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This is an interim blog for CowboyPoetry.com, maintained while a new site is being built. All of the old site remains available at CowboyPoetry.com. This blog includes news, events, poetry, and more.

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This photo, taken in Dodson, Montana, is by Stan Howe, Montana singer, songwriter, musician, storyteller, writer, radio host, auctioneer, and fiddle expert.

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See all of the generous supporters to the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry and find how to be a part of it all here.

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WHERE THE PONIES COME TO DRINK, by Henry Herbert Knibbs (1874-1945)

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© 2016, John Michael Reedy

 

WHERE THE PONIES COME TO DRINK
by Henry Herbert Knibbs (1874-1945)

Up in Northern Arizona
there’s a Ranger-trail that passes
Through a mesa, like a faëry lake
with pines upon its brink,
And across the trail a stream runs
all but hidden in the grasses,
Till it finds an emerald hollow
where the ponies come to drink.

Out they fling across the mesa,
wind-blown manes and forelocks dancing,
Blacks and sorrels, bays and pintos,
wild as eagles, eyes agleam;
From their hoofs the silver flashes,
burning beads and arrows glancing
Through the bunch-grass and the gramma
as they cross the little stream.

Down they swing as if pretending,
in their orderly disorder,
That they stopped to hold a pow-wow,
just to rally for the charge
That will take them, close to sunset,
twenty miles across the border;
Then the leader sniffs and drinks
with fore feet planted on the marge.

One by one each head is lowered,
till some yearling nips another,
And the playful interruption
starts an eddy in the band:
Snorting, squealing, plunging, wheeling,
round they circle in a smother
Of the muddy spray, nor pause
until they find the firmer land.

My old cow-horse he runs with ’em:
turned him loose for good last season;
Eighteen years; hard work, his record,
and he’s earned his little rest;
And he’s taking it by playing,
acting proud, and with good reason;
Though he’s starched a little forward,
he can fan it with the best.

Once I called him—almost caught him,
when he heard my spur-chains jingle;
Then he eyed me some reproachful,
as if making up his mind:
Seemed to say, “Well, if I have to—
but you know I’m living single…”
So I laughed.
In just a minute he was pretty hard to find.

Some folks wouldn’t understand it,—
writing lines about a pony,—
For a cow-horse is a cow-horse,—
nothing else, most people think,—
But for eighteen years your partner,
wise and faithful, such a crony
Seems worth watching for, a spell,
down where the ponies come to drink.

…by Henry Herbert Knibbs, from Songs of the Outlands, 1914

Here’s another outstanding classic poem for Cowboy Poetry Week.

Knibbs never worked as a cowboy, but he was a student of the West and his friendships, including one with cowboy, rancher, and writer Eugene Manlove Rhodes, informed his work. His poems are still often recited today, including this one and “Boomer Johnson,” “The Walking Man,” “Shallows of the Ford,” “So Long, Chinook!,” and others.

View poet and rancher Vess Quinlan reciting the poem here at the Western Folklife Center’s 2012 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. He introduces the poem saying that “I think Mr. Knibbs wrote this poem for anybody that’s ever been owned by a horse.”

Find more about Knibbs and more of his poetry at CowboyPoetry.com.

This beautiful photograph is by Montana photographer, songwriter, musician, and poet John Michael Reedy.

John Reedy has another claim to fame: he and Heather Reedy are the parents of the talented Brigid and Johnny Reedy, popular performers on gathering stages. Their recent CD, Handmade, showcases their impressive talents with poetry, original musical compositions, and traditional tunes. Find more about the CD at brigidreedy.com.

Brigid and Johnny Reedy also appear on the just-released MASTERS: VOLUME TWO, the poems of S. Omar Barker from CowboyPoetry.com.

See more impressive photography at John Reedy’s site and find more about him at CowboyPoetry.com and at his site, www.twistedcowboy.com.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this photograph with this poem, but for other uses, request permission. The poem is in the public domain.)

Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21, 2018

CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3Image:  “Out to Pasture” © 2017, Clara Smith, clarasmithart.com

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Below:
About Cowboy Poetry Week
Get Involved
Rural Library Program
MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD
Poster by Clara Smith 

Elsewhere on the blog:
Cowboy Poetry Week News
Clara Smith, 2018 poster artist  
Cowboy Poetry Week 2018 Art Spur   

MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD  

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COWBOY POETRY
by Jane Morton

The round-ups, the brandings,
the calvings are done,
as ranchers sell out
and move on one by one.

We must tell the stories,
so memories live on,
past time when the tellers
themselves are long gone.

© 2004, Jane Morton

Cowboy Poetry Week is celebrated each year during April, National Poetry Month in the United States.

In 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week—the seventeenth annual—takes place April 15-21, 2018.

In 2018 it is made possible by generous support from Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield and the individuals and organizations who support the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.

CowboyPoetry.com initiated Cowboy Poetry Week, and for the celebration’s second year, in April 2003, the United States Senate passed a resolution, with unanimous approval, recognizing our Cowboy Poetry Week celebration. Twenty-three states’ governors and other officials have recognized Cowboy Poetry Week since, and many activities take place in communities across the West and beyond.

See the 2018 events—to date—on the calendar here.


GET INVOLVED!

Get your schools, libraries, and community involved! Perform your poetry, donate a book or CD, share your knowledge.

Find ideas about how to get involved here.


THE RURAL LIBRARY PROGRAM

The Rural Library Program is an important Cowboy Poetry Week outreach activity, a part of our mission to serve a mostly under-served community of rural Westerners. Each year, a new compilation CD of top classic and contemporary cowboy poetry is offered, along with Cowboy Poetry Week posters, to many rural libraries across the West. The CD is also available for purchase.


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THE MASTERS: VOLUME TWO CD

For 2018, the CD is MASTERS: VOLUME TWO a  double-CD collection of over 60 poems by S. Omar Barker, presented by contemporary poets and reciters and introduced by Andy Hedges.

Find the track list, order information and more news here.

CDs are sent to libraries in Cowboy Poetry Week’s associated Rural Library Program, given to supporters (at the $40 level and higher) as thank you gifts, and available to the public.

Find information about all of the previous CDs, including the first MASTERS CD and The BAR-D Roundup series.

 

CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3Image:  “Out to Pasture” © 2017, Clara Smith, clarasmithart.com

THE 2018 POSTER

Young artist Clara Smith‘s painting, “Out to Pasture,” is selected as the 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week poster image and a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur.

Clara Smith’s aunt, the late Joelle Smith, was the first Cowboy Poety Week print poster artist, in 2006.

Clara Smith comments on “Out to Pasture”:

This piece was inspired by a number of photos taken by my Aunt Joelle of our mares in our field at home. The scene captures one of my favorite moments in time of our horses out on a fall evening.

From her official bio:

Clara

Clara is a Western Artist and Graphic Designer from Bend, Oregon. Ever since she was little, Clara was drawing horses and creating. Her love for Western art and culture was heavily influenced by her late aunt, Western artist Joelle Smith, who taught her how to draw and ride horses. Similar to Joelle’s work, Clara strives to illustrate real Western life through her work, documenting culture and traditions of the American cowboy. The authenticity of her work is very apparent as the subjects are all real people, real horses, set in real places. Currently attending Oregon State University, Clara is working towards a degree in Graphic Design. Her design work combines her artistic ability, often incorporating hand drawn illustrations with digital applications, creating a balance between multiple design mediums.

Find more about Clara Smith in our feature here; at her site,  ClaraSmithArt.com; and on Facebook. A

Previous poster artists include Tyler Crow, Duward Campbell, Shawn Cameron, Bob Coronato, Tim Cox, Don Dane, William Matthews, Gary Morton, the late Bill Owen, Jason Rich, R.S. Riddick, and the late Joelle Smith. Find more at CowboyPoetry.com.

