapter (Washington, Oregon and British Columbia).  

We closed the program with a community sing. Thanks to the Friends of the Library, plenty of homemade cookies were available as friends and neighbors visited after the show. We’re already laying plans for the 2011 celebration, and I hope to work with librarian Josh Westbrook on organizing some interim events to keep cowboy poetry in the public’s mind.

 Posted 4/29

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

See the proclamation here.

Posted 4/26

  Missouri poet Glen Enloe was the winner of a cowboy poetry contest in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week from A.J.'s Western Wear.

Glen's poem, "The Waxed Jacket Man," was selected. Glen wrote the poem originally for the 2008 Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur, which featured William Matthews' painting, "Waxed Jacket."

Read more about Glen and some of his poetry here.

Read all about the contest results here on the site's blog.

Posted 4/24

  Poet and teacher Jo Lynne Kirkwood reports that she has received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert.

We'll post the proclamation when it is received.

Posted 4/24

  "Toe Tappin' Tommy Tucker's Western Heritage Show celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week on the April 23 show with poetry and interviews and selections from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five.

In the studio, Smoke Wade and Orville Sears recited poetry and "The Confession" by Pat Richardson and "The Fence Me and Shorty Built" by Red Steagall were aired from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five. Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue (www.nevadaslim.com)—who have performed in and  organized many Cowboy Poetry Week activitiescalled in, and there was a phone interview with Margo Metegrano, CowboyPoetry.com editor.

The Western Heritage Show broadcasts every Friday from 10:00 to noon on KRLC in Lewiston, Idaho.

Find our feature about The Western Heritage Show here.

Posted 4/24

  Totsie Slover's The Real West from the Old West radio show from Deming, New Mexico, celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week on the April 21 show with selections from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five.

The tracks played include Waddie Mitchell's "No Second Chance," Linda Kirkpatrick's recitation of Bruce Kiskaddon's "Creak of the Leather"; Randy Rieman's recitation of Badger Clark's "The Married Man"; Susan Parker's recitation of S. Omar Barker's "Ranch Mother"; Diane Tribitt's "Headin' Out"; and Jay Snider's "A Rainy Day Prayer."

The Real West from the Old West show plays cowboy and Western music and poetry. It airs live on the radio and on the internet each Wednesday morning from 10:00 AM until noon (Mountain) on KOTS/1230AM and each show is available for a week on the internet, on demand.

Read more about The Real West from the Old West in our feature here.

[photograph by Lori Faith Merritt, www.photographybyfaith.com]

Posted 4/23

 The special 3-hour Cowboy Poetry Week edition of Joe Baker's Backforty Bunkhouse show on April 18and available on demand at the Backforty Bunkhouse web siteincludes many tracks from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five.

The tracks include Harry Jackson delivering "Some Cowboy Brag Talk"; Jerry Brooks' recitation of Badger Clark's "The Legend of Boastful Bill"; Joel Nelson's "Awakenings"; Larry McWhorter's "Waitin' on the Drive"; Red Steagall's "The Fence That Me and Shorty Built"; Linda Kirkpatrick's recitation of Bruce Kiskaddon's "Creak of the Leather"; Randy Rieman's recitation of Badger Clark's "The Married Man"; Susan Parker's recitation of S. Omar Barker's "Ranch Mother"; Dee Strickland Johnson (Buckshot Dot)'s "Tomboy"; Georgie Sicking's "Be Yourself"; Diane Tribitt's "Headin' Out"; Rodney Nelson's "Good Clean Fun"; Yvonne Hollenbeck's "The Ranch Rig"; Andy Nelson's "My Shoeing Rig"; Rex Rideout's recitation of the traditional "When Bob Got Throwed"; Badger Clark's vintage recording of "A Cowboy's Prayer"; DW Groethe's "The Night Ol' Flukie Foundered"; and a selection from Buck Ramsey's book-length poem, Grass. The April 25 show will include additional track selections from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five

Each year Joe Baker donates his resources to send The BAR-D Roundup to hundreds of Western radio stations. He recorded the 2010 Cowboy Poetry Week Public Service Announcement, which you can listen to here.

