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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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WHAT’S A BRONCO by S. Omar Barker

bronc

WHAT’S A BRONCO
by S. Omar Barker

They asked me “What’s a bronco!”
since they seemed to crave to know.
I kinder chawed it over,
then I fed it to ’em slow.

“A bronc,” I says, judicious,
“which is what you mean, no doubt,
Is an equine son of cyclones
with the hairy side turned out.
His soul is filled with cockleburs,
and when this inward itch
bursts forth in outward action,
he is said to buck or pitch,
Which means he comes unraveled,
paws the moon to make it spin,
and agitates his muscles
like he aimed to quit his skin.

“One jump he views his belly,
and the next he chins the stars.
Was you ever kicked by lightnin’?
That’s the way his landin’ jars.
His color may be anything
from black to flea-bit roan;
a sorrel, bay, or chestnut,
he is still the devil’s own
until he’s been unspizzled
by some hairpin on his back
with two prongs hung acrost him
and their juncture in the kack.

“A pinwill or a r’arback
or a circlin’ pioneer,
The bronc’s a welcome widow-maker
when he throws himself in gear.
Though he’s the toughest red meat
you will ever come across,
If you’re man enough to ride him,
then you’ve got yourself a hoss!”

…by S. Omar Barker, from “Rawhide Rhymes; Singing Poems of the Old West,” (1968); reprinted with the permission of the estate of S. Omar Barker

Cowboy, poet, songwriter, and yodeler Gary McMahan does a great recitation of “What’s a Bronco” on the forthcoming double CD of S. Omar Barker’s poetry from CowboyPoetry.com (April 2018).

S. Omar Barker, as described in Cowboy Miner Productions’ collection of his work, “…was born in the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico… a rancher, high school teacher, college professor, forest ranger, soldier, outdoorsman, and legislator…” He 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.

The photo above is among those you’ll find in a new book, Way Out West: Photographs from the Farm Security Administration 1936-1943, Charlie Seemann, retired Executive Director of the Western Folklife Center.

wayoutwestbkcover

See our review here.

This 1940 photo by Russell Lee from FSA collection at The Library of Congress is titled, “Quemado, New Mexico. Bronc busting at the rodeo.” Find more about it at here.

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.

CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3
Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21, 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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BeefUSA Cowboy Poetry contest

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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Western Music Association 2017 Award winners

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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”

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

WAY OUT WEST: Photographs from the Farm Security Administration 1936-1943 by Charlie Seemann

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These days we are saturated with electronic images: photographs, graphics, and video. Contemplating a print book of photographs can become a meditative escape. In the case of of Charlie Seemann’s recent book, Way Out West: Photographs from the Farm Security Administration 1936-1943, it is also a satisfying journey back in time.

The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was a result of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” part of a group of federal programs intended to counter the effects of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Ranch-raised Roy Stryker headed the FSA’s photographic project and hired some of the country’s most respected photographers, telling them, “I want you take pictures of everything you can find of what’s happening to people.” The project resulted in over 77,500 photographs.

Folklorist Seemann, retired Executive Director of the Western Folklife Center, focuses on the works of several of the photographers, including Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Wolcott, John Collier Jr., and John Vachon. Rothstein is quoted about the project, “There was a feeling that you were in on something new and exiting, a missionary sense of dedication to this project, of making the world a better place to live in.”

The book begins with Bruce Kiskaddon’s “Headin’ Fer the New Deal,” a poem dedicated to President Franklin D. Roosevelt:

We’re headin’ fer the NEW DEAL now. We’ve had some awful years.
We recollect them two cent cows, and them there four cent steers.
Besides the calves that got so cheap; the wust I’ve ever seen.
It made their mothers stand and weep the day that they were weaned.
….

Way Out West captures a time of transition in the West, when cars, trucks, electricity, the telephone, and other developments changed forever the remote ranges in places with names like Dead Ox Flat and Pie Town and Spur. The careful selection of photographs  preserves a world at once familiar and also lost to time.

One of the book’s first photographs, Russell Lee’s 1939 image titled, “Mr. Bias, former cowboy, travels around the country in a trailer. Has private income. Weslaco, Texas” is a study in personality, atmosphere, and design. The genius of the photographer pulls you into the eclectic abode, and you can nearly hear the music coming from the well-used fiddle and—though like all of these photos it is black and white—see the bright colors of everything from the wild rag to the Indian blankets to the linoleum pattern and a Kewpie doll.

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Mr. Bias, former cowboy, now travels around the country in a trailer. Has
private income. Weslaco, Texas
Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, 1939 Feb., Library of Congress.

Readers have likely seen some of these iconic photos before (they are often used to accompany poems at CowboyPoetry.com). Charlie Seemann puts them in context, with brief but incisive biographies of the photographers and enlightening short descriptive pieces that include cowboys music, boots, chuck wagons, bunkhouses, washing machines, rodeo, water witching, and beyond.

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Cowhand shaving. Quarter Circle ‘U’ Ranch, Montana
Rothstein, Arthur, 1915-1985, 1939 June. Library of Congress.

In one of those pieces, “The Arrival of the Automobile,” Seemann writes about the importance of the coming of the automobile to isolated ranches and notes that, “Many ranches had automobiles before they they had indoor plumbing. One ranch wife, when asked why she wanted a car before indoor plumbing, reportedly replied, ‘You can’t go to town in a bathtub.'”