Posters are never sold. They are sent to participants in Cowboy Poetry Week’s Rural Library Program and sent to Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry supporters (at the $40 level and higher) as thank you gifts.

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Visit our sponsor supporters!

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News Bits and Links

readingnews“Reading the News,” by Erwin E. Smith, c. 1908 from The Library of Congress

We receive and come across all sorts of interesting information from a wide range of sources. Below, we gather some quick links to news stories, web features, and other items of interest gathered from the web, social media, and from you, the most recent posted first.

Your suggestions for consideration of inclusion are welcome (as well as your comments). Email us.

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Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21, 2018

Cowboy Poetry Week News

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Ashley: Cowboy poet with Hill Country roots,” by Lindy Segall, Fredericksburg
Standard, April 18, 2018

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Q&A: Dom Flemons” (with video), by Kristin Brown, Cowboys & Indians, April 16, 2018

For Nebraska cowboy poet R.P. Smith, the spirit of the West lives on in rhyme,” by Blake Ursch, Omaha World-Herald, April 16, 2018

I Was Only Trying to Help,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  April 16, 2018

“Lies They Tell Writers, Part 44: Anyone can learn to write,” by Rod Miller, blog, April 16, 2018

Al Jackson, a living legend,” by Cynthia Delaney, Elko Daily Free Press, April 14, 2018

Bovines online: Farmers are using AI to help monitor cows,” by Ryan Nakashima, Yahoo! News, April 13, 2018

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Dom Flemons,” (audio) by Ann Powers, World Cafe, April 12, 2018

A Devastating Fall Couldn’t Keep This Rodeo ‘Rider’ Off Wild Horses,” by Terry
Gross, Fresh Air, April 10, 2018

The New Head Catch,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  April 10, 2018

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Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Jerry Brooks (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, April 10, 2018

Husband-and-Wife Work Crew,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, April 9, 2018

The Last Cowboys  (forthcoming book)

The Ranch at the End of the West,” by Mike Coppock, Cowboys & Indians, March 27,
2018

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Neighbor Kelly,” by Jessie Veeder, Meanwhile…Back at the Ranch (blog), April 9,
2018

Cowboy poet masters skill of storytelling,” by Ryan Soderlin, KMTV, April 9, 2018

Quiet Pride” (about Shawn Cameron), by Jennifer Denison, Western Horseman, undated

A Nevada Legacy,” (video) by John Wright, J.M. Capriola, undated

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Western Folklife Center seeks Programs Manager April 6, 2018

Alaskan cowboys bring local beef to the table,” by Jennifer Tarnacki, Homer News, April 5, 2018

Remembering the Queen of Cowboy Poetry,” by Chynna Lockett, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, April 5, 2018

Drovers of the Chisholm Trail,” (video), Western Horseman, April 5, 2018

A Love Story,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  April 4, 2018

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April Events at the Dayton Library,” Waitsburg Times, April 5, 2018

Poetry reading at Kingman library,” by Vanessa Espinoza, Daily Miner, April
5, 2018

Cowboy poet releases new album,” by Tammy Rollie, Western Wheel, April 4, 2018

On New Album, D.C. Musician Dom Flemons Shares the Lesser-Known History of
African American Cowboys,” by Stephanie Williams, dcmusicdownload.com, April 4,
2018

Genoa celebrates Western Heritage April 27-29,” Record-Courier, April 3, 2018

Herd of wild horses blocks Arizona road,” by Ben Hooper, upi.com, April 3, 2018

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Hail and Farewell: Elizabeth Ebert, ‘Grand Dame of Cowboy Poetry,’ 1925-2018,”
by Simon Reichley, Melville House, April 4, 2018

The Days When Cattle Were King and Barns Were Round,” by Jessica Hedges,
Branded in Ink, April 3, 2018

For Cowboy Poets, One Topic is Taboo,” by Carson Vaughan, In These Times,
April 3, 2018

Misty Morning Gathers,” Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, April 3, 2018

GPS finds home on the range,” by Tyler Harris, Nebraska Farmer, March 29, 2018

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Elizabeth Ebert, ‘Grand Dame of Cowboy Poetry,’ Dies at 93,” by Carson Vaughan, New York Times, April 1, 2018

William S. Hart Park 2018 Events, ” by Johnathan Sanchez, The Signal, March 31, 2018

Dude ranches of the Wild West,” by Jim Winnerman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 31, 2018

For the Compton Cowboys, Horseback Riding Is a Legacy, and Protection,” by  Walter
Thompson-Hernández, New York Times, March 31, 2018

In the Battle for the American West, the Cowboys Are Losing,” by Jim Carlton, Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2018

6 artists added to the official Kansas Touring Roster,”  The Emporia Gazette, March 30, 2018

Glen Hollenbeck: Still riding for the G2 brand,” by Hannah Johlman, Tri-State Livestock News, March 29, 2018

Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Celebrating Our Western Past,” The Magazine of Santa Clarita, March 29, 2018

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Smooth to the Chute,” by Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, March 28, 2018

“A Celebration Among the Saguaros,” by Rod Miller, blog, March 28, 2018

Cowboy Poetry Named Advocate of the Arts 2018,” Wasatch Wave, March 28, 2018

Ranchers Get More Grazing Flexibility With New Program,” by Amanda Peacher, Wyoming Public Media, March 27, 2018

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To live in these moments,” by Jessie Veeder, Back at the Ranch blog, March
26, 2018

Flashback: An Old Ranch Custom,” by Luis B. Ortega, written February 1951,
Western Horseman, March 25, 2018

…National Cowboy Museum showcases rarely seen oddities and outliers with
exhibit ‘Unlocking the Vault’,” by Brandy McDonnell, NewsOK, March 25, 2018

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2018 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering photos by Jessica Lifland, posted March
22, 2018

“My Favorite Book, Part 13,” by Rod Miller, blog, March 22, 2018

The Top 10 indications spring is officially here,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk,
March 20, 2018

Experience Old Florida Folk Fest at Summer Crush Gary Roberts,” TCPalm, March
19, 2018

Ranch Life: Dirty Boots and Hands,” by Wyatt Bechtel, drovers.com, March 17, 2018

Western Oklahoma drought intensifying,” by Derrell S. Peel, Progressive Cattleman, March 14, 2018

Writers present scholarship,” Payson Roundup, March 16, 2018

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Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Riders in the Sky (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, March 20, 2018

A Pox on this Column,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  March 20, 2018

Top Two Houston Steers Sell for $776,000; Reserve Sets World Record,” by Greg Henderson, agweb.com, March 19, 2018

Paul Zarzyski.com and “Butte”

Academy of Western Artists’ awards  March 18, 2018

Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest

Ranching on the Rocks,” Western Horseman (from 2012), March 19, 2018

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Gads, gut hooks, and grapplin’ irons,” by Rod Miller, blog, March 13, 2018

The Top 10 items you probably won’t find in town folks’ homes,” by Mark Parker, Farm Talk, March 13, 2018

Lorraine,” by Baxter Black (a poem in the latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  March 12, 2018

A Time To Stay, A Time To Go” (video), by Baxter Black, drovers.com, March 12, 2018

The Tragedy of Cattle Kate,” by Eliza McGraw, Smithsonian, March 12, 2018

Spirit of the West Radio with Hugh McLennan

Western Writers of America, Spur Award winners and finalists

Crews continue work to contain wildfires that have burned more than 1.4
million acres across four states,” by Josh Wallace, newsok.com,  March 10, 2017

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Western Writers of America Announces 2018 Spur Award Winnersprnewswire, March 9, 2018

Elko, Nevada, Cowboy Poetry Festival brings out the best in all of us,” by Nadine Bailey, redding.com, March 9, 2018

Cowboy Festival returning to the River City,” by Sean Brady, kamloopsthisweek.com,  March 8, 2018 0

The Faces of the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,  Western Foklife Center

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Cowculations,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, March 7, 2018