Joe Baker's Backforty Bunkhouse radio show airs live every Saturday morning from 6am to 10am on two 100,000 watt stations covering New Mexico and West Texas: "New Mexico's Bear" KNMB 96.7FM and "W-105" KWMW, 105.1FM and shows are also archived for listening on demand at the Backforty Bunkhouse web site.

See our feature about Joe Baker's Backforty Bunkhouse here.

Posted 4/22

  New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has proclaimed April 23-24, 2010 "Cowboy Poetry Days" in recognizing the Third Annual Tyrone Cowboy Poetry and Music Gatheringwhich is celebrating Cowboy Poetry Weekin Tyrone, New Mexico, April 23-24.

See the proclamation here.

Find more about the gathering including the performers and schedule at www.tyronecowboygathering.com.

Posted 4/22

  The April 17, 2010 show marking Cowboy Poetry Week on the weekly Cowboy Culture Corner radio show with hosts Dallas and PJ McCord includes Jane Morton's "The Cows Came First" and  Rodney Nelson's "Cowboy Laundry" from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Four; and Joel Nelson's "Awakenings" and Yvonne Hollenbeck's "The Ranch Rig" from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five.

The Cowboy Culture Corner plays Western and cowboy music, cowboy poetry, and some bluegrass gospel.  The show airs Sundays from 1 PM to 4 PM. (Pacific) on KNND 1400AM in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Dallas McCord was named a 2007 DJ of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.

Read more about the Cowboy Culture Corner in our feature here.

Posted 4/22

  Shelly Pagliai recognizes Cowboy Poetry Week at her Prairie Moon Quilts site.

Shelly, who ranches with her husband in Missouri, often features cowboy poets in her various quilt publications.

Posted 4/22

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

North Dakota rancher, writer, and poet Rodney Nelson was featured on Monday, April 19 with his poem "Good Clean Fun," which is on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five. On Wednesday, April 21, Montana ranch hand, poet, and songwriter DW Groethe was featured and recited his poem, "The Star Cavvy," which is on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Four.

Al Gustin also assists North Dakota's Morton Mandan Library with their annual Cowboy Poetry Week display.

His Cowboy Poetry Week broadcasts in previous years have featured DW Groethe, Rodney Nelson, Elizabeth Ebert, Ken Overcast, and others.

Read more about Al Gustin here at KFYR.

Updated 4/22

  The award-winning Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio show with Andy Nelson and Jim Nelson celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on the show running this week in syndication, April 19-25. The show will be available on demand on the web starting April 26, 2010.

All of the songs featured on the show are collaborations by poets and songwriters, and all of the poems (except one vintage recitation of Curley Fletcher's "The Strawberry Roan") are from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five. Poems on the special Cowboy Poetry Week show include Yvonne Hollenbeck's "The Ranch Rig," DW Groethe's "The Night Ol' Flukie Foundered," Pat Richardson's "The Confession," and Jim Thompson's recitation of S. Omar Barker's "He'll Do."

There are songs from poet/songwriter teams including Diane Tribitt's poem set to music by Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave, "The Old Waxed Jacket"; Doris Daley's poem set to music by Jean Prescott, "All My Trails"; Paul Zarzyski's poem set to music by Tom Russell, "All This Way for the Short Ride"; and Curly Syndegaard's poem set to music by STAMPEDE! (Steve and Terri Taylor), "Where the Wild Horses Run."

Clear Our West is broadcast weekly throughout the West from Pinedale, Wyoming, bringing "News and Entertainment of the Cowboy Culture" to a wide audience.  Andy and Jim, the "C.O.W. boys"—known widely for the wild humor they bring to cowboy poetry gatherings and their rodeo and sports announcing. They feature western music, cowboy poetry, and more on their popular show.

See our feature about Clear Out West here. The show is broadcast to many radio stations and past shows are available for listening on demand from the Clear Out West web site  

Find other radio shows celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week below.

Posted 4/21

    A Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Spearfish, South Dakota Mayor Jerry Krambeck was accepted by South Dakota poet Slim McNaught on April 5, 2010.

The proclamation states, in part: "...the Black Hills cattlemen pioneered the range cattle industry in Dakota Territory....do hereby proclaim April 18-24 Cowboy Poetry Week in Spearfish, South Dakota in support of United States Senate Resolution 108 and the Proclamation as set forth by the Governor and the State of South Dakota, and in recognition of the cowboy legacy that has roots in the community of Spearfish, South Dakota..."

