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The home of the world famous Elko, Nevada National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center's mission is "to enhance the vitality of American life through the experience, understanding, and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West."

Visit the Western Folklife Center web site for information about the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and other Western Folklife Center programs and events,  membership information, and to participate in their on-line activities.

With special thanks to Archivist Steve Green of Western Folklife Center, in a feature celebrating the 20th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, we have program information that includes program covers, information and lists of invited performers for each year's Gathering.  

Other features in that section include:

  • recollections from the performers and from the audience about their "first time" at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
  • poems celebrating the Gathering

We also maintain an index of all of the invited performers to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, since its inception in 1985.  







  From the The Western Folklife Center (home of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering), January, 2006:

Visit the Western Folklife Center’s new website and experience the rich diversity of the American West through its people and their traditional expressive art forms. Our new site showcases the traditional culture of the West and invites you to participate by exploring, listening, watching, learning and connecting.

The site features stories, music, poetry, gear, photography, film – all by and about the West and its people. You can listen to the Western Folklife Center’s radio programs and watch short videos made by rural westerners. The Back at the Ranch online exhibit showcases the work of contemporary gearmakers, cowboy poets and musicians through online audio and video, and features work by some of the West’s most celebrated photographers.

Deep West, our virtual community, features online journals by western writers and photographers, and story forums where you can participate in conversations on topics of importance to the rural West. And, as always, you will find lots of information about the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Some of the special features on the site are:

Online Exhibit: Back at the Ranch: An Artful Life

In our first online exhibit, we showcase the arts of the contemporary ranching community in the West. Learn about master craftsmen and craftswomen and their work, watch films made by rural and ranch people, read their stories, and listen to their poetry and music. Come explore Back at the Ranch and learn a bit about these art forms as they are practiced today.

Deep West
Radio and Video

Now you can listen to Western Folklife Center radio programs directly on our website. The entire What’s in a Song series is available as are several of our Deep West Radio programs, including the recent Sagebrush to Steppe feature about our Mongolian Cultural Exchange. And, you can watch short films produced by rural people across the West. We are in our sixth year of helping people produce these videos and their screenings are always a favorite at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Deep West

Online Journals ~ Enter the Deep West through the section called Connect to find the online journals of artists sharing their writing, photography, visual art and film. You are invited to respond to the work posted by these artists – you can share your impressions or tell your own stories. For the next several months you will find the work of photographer Linda Dufurrena and writer Carolyn Dufurrena, writer John Dofflemyer and photographer Robbin Dofflemyer, and saddlemaker Jeremiah Watt.

Story Forums ~ Our story forums are like a virtual living room -- places to go for conversations on topics related to traditional western culture. The forums offer several different threads related to our work here at the Western Folklife Center, so take your pick. At any given time there may be a lively discussion of foodways, gearmaking, poetry, the sheep ranching occupation, radio programs and more.

The new Western Folklife Center website is intended to be a tool to bridge the miles of dirt roads, highways and interstates that separate us during most of the year. We hope it will help build connections by giving you a way to experience our programs and an avenue for you to share those experiences with us, with our artists and with each other. If you need help learning how to use the site, particularly the journals and forums in the Deep West Community, please call us or e-mail us– we are ready to help you. Contact Darcy Minter at dminter@westernfolklife.org or 775-738-7508 ext. 233.

Please visit our site at www.westernfolklife.org, tell us what you think in our online survey, and enter the drawing for a special William Matthews print.





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