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Moapa Valley Days Events Planned For This Weekend,” by Maggie McMurray, Moapa Valley Progress, March 7, 2018

Jekyll & Hide Cattle Company,” by Baxter Black (a poem in the latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  March 6, 2018

The Top 10 farm and ranch rarities,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalknewspaper.com,
March 6, 2018

A year later, ranchers are healing after Kansas’ largest wildfire,” by Amy Bickel, hpj.com, March 5, 2018

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Cowboys sold out the show,” by Teri Nehrenz, Mesquite Local News, March 2,
2018

As Washington state looks for cleaner power, a Montana coal town faces an
uncertain future,” by Hal Bernton, Seattle Times, March 1, 2018

Cowboy Poetry Festival a hit with families,” by David Nystrom, Prescott Valley
Tribune, February 28, 2018

Eureka County 4-H Youth Share Journey Through Cowboy Poetry,” by Joelle Mackay, Eureka Sentinel, February 28, 2018|

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Fractious Freight,” by Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, February 28, 2018

Advice Column,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  February 27, 2018

Wisdom from Down Under,” by Rod Miller (blog), February 26, 2018

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EquiFest draws thousands of horse lovers to Kansas Expocentre,” by By Katie Moore, cjonline.com, February 25, 2018

Ancient DNA rules out archeologists’ best bet for horse domestication,” by Cathleen O’Grady, arstechnica, February 25, 2018

Watch what you pray for,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News,
February 23, 2018

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Glendale Folk and Heritage Festival,” The Glendale Star, February 22, 2018

Pitching a wearable to make cattle farming more sustainable…,” by Jonathan Shiever, Yahoo! Finance, February 22, 2018

Elko Basques teach us a lesson,” by Monika Madinabeitia, Elko Daily, February 22, 2018

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Land lover,” by Josie Glassberg, Reno News, February 22, 2018

Tunes on the Trail,” by Gene Fowler, TexasCoopPower.com, March 2018

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Heifer’s Hood Ornament,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  February 20, 2018

Rifters return to Society Hall,” Alamosa News, February 20, 2018

Humor, Western zeal part of Spirit of the West,” by Daisy Perez, citizentribune.com, February 19, 2018

At 21, FisherPoets comes of age,” Daily Astorian, February 19, 2018

Teddy Roosevelt’s Saddle,” by Dick Spencer III, written January 1958, Western Horseman, February, 2018

Lies They Tell Writers, Part 43: Read Aloud What You’ve Written,” by Rod Miller
(blog), February 17, 2018

How a coalition of caretakers is keeping Wyoming’s ghost towns alive,” by Elise Schmelzer and Christine Peterson, Star-Tribune, February 17, 2018

BC Cowboy Heritage Society Newsletter February, 2018

Everyone seemed to have enjoyed it,” by Brendan Kyle, 100milefreepress.net, February 16, 2018

What Do Gender Relations Look Like in Rural America?,” by Kyle Young, thisisreno.com, February 16, 2018

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Quick Q and A with Dom Flemons,” by Kathy Sands-Boehmer, Everything Sundry (blog), February 15, 2018

Cowboy spirit to come alive in Ellensburg this weekend,” by Daisy Perez, Daily Record, February 15, 2018

Western Fest,” Tacoma Weekly, February 15, 2018

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Save American Poetry, Read a Cowboy,” by Max Ufberg, Pacific Standard, February 14, 2018

Dom Flemons announces a double release,” by Pamm Tucker, Bluegrasstoday.com, February 14, 2018

Enjoy an evening of cowboy poetry, music,” pvtrib.com, February 14, 2018

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Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Andy Wilkinson (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, February 13, 2018

The Mountain,” by Baxter Black (a poem in the latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  February 13, 2018

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Gathering Hangover- Cochise Cowboy Poetry Gathering 2018,” by Jessica Hedges, Branded in Ink (blog), February 7, 2018

Kentrollins.com,  blog, recipies, and more

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Guy William Logsdon
, tulsaworld.com, February 8, 2018

Cowboy Poetry with Pickles,” by Rod Miller, blog, February 8, 2018

Pig Tales,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  February 6, 2018

Woody Guthrie Expert, Educator Guy Logsdon Dies,” newson6.com, February 6, 2018

One More Time,” by TJ Casey & Jim Reader;  in honor of late Bill Stearns, Wyoming cowboy and Senior World Champion Bronc Rider, YouTube, February 4, 2018

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering YouTube channel.

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Trail gone cold: Dusty Richards, Rod Miller (blog),  January 23, 2018

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Cowby Arts and Gear Museum

Moving the Remuda,” by Ross Hecox (photo blog), Western Horseman, January 22, 2018

Country Artist and Cowboy Poet Receives National Golden Spur Award,” by Mary Beth Holm, Daily Toreador, January 22, 2018

New brochure will highlight Elko art,” by Adella Harding, Elko Daily, January 22, 2018

Time machine: Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum restores G.S. Garcia’s shop,” by Toni R. Milano, Elko Daily,  January 20, 2018

Cowboy poetry set to come to Payson with symposium, program,” by Shelby Slade, Daily Herald, January 19, 2018

34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Dennis Cassinelli, Mesquite Local News,

Quirky places to eat on your next trip…,” by Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Time, January 19, 2018

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Writing in My Sleep,”  by Rod Miller, blog,  January 17, 2018

Braymer Bait,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  January 16, 2018

Corb Lund and Ian Tyson: The Last cowboys,” by Mike Ross, gigcity.ca, January 14, 2018

Red Steagall chosen for National Golden Spur Award,” by Ray Westbroom, lubbockonline.com, January 13, 2018

Small Towns, Cowboy Charm,” Western Horseman, undated

Trailing Cattle in the Snow,” Western Horseman, January 2018

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Ranching by the signs,” by Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, tsln.com, January 11, 2018

Women Writing About the Wild: 25 Essential Authors,” Kathryn Aalto, outsideonline.com, January 9, 2018

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Singer Ian Tyson on his early folk days and being inspired by Bob Dylan,” by Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail, January 8, 2018

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Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Gary McMahan (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, January 9, 2018

Things You Can Count On,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  January 8, 2018

The Birth of the American Cowboy,” Christopher Knowlton excerpt, Delanceyplace.com,
January 8, 2018

My Favorite Book, Part 12,” by Rod Miller, blog,  January 8, 2018

Cowboy Poets Ramble Back To Golden,” by Jean Lotus, patch.com, January 8, 2018

Man arrested after allegedly stealing more than $8 million in cattle,” cbs7.com, January
8, 2018

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NCBA Cowboy Poetry Contest Finalists’ videos, vote through January 15, 2018

Visiting Kansas’ Iconic ‘Home On The Range,’” by C.J. Janovy, Here and Now, January 3,
2018

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21st Century Working Horses,” by William Reynolds, Western Horseman, January 2, 2018

__________

2017 – A Year to Forget,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com,  January 1, 2018

Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 19-21, 2018

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Kazakhstan Prizes Its Cowboys, but Few Want to Saddle Up for Harsh Life,” by Andrew Higgins, New York Times, December 30, 2017

‘The Tabasco Man,’ cowboy poet Stan Tixier, dies at 85,” by Janae Francis, Standard-
Examiner, December 30, 2017

Arizona rancher on Mexico border uses science to breed sustainable cattle,” by Shayla
Hyde, Cronkite News, December 27, 2017

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John Stanley Tixier, 1932-2017,” Legacy.com, December 27, 2017 and more

Down on the Farm,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, December 26, 2017

South Dakota Quarter Horse Association celebrates breeding legacies,” farmforum.net, December 26, 2017

Coyotes Are Colonizing Cities. Step Forward the Urban Hunter,” by Simon Romero, New York Times, December 26, 2017

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Christmas at the BAR-D

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Cowboy Poets To Return To New Hampton,” by Bob Fenske, nhtrib.com, December 22, 2017