See the proclamation here.

photo courtesy of the
Lawrence County Journal, Deadwood, by Tim Velder via Francie Ganje
Slim McNaught receiving the proclamation from
Spearfish City Councilman Tom Quinn on behalf of Mayor Jerry Krambeck

See an article here in the Black Hills Pioneer about the presentation of the proclamation.

Slim McNaught has been active in organizing Cowboy Poetry Week activities and in helping to obtain governors' proclamations from a five-state area. The proclamations from Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming will be displayed at the High Plains Western Heritage Center in Spearfish, South Dakota on April 22, 2010, when the Heritage of the American West show takes place there that evening. Find more information about the show below.

Posted 4/21

Donna and Marty Blocker received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman.

The proclamation states, in part, "...throughout the history of the state, cowboy and pioneer poets have played a large part in preserving western heritage and the culture of Nebraska through oral and written poetry..."

See the proclamation here.

[photo of Marty Blocker from a photo here by Shelia Keler]

Posted 4/20

  Cowtrails radio celebrated a kickoff to Cowboy Poetry Week on the April 18, 2010 program with a great selection of cowboy poetry. Western Music Association DJ of the Year, host Barbara Richhart ("Barb the Western Belle") shared the playlist:

"The Sounds a Cowboy Hears," by Waddie Mitchell
"The Fence Me and Shorty Built: by
Red Steagall  (from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five)
"Heading Out" by
Diane Tribitt 
(from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five)
"Border Collie Soliloquy" by
Baxter Black
"My Shoeing Rig" by
Andy Nelson
 (from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five)
"I Rode Through The Valley" by
Jay Snider
"Tomboy" by
Dee Strickland Johnson (
"Buckshot Dot")
 (from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five)
"Be Yourself" by
Georgie Sicking
(from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five)
"Ranch Mother" (S. Omar Barker) recited by
Susan Parker
(from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five)
"Creak of The Leather" (Bruce Kiskaddon) recited by
Linda Kirkpatrick
(from The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five)
"Words of A Poet" by
Les Buffham

This show will air again on for a week (six airings) on Heartland Public Radio /The Western Music Channel, starting April 25, 2010.

The weekly CowTrails show airs on KSJD radio from Cortez, Colorado, each Sunday, noon-2:00 PM, Mountain. The show, inaugurated in 2002, is streamed live at www.ksjd.org. Shows are re-broadcast each week on Heartland Public Radio /The Western Music Channel.

Find our feature about Cowtrails here.

Posted 4/20

  Ralph's Back Porch radio broadcast special Cowboy Poetry Week call-in shows Monday, April 19 and Wednesday April 21.

Co-host Ralph Hampton provided a listed of participants on the April 19 show: Ken Cook, Jim Cathey, Diane Tribitt, Paul Kern, Linda Kirkpatrick, Clark Crouch, Jane Morton, Dick Morton, Susie Knight, Geff Dawson, Buck Helton, Mag Mawhinney, Bud Edgar, Teresa Burleson, Casey Wood, Dave King, Billy Eli, Smoke Wade, Paul Harris, Van Criddle, Buz Wilson, Sharon Brown, Miss Judy, and Jessica Hedges.

The April 21 show included poetry from Casey Wood, C.R. Wood, Clark Crouch, Slim McNaught, Dan Hall, Jim Laurent, Clif Freligh, Tom Nichols, Evelyn Roper, Stephen Harrington, Smoke Wade, Tony Vice, Cade Scahlla, and Doris Daley.

The show's regular broadcasts take place each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 7-9 PM (Central). The 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.

Updated 4/22

  Poet and writer Rod Miller has a rich and far-reaching essay that offers cowboy poetry history and commentary on contemporary cowboy poets and their poetry, "A Brief Introduction to Cowboy Poetry, or, Who's the Guy in the Big Hat and What is He Talking About?" We're pleased to add this excellent essay during Cowboy Poetry Week.

The essay first appeared in the Winter, 2009 issue of the widely-read poetry journal, RATTLE, in a "Tribute to Cowboy & Western Poetry" that "celebrates the poetry of the Western range." The essay is also available here at the RATTLE web site.