Mike Beck’s world of music and horses,” by Beth Peerless, Monterey Herald, December 21, 2017

Horse Talk: Baxter Black shops for gifts,” by Kathy Young, vvdailypress.com, December 21, 2017

Western Horseman and Cowboy Artists of America announce 2017 Youth Art Contest winners, Western Horseman, December 2017

Cattlemen’s dinner is January 6,” Alamosa News, December 21, 2017

__________

Complete daily schedule for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, December 20, 2017

What’s Christmas to a Cow?,” by Baxter Black (a poem in the latest column), BaxterBlack.com, December 19, 2017

__________

Another dispatch from the saddlebag,” by Rod Miller, blog, December 18, 2017

Saddlebag Dispatches Autumn/Winter 2017

Photos: Cowboy Christmas Concert hosted by Dakota Western Heritage Festival,”
Capital Journal, December 16, 2017

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Calling all cowboy poets,” Agrinews, December 17, 2017

Custer State Park fire mop-up begins,” by Traci Eatherton, Tri-State Livestock News,
December 15, 2017

Young cattleman has found his way,” by Kylene Scott, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal,
December 12, 2017

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Roy ‘Cow Gal’ poet’s book named best in nation,” by Janae Frances, Standard-Examiner, December 16, 2017

Rescue horse’s incredible reaction to seeing snow for the first time goes viral,” by Alex Lasker, AOL.com, December 15, 2017

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A Night of Cowboy Poetry — Poems, Songs, and Cowpunchers,” by Megan Willome, tweetspeakpoetry.com, December 15, 2017

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Riders in the Sky Plot 40th Anniversary Album, 2018 Tour,” by Stephen L. Betts, rollingstone.com, December 15, 2017

The Braun Boys – All Grown Up,” by the Western Folklife Center, blog, December 14, 2017

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Black Hills Cowboy Christmas,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck,  Tri-State Livestock News, December 14, 2017

Free and Easy: Dave Stamey’s Occasional Newsletter,” Facebook, December 14, 2017

[Australian] National Folk Festival…,” broadwayworld.com,  December 13, 2017

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The Godless Democrat Who Loves Cowboy Poetry,” by Carson Vaughan, The Paris Review, December 13, 2017

Legion Lake Fire grows to 35,000 acres,” Black Hills FOX, December 13, 2017

The Top 10 North Pole reindeer management issues,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk, December 12, 2017

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The Dog and the Rabbit,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, December 11, 2017

Massive ranch formerly owned by Mars candy heir sells; asking price was $64.8M,” by
Brett French, Casper Star-Tribune, December 12, 2017

Hitting a wall, halfway to way way-away,” by Don Stuart, Rushville Republican, December 12, 2017

Court Sides with New Mexico Cattle Ranchers in Water Dispute,” by Tiffany Dowell, agrilife.org, December 11, 2017

Lies They Tell Writers, Part 42: Know (and Follow) the Rules,” by  Rod Miller, blog, December 8, 2017

Spirit of the West poster art submissions

Drovers of the Chisholm Trail,” (video) Western Horseman, December 5, 2017

Live from The Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” The Moth, wbez.org, December 5, 2017

Painting spirits bright,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News, November 29, 2017

_________

Hunting Camp Cook,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, December 4, 2017

Nominations sought for Oregon’s next poet laureate,” by Barney Lerten, ktvz.com, December 1, 2017

Training Cattle to Follow – Part 1” by John Marble, On Pasture, November 27, 2017

__________

news12   BAR-D general newsletter, December 1, 2017  Subscribe here.

__________

BeefUSA Cowboy Poetry contest

__________

Colorado’s Renowned and Under the Radar Festivals Not to Be Missed in 2018,”
digitaljournal.com, November 30, 2017

Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival trucks on – with verve – at Golden State,” by Adam Joseph, Monterey County Weekly, November 30, 2017

Unplugging in the Texas Hill Country River Region,” by Shannah Compton Game and Jeff Game, huffingtonpost.com, November 30, 2017

Christmas bustle hits Wickenburg,” The Wickenburg Sun, November 29, 2017

__________

Ordinary Skin: Essays from Willow Springs,” (review) by Kim Kankiewicz, Center for Literary Publishing, Colorado State University, November 28, 2017

Live from The Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” (audio) The Moth, November 28, 2017

These Montana Ranchers are Helping Grizzlies, Wolves and Cattle Coexist,” by Kristina
Johnson, ensia.com, November 28, 2017

__________

The Right Tool for the Job,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, November 27, 2017

A Cowboy Kind of Party,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, November 27, 2017

The British Columbia Cowboy Heritage Society (BCCHS) latest newsletter, November 25, 2017

My Favorite Book, Part 11,” by Rod Miller, blog, November 25, 2017

Ranching, Kauai Style,” by Duane McCartney, Canadian Cattleman, November 24, 2017

_________

Paul Zarzyski on the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, December 2, 2017

_________

Thanksgiving,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, November 20, 2017

Look Him in the Eye,” by Kate Bradley, Western Horseman, November 20, 2017

Reaching Neighbors in need from Mandalay Bay,” by Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, Tri-State Livestock News, November 17, 2017

Toe-tapping Western music at Chisholm Trail Heritage Center,” by Allie Haddicam, kwso.com, November 17, 2017

Duncan’s Chisholm Trail Heritage Center hosting Campfires, Cattle & Cowboys Gathering
benefit…,” by Brandy McDonnell, newsok.com, November 17, 2017

Back in the saddle at a historic Saskatchewan ranch,” by Tom Johnson, thestar.com, November 16, 2017

Rare photo of Billy the Kid bought at flea market could sell for millions,” CBS News, Yahoo.com, November 16, 2017

Were people in the Old West better than now?,” by Rod Miller, blog, November 15, 2017

__________

Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West December 3-March 11, 2018, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah

Out of respect for the angels,” by Jessie Veeder, Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch blog, November 13, 2017

Cold Feet,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, November 13, 2017

Sights and Sounds From the Spade Ranch,” (video), Western Horseman, November 14, 2017

Can You Read Brands?,” Written by By Jay Mack, February 1951, Western Horseman, November 13, 2017

Vaqueros ride and rope again in Santa Ynez,” Santa Ynez Valley News, November 11, 2017

_________

Western Music Association 2017 Award winners

__________

Most people meet in a cattle market, this couple got married in one,” by Mark Duell, Daily Mail, November 9, 2017

Free concert at Luna Rossa Winery,” The Deming Headlight, November 9, 2017

They Were Salty: A story of old-time cowboys and the names, or no-names, they made for themselves,” by Ross Santee, written August 1949, Western Horseman, November 9, 2017

Theft of instruments unites Western music community,” by Ollie Reed Jr., Albuquerque Journal, November 7, 2017

__________

Moose Alert,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, November 6, 2017

Floating Horses: The Life of Casey Tibbs,” Western Horseman, November 6, 2017

New Day, Old Ways,” by Ross Hexcox (photo blog), Western Horseman, November 6, 2017

Cultured Cowboy,” by Rod Miller, blog, November 5, 2017

__________

Singer, Arizona activist Katie Lee dies at 98,” by Corina Vanek, Arizona Daily Sun, November 1, 2017

Katie Lee, ‘Goddess of Glen Canyon,’ Dies at Age 98,” by Gillian Ferris, knau.org, November 1, 2017

Amber Cross Brings the Full Picture on ‘Savage on the Downhill,” by Trevor Christian, Glide Magazine, October 31, 2017

Tradition and Patriotism Show their Colors at Red Steagall’s 27th Annual Cowboy Gathering,” RFD-TV, October 31, 2017

__________

Remembering Paps, My Grandfather,” by Justin L. Stewart, blog, October 29, 2017

__________

Publisher Gibbs Smith, who reinvented Western stories from his Utah barn, dies at 77,”
By Ellen Fagg Weist, Salt Lake Tribune, October 30, 2017