Rod Miller has contributed eight other essays to the BAR-D: "Whipping Up a Poem," "The Rhythm Method"; "Five Ways Cowboy Poetry Fades in the Footlights," "Free Range and Barbwire," "Have You Heard the One About ..."; "Does Slant Rhyme with Can't?"; "Are You All Talk and No Trochaic Tetrameter?"; "You Call THAT a Poem?"; and "Fine Lines and Wrinkles." 

Rod teaches poetry workshops, and more than ninety of his poems have appeared in print since he penned his first in 1997. He is one of American Cowboy magazine's most-published poets. Founding Editor Jesse Mullins first published Rod's poetry in the mid-90s, and more than a dozen of his poems have been published in the magazine to date, along with several feature articles.

Rod Miller is also one of Western Horseman's most frequently-published poets, and editor A. J. Mangum wrote a full-page profile of Rod Miller in the March, 2004 issue, saying in part, "Miller is a cowboy poet with a real handle on his craft...His sense of humor, knack for crafting great sentences and flair for description have made his work some of the best cowboy poetry we've published." Range magazine has also featured his poetry on several occasions.

In addition to poetry, Rod has had essays, articles, and short stories published, a successful novel, and two books of nonfiction. He is a member of Western Writers of America.

See our separate feature about Rod Miller here, which includes some of his poetry and more about his publications.

Read "A Brief Introduction to Cowboy Poetry, or, Who's the Guy in the Big Hat and What is He Talking About?" here.

Posted 4/19

  April 21, 2010
Cowboy Poetry at the Powell Library  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week  Powell, Wyoming

The Powell Branch Library will be hosting a “Cowboy Poetry Evening” on Wednesday, April 21 at 6:00. Several cowboy poets will be reading their work and there will be refreshments. The program is free and open to everyone.

Posted 4/19

      The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry received a letter of recognition for Cowboy Poetry Week from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Find previous California proclamations here.

Posted 4/18

  South Dakota award-winning radio and rodeo broadcaster Jim Thompson's radio program, Live! with Jim Thompson! celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week almost every day during the week with poetry and more.

On Friday, April 16, 2010 stand-in host Francie Ganje of the Heritage of the American West performance series talked with CowboyPoetry.com editor Margo Metegrano about the Rural Library Project and Cowboy Poetry Week. You can find an archive of the show here.

Poets scheduled to appear during Cowboy Poetry Week include the show's "poet lariat" Slim McNaught and Andy Nelson.

Live! with Jim Thompson, airs every weekday at 1:00 PM (MT) on over 50 radio stations and live on the web. Read more in our feature here and visit www.livewithjt.com.

Jim Thompson recites S. Omar Barker's "He'll Do!" on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 5.

Find other radio shows celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week below.

Updated 4/18

     Radio broadcaster Jarle Kvale of KEYA Public Radio received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from North Dakota Governor John Hoeven.

The proclamation states, in part, "...North Dakotans are encouraged to recognize the important role cowboy poetry plays in preserving our state's rich heritage, while promoting the proud traditions and values of our citizens..."

See the proclamation here:

Posted 4/16

A.J.'s Western Wear is holding a cowboy poetry contest in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week. Entries are welcome through Wednesday, 4/21/10, at 9:00 P.M.

Read all about it here on the site's blog.

Posted 4/16

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

The Governor proclaimed "Cowboy Poetry and Songs Week" and his proclamation states, in part:  "....the long tradition and endearing qualities of these old stories, songs, and poems demonstrate that cowboy poetry is a cherished Oklahoma tradition..."

See the proclamation here.

Posted 4/15

  April 21, 2010
Third Annual Cowboy Poetry Contest and Event at the Touchet Community Library Touchet, Washington
~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Carlotta Richardson:

We will be starting the evening off at 5:00 with a chili and cornbread feed.

Then at 5:30 the entertainment begins with "Ridin' Red" Robin Dale who will be singing and picking and a grinning. Next will be the Touchet School's fourth grade class poetry recital. Winners will be announced at that time.

Next will be Jessica Hedges, who is from Coulee City, WA. She was just winner of "Best Performance/People's Choice Award at the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering. She has also been nominated for "CD of the Year" and "Female Poet of the Year" awards from the Academy of Western Artists.