Photos: Visitors flock to Heber for one of largest cowboy poetry gatherings in US,” by Grant Olsen, KSL.com, October 30, 2017

Cowboy Christmas concert – a new Pierre area tradition starting this year?, “by Dave Askins, Capital Journal, October 30, 2017

Learn how the historic Empire Ranch survived a raging wildfire,” by Doug Kreutz-Arizona Daily Star, Half Moon Bay Review, October 28, 2017

Outspoken Corb Lund says he’s done talking politics: ‘Put it in your song’,” by Theresa Tayler, Calgary Herald, October 28, 2017

Red Steagall interview, wfaa.com, October 27, 2017

Cowboy Up (Youtube) Episode 1  Episode 2

__________

Cowboy Crossroads of Lubbock, TX: ‘Telling the authentic story’,” by Kelly Moffitt, Flyover Podcast, October 27, 2017

Camera Crew Meets Cowboy Family,” by Jolyn Young, Desolate Ranch Wife blog, October 26, 2017

Re-Ride Stories,” by Rod Miller, blog, October 26, 2017

Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival features Sheep Parade,” by The Independent, October 26, 2017

Lowell Jaeger: A Poetry Conversation,” by Mary Cloud Taylor, dailyinterlake.com, )ctober 24, 2017

Fall is here, time to panic,” by Amy Kirk, agupdate.com, October 20, 2017

__________

Mountain Remuda,” Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, October 25, 2017

2018 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Spotify playlist

Branded…and That’s a Good Thing,” by Kelli Neubert, Western Horseman, October 24, 2017

Festus and the Coon,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, October 23, 2017

Yep…You Might Be A Rancher,” by Sara Brown, Drovers, October 19, 2017

__________

Wanted: Cowboy,” poem by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, October 16, 2017

Charlie Russell,” by John Mariani, January 1951, Western Horseman, October 16, 2017

Stories that begin on the back of a horse,” by Jessie Veeder, Inforum, October 13, 2017

Artisans team to boost poetry program,” by Eve Marx, Seaside Signal, October 13, 2017

Local Volunteers Gear Up For Annual Heritage Days,” by Anita Campbell, Benton County
Enterprise, October 13, 2017

__________

The 1,000-year-old man: The remarkable story of author Max Evans,” by Robert Nott, Santa Fe New Mexican, October 13, 2017

Alzada show draws large crowd,” by Chris Maupin, Ekalaka Eagle, October 13, 2017

__________

Trade-offs, but never satisfied,” by Laura Nelson, blackinkwithcab.com, October 11, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Hal Cannon (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, October 10, 2017

José and the Hoodoo Cow,” poem by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, October 9, 2017

2nd ‘Campout on the Comanche’ slated next weekend,” Big Spring Herald, October 7, 2017

Florida Ranchers Lose $238 Million to Irma,” by Greg Henderson, Drovers, October 6, 2017

__________

Get your ‘cowboy on’ and celebrate our western heritage,” by Pam Jacobs, The Durango Herald, October 6, 2017

Gathering Tickets Now Available,” Elko Daily Free Press, October 5, 2017

Beef Is Back for Dinner as Marketers Woo Nostalgic Millennials,” by Alexandra Bruell, Progressive Farmer, October 5, 2017

Western merriment meets modern-day fun at Agua Fria Festival,” by Sue Tone, Prescott Valley Tribune, October 4, 2017

Does Media Coverage of Wildfires Probe Deeply Enough?,” by Adrianne Kroepsch, Daily Yonder, October 3, 2017

Cowboy trends: Then and now,” by Tayler Teichert,  Progressive Cattleman, October 2, 2017

__________

Political Correctness,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, October 2, 2017

Plenty of singing Sunday morning (from livestock and people) during NILE,” by Sarah Brown, The Prairie Star, September 29, 2017

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering to focus on cowboy humor this year,” by Linda Mannix, Pagosa Springs Sun, September 28, 2017

Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering to celebrate 29th year,” by Katie Chicklinski-Cahill, Durango Herald, September 27, 2017

__________

Requiem for a Cowboy Poet,” by Peggy Sanders, Wild West Magazine, September 28, 2017

Cowboy poetry draws 80,” by Thomas Garcia, Quay County Sun, September 27, 2017

Love that Cactus Bread,” by Gary Heintz, capjournal.com, September 27, 2017

28th Annual Alzada Cowboy Poetry, Music and Art Show,” by Chris Maupin, Butte County Post,  September 27, 2017

__________

They Were Salty,” by Ross Santee, written August 1949, Western Horseman, September 25, 2017

Happy Birthday, Ft. Pierre: cowtown celebrates the old-fashioned way,” by Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tri-State Livestock News, September 21, 2017

__________

Stress,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, September 25, 2017

__________

Badger Clark Festival Headlines Busy Day In Hot Springs,” by John Axtell, chadrad.com, September 23, 2017

Writing songs as honest as Wyoming dirt,” by Lance Nixon, pinedaleroundup.com, September 22, 2017

Gambling, Rambling, Ranching and Rehab Are six bred heifers a herd?,” by Bill Jones, Fairfield Sun Times, September 22, 2017

Cowboy Hat Etiquette: What You Should Already Know But Probably Don’t,” by Terry Sullivan, Fairfield Sun Times, September 22, 2017

Music Times: Engage in Southern Utah’s creative symposium,”  The Spectrum, September 22, 2017

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society newsletter, September

Western Slope Cowboy Gathering November 3-4, 2017, Grand Junction, Colorado

__________

From Space Cowboy to Montana Rancher,”by Russell Nemetz, northernag.net, September 21, 2017

Four Sixes Through the Lens of Scott Slusher,” by Bob Welch, September 20, 2017

Dallas County poet says she is just recording the life rhythms,” by Penny Warner,
BuffaloReflex.com, September 20, 2017

Authentic, Genuine, & the Integrity of Songwriting Debate,” by Thomas Mooney, New Slang, September 20, 2017

Embrace cowboy culture and humor at Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering,” by Linda Mannix, Pagosa Springs Sun, September 21, 2017

Hugs: a song that has a real message,” by Gary Heintz, Capital Journal, September 19, 2017

Murphey Western Institute  Michael Martin Murphey’s “Center for the Education, Preservation and Perpetuation of the Arts, Culture, History and Legacy of the American West”

__________

Angus way out there,” by Laura, BlackInk, September 20, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Mike Beck, part 2 (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, September 19, 2017

The Top 10 signs of autumn,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk, September 19, 2017

This Season, Western Wildfires Are Close By and Running Free,” by Kirk Johnson, New York Times, September 16, 2017

Montana residents are desperate for clean air, and they’re calling me,” Washington Post, by Sarah Coefield, September 15, 2017

Perhaps You’d Like to Purchase Art Sculpted by a Cow,” by Cara Giaimo,  atlasobscura.com, September 15, 2017

__________

Dog Days in the Feedlot,” (poem) by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, September 18, 2017

Western Music Association 2017 nominees, September 18, 2017

Heritage Festival continues to build community connections,” by McKayla Helm, The Missourian, September 16, 2017

Longmire’s creator explains why we’re so fascinated with the American West,” by Craig Johnson, Washington Post, September 15

Cowboy poetry gathering welcomes attendees,” by Kevin Rushworth, High River Times,
September 15, 2017

Cattle drive brings history alive,” by Ryan Miller, Enid News & Eagle, September 15, 2017

Cowgirls are naturals at pen riding duties,” by Jeff Rice, Journal-Advocate, September 13, 2017

__________

AABP: The Baxter Black Perspective,” by Geni Wren, AABP, September 14, 2017

Ranchers blame exploding shell for grass fire that killed 160 head of cattle,” by Jackie Irwin, Calgary Herald, September 14, 2017

This Seventeen-Year-Old Rescued Cattle by Helicopter During Harvey,” by Charley Locke, Texas Monthly, September 12, 2017

A Visit with Western Folklife’s Kristin Windbigler,” by Maddy Butcher, Nicker News, September 6, 2017

__________

Cowboy poets and musicians will perform in Shoshone,” by Julie Wootton, magicvalley.com, September 13, 2017

Family History Expo To Be Held In St. George,” by V. Robison, Moapa Valley Progress,
September 13, 2017

Change of Venue for Campfire,” Dickinson Press, September 13, 2017

The Top 10 things farmers find in the pockets of jackets they haven’t worn since last spring,” by Mark Parker, FarmTalk, September 12, 2017

__________

Coyote Cowboy Observations,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, September 11, 2017

Cowboy Country Nevada,” The Hans India, September 9, 2017

‘The Lungs of Our Region Are on Fire:’ Wildfires Exact a Punishing Toll on the West,” by Nancy Wartik, New York Times, September 8, 2017

Real cowboys play for buckaroos-to-be at Napa school,” by Maria Sestito, Napa Valley Register, September 8, 2017

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’: Chuck wagon cooking,” Molly Boyle, Santa Fe New Mexican, September 8, 2017

__________

Thousands of Texas cattle may have died in wake of Harvey,” Associated Press, September 8, 2017

Ranchers pay it forward to Montana fire victims,” by Amy Bickel, The Hutch News, September 8, 2017

Harvey roundup: Ranchers tally impact on soggy herds,” by Andrea Rumbaugh September 7, 2017

__________

Montana fires: Here’s what the nation hasn’t seen,” (video) Agdaily, September 6, 2017

Ash falls like snow in Seattle as wildfires rage in Pacific Northwest,” by Evan Bush and Hal Bernton, Seattle Times, September 6, 2017

Behind the Scenes Shipping Cattle in the Flint Hills,” by Wyatt Bechtel, Drovers, September 6, 2017

Vets Fight To Save Horses In Harvey Aftermath,” by David Lohr, huffingtonpost.com, September 4, 2017

The Yellow Ribbon,” by Baxter Black (latest column), BaxterBlack.com, September 4, 2017

Cowgirl Camp helps build skills, network among women ranchers,” by Matthew Weaver, Capital Press, September 1, 2017

__________

As Human Rescues Wind Down, Helicopters Drop Hay To Stranded Cattle,” by Brian Mann, Morning Edition, September 5, 2017

Devastation for Montana’s ranchers only just beginning,” by Taylor Chase,  kfbb.com,
September 4, 2017

Texas ranchers battle to save cattle from Harvey’s wrath,” by Meridith Edwards, CNN,
September 4, 2017

________

A Flying Cowboy Rides to Rescue Cattle Stranded in Harvey’s Floods,” by John Schwartz and Livia Albeck-Ripka, New York Times, September 3, 2017

Map: Large Wildfires In Montana,” by David Sherman, MTN News, September 2, 2017

More than half a million acres lost to Montana wildfires so far this summer,” by Steele Stephen,  MTN News, September 2, 2017

Cowboy way honored in museum in Gordon,” by Steve Frederick, starherald.com, September 1, 2017

Roots Run Deep TV special to premiere Sept. 4,” Douglas Dispatch, September 1, 2017

Good Things Happen at Peach Days,” by Jenny Chamberlain, hvtimes.com, September 1, 2017

__________

Cowboy Poetry Event” (S. Omar Barker show), Las Vegas Optic, September 1, 2017

Who is cowboy legend Myrtis Dightman?,” by Matthew Thibodeaux, easttexasmatters.com, September 1, 2017

__________

The Lives & Works of S. Omar & Elsa Barker show, September 2, 2017, Las Vegas, New Mexico

Cloud Rider,” by Ross Hecox, Western Horseman, August 31, 2017

Great Plains Fire Information, gpfireinfo.blogspot.com, August 30, 2017

Cowboy Crossroads with Andy Hedges,”  with Chuck Hawthorne (audio), Cowboy Crossroads, August 29, 2017

Texas Ranchers Scramble To Get Cattle Out Of Flooded Areas,” by Ailsa Chang, NPR, August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey: How you can help ranchers affected,” Tri-State Livestock News, August 29, 2017

Cattle on feed, drought and floods,” by Derrell S. Peel, FarmTalk, August 2, 2017

Is Poetry the New Adult Coloring Book?,” by Jason Boog, Publishers Weekly, August 25, 2017

 

TO BE A TOP HAND by Georgie Sicking (1921-2016)

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TO BE A TOP HAND
by Georgie Sicking (1921-2016)

When I was a kid and doing my best to
Learn the ways of our land,
I thought mistakes were never made by
A real top hand.

He never got into a storm with a horse
He always knew
How a horse would react in any case and
Just what to do.

He never let a cow outfigure him,
And never missed a loop.
He always kept cattle under control
Like in a chicken coop.

He was never in the right place at the wrong time,
Or in anybody’s way.
For working cattle he just naturally knew,
When to move and when to stay.

I just about broke my neck tryin’,
To be and to do,
All those things a good cowboy,
Just naturally knew.

One day while riding with a cowboy,
I knew was one of the best,
For he had worked in that country for a long time,
Had taken and passed the test.

I was telling of my troubles,
Some bad mistakes I made.
That my dreams of being a top cowboy,
Were startin’ to fade.

This cowboy looked at me and said,
With a sort of a smile,
A sorry hand is in the way all the time,
A good one just once in a while.

Since that day I’ve handled lots of cattle,
And ridden many a mile.
And I figure I’m doin’ my share if I get in the way,
Just every once in a while.

© Georgie Sicking, from Just More Thinking, used with permission.
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission.

Cowboy Poetry Week is a fine time to remember much-loved and much-missed cowboy and Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame inductee Georgie Sicking, who remains a great inspiration to many.

In Tough by Nature by Lynda Lanker, Georgie Sicking told that she was the only woman who ever drew pay on Arizona’s Oro Ranch, where she worked during World War Two. She preferred to be called a “cowboy,” not “cowgirl.”

She was quoted in Tough by Nature, “Some people had the idea that all you had to do to be a cowgirl was put on a pretty dress and a pair of boots and a big hat and get a faraway look in your eyes…and you’re a cowgirl. They’ve been kind of hard to educate.”

Of Ridin’ & Rhymin’, the award-winning documentary about Georgie Sicking by Greg Snider and Dawn Smallman of Far Away Films, Hal Cannon, Founding Director (retired) of the Western Folklife Center, comments, “Georgie Sicking is why ‘to cowboy’ is best used as a verb to explain a work, a life, and a big open land. This film captures her level gazed life in such a powerful way that it defines the American West.” Find a preview of this must-see film here.

Find much more about Georgie Sicking and more of her poetry at CowboyPoetry.com.

This photo of Georgie Sicking graces the cover of The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Five from CowboyPoetry.com. The circa 1940 photo was taken at a carnival on her first date with the man who became her husband (photo courtesy of Georgie Sicking and Dawn Smallman).

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but please request permission for any other uses.)

Donors

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CowboyPoetry.com
celebrates our Western heritage and today’s working West, dedicated to preserving our important history and to promoting the Western arts that carry on those traditions.  It’s a part of the non-profit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.

The Center was formed to serve a mostly rural and underserved community of Western writers, musicians, and artists; to help preserve Western and Cowboy Poetry and its associated arts; to offer a central resource for poets, libraries, schools, and the public; and to educate the public about the history and value of Western and Cowboy Poetry and its associated arts.

Supporters make a difference. With individual support, the Center can continue its programs, expand some of those efforts, and take on new projects. Individual support helps show institutional funders the community interest in our Western arts.

We thank our supporters, who are listed below. They make an important difference to the community of Western writers, musicians, and artists as we work together to preserve Western heritage and support Western and Cowboy Poetry and its associated arts. Please join us.