Around 6:45 we will have the City Clicker Cloggers. Then 7:00 is open mic. We usually have a couple of Columbia River Cowboys step up for that. At 7:15 we will have Steppin' Country Line Dancers perform the finale.

Yee Haw! Come on over for a boot kickin' good time!

Posted 4/15

  April 17, 2010
Third Annual Olive Warner Memorial Library Cowboy Poetry Celebration  Hooker, Oklahoma ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

The Olive Warner Memorial Library in Hooker, Oklahoma, sent information about theirr Third Annual Cowboy Poetry Celebration:

Saturday, April 17 at 2:00 pm Janet Eggleston will read from her latest book, Brands, Buckles, and Bootstraps.

We have a cowboy poetry contest open to adults down to 4th grade with prizes donated by our local Tractor Supply Store. Winners will be chosen by local cowboys and winners will be announced that day. One library patron has also donated his copy of The Western, the Greatest Cattle to be given additionally to the adult winner.

Everyone is invited to attend the local Chili Cook-off at 11:00 am, then our cowboy poetry at 2:00 followed by Basement Book Sale at 3:30 to 5:00. The weekend is rounded out with a two-day team penning event featuring our local prize-winning penners: Pickard Arena opens Sat at 7 AM for the Ranch Sorting National Championships. See you all there!

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.

Posted 4/14

  We're pleased to announce the release of The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five (2010) CD, our fifth compilation of vintage and contemporary recordings of some of the  best cowboy poetry. A wide range of voices present tales that express this venerable art form, words that uncover "the heartbeat of the working West."

The BAR-D Roundup CDs are sent to rural libraries as a part of Cowboy Poetry Week's Rural Library Project. They are also a premium for supporters of CowboyPoetry.com and the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, and are offered for sale.

This fifth annual edition of The BAR-D Roundup includes a vintage recording of Charles Badger Clark, Jr. (1883-1957) introducing and reciting his still-popular poem, "The Cowboy's Prayer," and contemporary poets reciting their work, including "Awakenings" by rancher, horseman, and National Endowment of the Arts Fellow Joel Nelson; "The Fence That Me and Shorty Built" by songwriter, poet, entertainer and past Texas Poet Laureate Red Steagall; and "No Second Chance" by top cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell.

Also included are "Waitin' on the Drive" by the late Larry McWhorter (1957-2003), and "Some Cowboy Brag Talk" by the legendary Harry Jackson.

Classic selections include a focus on Charles Badger Clark, Jr. with recitations by Randy Rieman ("The Married Man"), Jerry Brooks ("The Legend of Boastful Bill"), and Hal Swift ("Jeff Hart"). Other classic offerings include Linda Kirkpatrick's rendition of "The Creak of the Leather" by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950); S. Omar Barker (1895-1985) poems recited by Susan Parker ("Ranch Mother") and Jim Thompson ("He'll Do"); and Rex Rideout's recitation of the anonymous "When Bob Got Throwed."

The CD has a fifth annual selection from Grass, the master work by the late Buck Ramsey (1938-1998), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, recognized as the spiritual leader of modern cowboy poetry.

There are many additional tracks of contemporary poems, most from poets who frequently please audiences from contemporary gathering stages, including: Marty Blocker, Ken Cook, Doris Daley, Janice Gilbertson, DW Groethe, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Chris Isaacs, Dee Strickland Johnson ("Buckshot Dot"), Andy Nelson, Rodney Nelson, Pat Richardson, Georgie Sicking, Jay Snider, and Diane Tribitt.

Every year's CD includes a radio public service announcement about the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry. This year, it is delivered by popular radio DJ Joe Baker of New Mexico's Backforty Bunkhouse.

The BAR-D Roundup cover images are vintage photos of poets or their forebears. This year's cover features a circa 1940 image of Georgie Sicking, cowboy, poet, and Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee. Inside each year's CD, a contemporary ranch family photo is featured. For 2010, there's a photo of cowboys, family, and friends at poet and writer Diane Tribitt's Minnesota ranch.

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

The BAR-D Roundup enjoys wide radio airplay, thanks to the pro bono distribution to hundreds of Western radio stations by 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 engineer and co-producer.