2018

The BAR-D supporters make all of the programs of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry possible: Cowboy Poetry Week, the Rural Library Program, and CowboyPoetry.com.

John Waters
Paul R. Brown III
Rod Miller
Almeda Bradshaw (sponsor)
Jim and Stella Cathey in memory of Louise M. Fritts
Marci Broyhill (sponsor)
Buzz Helfert
Al “Doc” Mehl and Doris Daley
Susan Matley in memory of Liz Masterson
Charmaine Ganson
Susan Parker
Marvin and Elaine Del Chiaro
Thomas F. Hawk
Terry Nash
Rodney Nelson
Patrick Sullivan
Jerry A. Brooks
Cindy Quigley
Lawrence Smith
Diana Rice
Susan Shuma
Susie Knight
David Carlton
Chuck and Cindy Learn (sponsor)
Russ Westwood
Scott and Diana Overcash in memory of Debi Koppang
M. Todd Hess
David Sudbury
Janet Prezia
Georganna Kresl
L.L. “Lucky Lindy” Segall in memory of Carlos Ashley
Linda Kirkpatrick
Hugh Cooke
Linda Nadon in memory of Georgie Sicking
Don Hilmer
Yvonne Hollenbeck (sponsor)
Yvonne and Glen Hollenbeck in memory of Liz Masterson, Kenny Krogman, Elizabeth Ebert
Jeff Thomas
Martha Singer
Ken Howry—Sunshine Prairie Farm
Daniel Wilson

Cowboy Poetry Week support:  Margaret T. Morris Foundation
Significant program support:  Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield Jr.

2017

Claud Roundtree
Janice Gilbertson
Andria Kidd
Laverna B. Johnson
Betty and Ken Rodgers in memory of Trisha Pedroia
Christopher Chambers
Joanne Grinage
Susan Matley
Keith Ward
Thomas F. Hawk
Howard Moon
DW Groethe
Rodney Nelson
Susan Parker
Steve and Marge Conroy in memory of Allen “Hook” Hill
Paul R. Brown III
Susie Knight
Barbara Richhart (Western Belle)-Cowtrails
Colleen Kohler
Bryce Angell
Ken Cook (sponsor)
Jeff Campbell
Yvonne Hollenbeck (sponsor)
Chuck Learn (sponsor)
Marjorie Satterfield
Sandi and Jay Snider (sponsor)
Paul Quinton
Shelly Pagiliai-Prairie Moon Quilts
Almeda Bradshaw (sponsor)
Jim and Stella Cathey in memory of Joan Taylor and Garland Haak
National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo (sponsor)
Jean Prescott (sponsor)
RANGE (sponsor)
Lynn Kopelke
Deanna Dickinson McCall
Judy James
Mike Moutoux
Robert Kinsey
Dale Page
Andy Nelson
Jarle Kvale
Kay Kelley Nowell
Heber Valley Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering
Totsie Slover
Ron Secoy
Patricia Frolander
Norma Battenfield
Eldon Housley
Linda Kirkpatrick
David Stanley
George Rhoades
Jean Mathisen Haugen
Western Folklife Center (sponsor)
P’let and Mike Tcherkassky
Chester Roundtree
Sandy Seaton Sallee
Hugh Cooke
Jim White
Maryanne Patterson
Sally Baldus
Del Gustafson
Marleen Bussma
Nika Nordbrock
Wendy Brown-Barry
Gary McMahan-HorseApple Entertainment
Spalding Labs’ Flying SL Radio Ranch Show (sponsor)
Dee Strickland Johnson (“Buckshot Dot”)
Jane and Dick Morton
Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering (sponsor)
Stephen Barnard
Jo Lynne Kirkwood
Marilyn and Kip Sorlie
Denise Arvidson in memory of Ross Christian Arvidson
Jim Thompson (California)
Eileen Dirksen in memory of “California” Steve Dirksen
Sandi and Jay Snider (sponsor)
Tom Swearingen
Roberta Rothman
Sally Smith-Joelle Smith Western Art
Sunshine Prairie Farm
Georganna Kresl
Teddie Daley
Ron Cagle
Mary Seago
Maurice Carter
Bert and Carol Braun-The Cowpoke Foundation in memory of Pat Richardson
Floyd and Valerie Beard
Betty and Ken Rodgers
Laverna B. Johnson
Linda and Bill Patterson
Daniel Bybee
Armovaz
Greg Camp
Dave Stamey
Smoke Wade
Rocky Sullivan
Sarah Hendricks
Shane Queener
Michael Babiarz-KVMR

Significant 2017 program support: Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield Jr.

Cowboy Poetry Week 2017 Foundation support: Margaret T. Morris Foundation

VISIT OUR SPONSORS

See all of the generous supporters to the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry below and find how to  be a part of it all here.

 

VISIT OUR SPONSORS

See all of the generous supporters to the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry below and find how to  be a part of it all here.

You can make a donation by check or money order, by mail (please use the form here for mail) or by a secure, on-line credit card payment through PayPal (a PayPal account is not required):

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CowboyPoetry.com is a project of The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Act. The Center seeks grants and donations from individuals, corporate entities, foundations, and private sources.

Contributions to the Center are fully deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Donors at the $40 level and higher receive the year’s CD and Cowboy Poetry Week poster. (The CD fair market value is $15 and that amount is not deductible as a charitable contribution.)

As in all professional journalistic endeavors, no editorial preference is given to financial sponsors or supporters.

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“PURT NEAR!” by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985)

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“PURT NEAR!”
by S. Omar Barker (1895-1985)

They called him “Purt Near Perkins,”
for unless the booger lied,
He’d purt near done most everything
that he had ever tried.
He’d purt near been a preacher
and he’d purt near roped a bear;
He’d met up with Comanches once
and purt near lost his hair.
He’d purt near wed an heiress
who had money by the keg,
He’d purt near had the measles,
and he’d purt near broke his leg.

He’d purt near been a trail boss,
and accordin’ to his claim,
He’d purt near shot Bill Hickock—
which had purt near won him fame!
He’d purt near rode some broncs
upon which no one else had stuck
In fact he was the feller
Who had purt near drowned the duck!

Now mostly all the cowboys
On the Lazy S B spread,
They took his talkin’ with a grin
And let him fight his head.
But one named Tom Maginnis
Sorter told it to him rough:
“You’re ridin’ with an outfit now
Where ‘purt near’ ain’t enough!
We tie our lasso ropes to the horn,
An’ what we ketch we hold,
And ‘purt near’ is one alibi
We never do unfold!
In fact, right now
I’ll tell you that no word I ever hear
Sounds quite so plain damn useless
As that little pair: ‘purt near’!”

That’s how ol’ Tom Maginnis
Laid it out upon the line,
And like a heap of preachin’ talk,
It sounded mighty fine.
But one day Tom Maginnis,
While a-ridin’ off alone,
He lamed his horse
And had to ketch some neighbor nester’s roan
To ride back to the ranch on.
But somewhere along the way
A bunch of nesters held him up,
And there was hell to pay!

Tom claimed he hadn’t stole the horse—
Just borrowed it to ride.
Them nesters hated cowboys,
And they told him that he lied.
The cussed him for a horsethief
And they’d caught him with the goods.
They set right out to hang him
In a nearby patch of woods.
They had pore Tom surrounded,
With their guns all fixed to shoot.
It looked like this pore cowboy
Sure had heard his last owl hoot!

They tied a rope around his neck
And throwed it o’er a limb
And Tom Maginnis purt near knowed
This was the last of him.
Then suddenly a shot rang out
From somewhere up the hill!
Them nesters dropped the rope an’ ran,
Like nesters sometimes will
When bullets start to whizzin’.
Tom’s heart lept up with hope
To see ol’ Purt Near Perkins
Ridin’ towards him at a lope.