Find complete information here, along with a narrative description of the CD's contents, with poem excerpts.

Posted 4/14

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

On Tuesday, March 30, Governor Sonny Perdue signed the Cowboy Poetry Week Proclamation. Joining him for the occasion were: (left to right) Gene Choate, President of Bankers Fidelity and Sponsor of the Georgia Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest; Adairsville High School teacher Kim Knight; Governor Perdue; and Georgia’s Official Cowboy Balladeer Doc Stovall.

The proclamation states, in part, "....cowboy and pioneer poets have played a large part in preserving western heritage...Georgia has produced respected cowboy poets and hosts popular cowboy poetry gatherings..."

See the proclamation here.

Each year, the Booth Western Art Museum conducts the Georgia Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest in conjunction with the Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering. From the museum's media release:

“The Georgia Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest has grown significantly from its humble beginnings in 2004 when two schools in Bartow County participated and 51 poems were submitted,” said Booth Museum Director of Education Lisa Wheeler. “This year, students from 14 Georgia counties participated, and workshops were presented to 2,218 students. We could not be more thrilled at the success this contest has seen over the years, and that we are able to continue teaching students about cowboy poetry—something that helps to enrich their writing skills and oral presentation.”

The top ten finalists in each age group compete for cash prizes at the Museum during the Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering in March. Here are the 2010 grades 7 and 8 winners with contest sponsor Gene Choate, President of Bankers Fidelity; each finalist also receives the Cowboy Poetry Week poster:

Read more about the Georgia Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest at the Booth Museum site and here in our feature about the Georgia gatherings.

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

Posted 4/13

    April 24, 2010
Cowboy Poets of Utah Annual Heritage Dinner  Payson, Utah  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

 The Cowboy Poets of Utah hold their annual Heritage Dinner, in celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week, on April 24, 2010.

From Jo Lynne Kirkwood:

Each year on the Saturday of Cowboy Poetry Week, Cowboy Poets of Utah hold a dinner to commemorate our heritage and to honor one significant person whose life portrays the ideals of western culture and cowboy poetry. [The honoree is announced at the dinner.]

This year's heritage dinner will be held at Mi Rancharito, in Payson, at 85 E. Utah Ave., which is right in the heart of downtown. The restaurant is reserved from noon on, and we plan to eat at about 1:00 PM.

Jo Kirkwood, jolynne.kirkwood@sevier.k12.ut.us; www.cowboypoetsofutah.org

Updated 4/13

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

The proclamation states, in part: "...cowboy poets have played a large part in preserving western heritage and the culture of Wyoming through oral and written poetry...cowboy poetry is a cherished Wyoming tradition..."

See the proclamation here.

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

Posted 4/8

  The Cowboy Poets of Utah (www.cowboypoetsofutah.com) timed the release of their new CD, Symposium 2010, for Cowboy Poetry Week.

Music and cowboy poetry selections include artists Ken Stevens, C.R. Wood, Fred Engel, Sam DeLeeuw, Doug Brewer, Jan Erickson, Paul Bliss, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Marion Manwill, Kenny Hall, Paul Kern, LaVerna B. Johnson, Brian Arnold, Don Korth, Marleen Bussma, Stan Tixier, Casey Woods, Coyotee Moon, Jeff Coates, Laurie Tye, and Curly Syndergaard.

Read more about the CD in our news here and at the Cowboy Poets of Utah web site and on their Facebook pages.

The Cowboy Poets of Utah will hold their annual Heritage Dinner during Cowboy Poetry Week, on April 24, 2010.  

Posted 4/8

Joe Baker's Backforty Roundup is a periodic compilation of music and cowboy poetry, sent to over 170 Western radio stations and publications.  

Volume 44 includes music and the Public Service Announcement that Joe Baker recorded for the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, included on The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 5.

Each year, Joe Baker sends to The BAR-D Roundup to his network of Western radio stations and publications.

Read more about Joe Baker's Backforty Roundup in our feature here and visit the Backforty Bunkhouse web site for more.

 The newest edition (Volume 44) of Joe Baker's Backforty Roundup displays the cover the forthcoming The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 5 from CowboyPoetry.com.

Posted 4/8


  April 22, 2010
Heritage of the American West Performance Series  Spearfish, South Dakota  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week