“Looks like I purt near
Got here just in time,” ol’ Perkins said,
“To see them nesters hang you!”
Tom’s face got kinder red.
“You purt near did!” he purt near grinned.
“They purt near had me strung!
You’re lookin’ at a cowboy
That has pert near just been hung!
And also one that’s changed his mind—
For no word ever said,
Can sound as sweet as ‘purt near’,
When a man’s been purt near dead!”

© S. Omar Barker, from his 1954 book, “Songs of the Saddlemen” and reprinted with the permission of the estate of S. Omar Barker

It’s here! We’re pleased to release MASTERS: VOLUME TWO, the poems of S. Omar Barker.

With over 60 tracks on a double CD, many of today’s top reciters and poets—including individuals, siblings, couples, parents and their offspring—bring forth Barker’s humor and humanity.

Andy Hedges introduces the CD and it includes the voices of J.B. Allen, Amy Hale Auker, Floyd Beard, Valerie Beard, Baxter Black, Almeda Bradshaw, Jerry A. Brooks, Marleen Bussma, Jim Cathey, Ken Cook, Geff Dawson, Sam DeLeeuw, DW Groethe, Andy Hedges, Jessica Hedges, Maggie Rose Hedges, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Chris Isaacs, Linda Kirkpatrick, Susie Knight, Ross Knox, Jarle Kvale, Deanna Dickinson McCall, Rusty McCall, Gary McMahan, Rod Miller, Waddie Mitchell, Dick Morton, Terry Nash, Andy Nelson, Jim Nelson, Joel Nelson, Rodney Nelson, Kay Kelley Nowell, Kent Reeves, Rex Rideout, Randy Rieman, Kent Rollins, Sandy Seaton Sallee, Jay Snider, Red Steagall, Gail Steiger, Tom Swearingen, Smoke Wade, Keith Ward, and Paul Zarzyski.

The CD is offered to libraries in Cowboy Poetry Week’s Rural Library Program; sent to Center/CowboyPoetry.com supporters (at the $40 and higher level), and available for $25 (order with a credit card or Paypal, or by mail from CowboyPoetry.com, PO Box 1107, Lexington, VA 24450).

New Mexico’s S. Omar Barker gave many humorous poems to the world of cowboy poetry. A good number of them, including this one, remain widely recited today. He inserted a bit of himself in this poem in referring to the “Lazy S B spread.”

It’s told that Barker enjoyed signing his name with his brand, created from his initials and laid sideways for “Lazy SOB,” but, that it was his brand is not accurate. In an article written by Barker for Hoofs and Horns magazine, Barker introduces himself, “This S.O.B. (my initials, not my ancestry) has never claimed to qualify as a sure ‘nough cowboy.” Later in the article, he comments, “Incidentally, when I applied for (Lazy S O B) for our cattle brand, they wrote back that some other S O B already had it. So we had to be satisfied with (Lazy S B).” Andy Hedges tells the story on MASTERS: VOLUME TWO.

Barker was one of the founders of the Western Writers of America, Inc. and many of his poems were published by Western Horseman. Find more about S. Omar Barker at CowboyPoetry.com.

Watch top reciter and respected horseman Randy Rieman recite “Purt Near!” on the Western Folklife Center’s YouTube channel.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem with this post, but any other use requires permission of the S. Omar Barker estate.)

 

WAITIN’ ON THE DRIVE by Larry McWhorter (1957-2003)

larry

 

WAITIN’ ON THE DRIVE
by Larry McWhorter (1957-2003)

It’s four o’clock when the cook’s bell calls,
Raisin’ cowboys up from their dreams.
I pull on my boots and watch the red dust
Come puffin’ up through the worn seams.

Spring works are on and we’re leavin’ ‘fore dawn
And we won’t strip our kacks ’til night.
As I jingle the horses I wonder
How the bunkhouse looks in daylight.

We’re met with growls from a grouchy old cook
As his “sacred shrine” we invade,
But the table’s stacked high with good steak and spuds
And fresh biscuits he has just made.

We’re no better thought of at the corral
Where the snorts guide our way through the dark.
“Ol’ J.J. today,” I hear David say,
Ol’ Dave’s ride will be no gay lark.

The strawboss aims true as we call our mounts,
Ropin’ horses his privilege for years
‘Cause he knows each horse in the stars’ murky light
By “skyin'” the tips of their ears.

Finally we’re mounted and ready to go
As the cowboss leads out the way.
We ride by the “wagon,” long since retired,
Just a relic of yesterday.

How many good meals were served from its box?
How many good hands called it home?
Though it’s been idle for ten years or more
The sight of it stirs young men to roam.

Ol’ cowboss, he come here just as a kid
Of sixteen short summers or so.
Raised choppin’ rows for his sharecroppin’ pa
‘Til he worked up the nerve to say no.

“I almost went home many times,” he’d say.
“Things was tough on buttons back then.
But I’d think of that hoe and that ten yard sack,
Them rough horses didn’t look so bad then.”

I’ve heard that old story a hundred times
From men showin’ frost in their hair.
Them cotton fields sure made lots of good hands
But I’m happy I wasn’t there.

These thoughts and more kinda flow through my mind
As I sit on this caprock so high.
I run my fingers through Black Draught’s dark mane
And watch the last star wave good-bye.

Shadows stretch out as Ol’ Sol makes his call
Climbing slowly up toward his domain,
And does away with the morn’s early fog,
Remnant of last night’s gentle rain.

Movement catches my eye from the west.
The herd filters out of the brush.
That outside circle’s sure comin’ ’round fast.
I’ll bet due to J.J.’s mad rush.

Cows callin’ calves and hoots from the boys
Are the only sounds that I hear.
Bob Wills’ old fiddle playin’ “Faded Love”
Ain’t as sweet to this cowboy’s ear.

Little white faces made bright by the sun
Bounce high with their tails in the air.
That little red calf’s chargin’ Jake and Ol’ Eight
Bawlin’, “Come on big boy, if you dare.”

And I think as I gaze on the South Pease below,
“I really get paid to do this.”
My wage is low next to that paid in town
But look what those poor townfolk miss.

Well, the herd’s gettin’ near the draw I must guard,
Like many before me have done.
If I don’t get there to head ’em off soon
They’ll sure have a long ways to run.

But ‘fore I drop off I draw a breath of crisp air,
The kind that brought Adam to life,
And I thank God that He made this feller that’s me
As I sit, waitin’ on the drive.

© Larry McWhorter, reprinted with permission

It’s Cowboy Poetry Week, and we’re sharing the best of the best.

The great, late poet and cowboy Larry McWhorter wrote that this poem was “…born from a nostalgia of the deep respect a cowboy has for his heritage. So many little ‘tricks of the trade’ which have been unnoticed or forgotten have played an important part in the development of the American cowboy as an individual.”

He added,”Riding and roping can be accomplished by almost anyone with little regard for anything except the enjoyment of the moment. I’d be willing to bet, however, there is not a ‘cowboy’ anywhere, who, upon performing the most obscure of tasks, doesn’t take a moment to remember the man, horse or situation which taught him those little ‘tricks,’ or feel those mentors looking over his shoulder.”

The MASTERS (2017) CD from CowboyPoetry.com features recitations by Larry McWhorter, Sunny Hancock, J.B. Allen, and Ray Owens.

Several years ago Jean Prescott produced an important CD, The Poetry of Larry McWhorter. The CDs include Larry McWhorter’s recorded recitations of his poetry, and eleven of his poems that were never recorded, recited by some of today’s top performers, including Red Steagall, Waddie Mitchell, Chris Isaacs, Andy Hedges, Gary McMahan, Dennis Flynn, Oscar Auker and Jesse Smith. The CD is available from Jean Prescott at http://www.jeanprescott.com.

Read more poetry by Larry McWhorter and more about him at CowboyPoetry.com.

Thanks to Jean Prescott for this photo and to Andrea McWhorter Waitley for her kind permission for use of this poem.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but please seek permission for other uses.)