The reach of the photographs is wide: saddle shops, stock shows, ranch views, ranch work, cattle, beer parlors, cowboy portraits, gear, cooks, cowboy bands, and more.

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Moreno Valley, Colfax County, New Mexico. John Mutz and George Turner,
ranchers, talking things over
Collier, John, Jr., 1913-1992, 1943 Feb. Library of Congress.

The opportunity to study high quality reproductions in an impressively designed medium-sized format is an irresistible invitation for the imagination.

The informative introduction, solid bibliography and links enhance this volume. It comes close to being the perfect gift, one which will be of interest to anyone who cares about history, photography, and the American West.

Way Out West comes from Twodot, an imprint of Glove Pequot, Rowman & Littlefield. Find more about it at the publisher and other booksellers.

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Quemado, New Mexico. Bronc busting at the rodeo
Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, 1940 June. Library of Congress.

Cowboy Poetry Week (and “Hooves of the Horses” by Will Ogilvie)

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HOOFS OF THE HORSES
by Will Ogilvie (1869-1963)

The hoofs of the horses!—Oh! witching and sweet
Is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet;
No whisper of lover, no trilling of bird
Can stir me as hoofs of the horses have stirred.

They spurn disappointment and trample despair,
And drown with their drum-beats the challenge of care;
With scarlet and silk for their banners above,
They are swifter then Fortune and sweeter than Love.

On the wings of the morning they gather and fly,
In the hush of the night-time I hear them go by—
The horses of memory thundering through
With flashing white fetlocks all wet with the dew.

When you lay me to slumber no spot can you choose
But will ring to the rhythm of galloping shoes,
And under the daisies no grave be so deep
But the hoofs of the horses shall sound in my sleep

by Will Ogilvie from “Galloping Shoes,” 1922
We are pleased to introduce the 2018 Cowboy Poetry Week poster, “Out to Pasture” by Oregon’s Clara Smith (ClaraSmithArt.com), 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 her painting, “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 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 a sampling of other works in our feature at visit www.ClaraSmithArt.com.

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.

Hundreds of rural libraries receive the Cowboy Poetry Week poster and an invitation for the year’s CD. This year, there is a double-CD of the poetry of S. Omar Barker, with over 60 tracks by today’s popular reciters and poets.

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.

Spread the word! Share the Cowboy Poetry Week poster, get involved.

Scotsman Will Ogilvie lived in Australia for a dozen years, where he became a top station hand, drover, and horse breaker.

Wylie Gustafson set the poem to music, and the song appears on Wylie & the Wild West’s Hooves of the Horses CD. Find a video here.

In a 2017 episode of Andy Hedges’ Cowboy Crossroads, respected horseman, braider, and reciter Randy Rieman gives his impressive presentation of the poem (at 39:40).

Ogilvie was a popular writer who contributed to the Bulletin—the paper that published poets and writers including Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, Harry “Breaker” Morant (Ogilvie’s close friend), and others—even after his return to Scotland.

Find more at CowboyPoetry.com.

 

MASTERS: VOLUME TWO, the poetry of S. Omar Barker

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Praise for previous CD volumes:

“This album [MASTERS (2017)] represents four of the finest poets to ever come out of cowboy culture. We are not likely to see their kind again and the world should be grateful to Cowboypoetry.com for preserving their voices.” Andy Hedges, songster and host of COWBOY CROSSROADS

“…The annual anthology takes listeners on an oral excursion to places throughout the West, introducing them to colorful cowboy characters, explaining their connection to the land, and telling their tales of tough times and the rewards they receive from living the Western lifestyle…” Jennifer Denison, Senior Editor, Western Horseman

“The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry’s annual anthologies are creating a valuable, high quality and thoroughly enjoyable resource for everyone…” Steve Green, Archivist, Western Folklife Center

“…without peer…intelligently produced… I equate them to one of those Ken Burns specials, like his Civil War, Jazz, or Baseball….the best of the best.” Rick Huff, Rick Huff’s Best of the West Reviews

“For those of us who love cowboy poetry, this is perhaps the best anthology we’ve yet heard.” Cowboy Magazine

The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry produces compilation CDs of classic and contemporary poetry recitations. The CDs are offered to libraries in the Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week Rural Library project, given as premiums to the Center’s supporters, and available to the public.

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Our twelfth CD (following ten volumes of The BAR-D Roundup and the first MASTERS volume) is MASTERS: VOLUME TWO (April 2018).

MASTERS: VOLUME TWO has over 60 tracks in a double CD of the poetry of S. Omar Barker.  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.

S. Omar Barker (1894-1985) wrote some 2,000 poems in his long career. He was one of the founders of the Western Writers of America, Inc. and many of his poems were published by Western Horseman.

It’s told that Barker enjoyed signing his name with his brand, created from his initials and laid sideways for “Lazy SOB,” but, that’s not a completely accurate story. 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).”

The photo below of S. Omar Barker and his horse, which appears inside MASTERS: VOLUME TWO, is courtesy of the S. Omar Barker Estate. Find more about Barker at CowboyPoetry.com.

barkerhorserifle© Estate of S. Omar Barker; request permission for reproduction

The MASTERS CD is dedicated to all those who proudly carry on the ranching tradition.

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The Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution—takes place each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, a compilation CD and the celebration’s poster (by Clara Smith in 2018) have been offered to libraries in the Center’s Rural Library Program. The outreach program is part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.

The annual CD is a premium for our supporters and also available for purchase. Find information about past years’ CDs here.

We need your support to continue and expand these programs. Join us and be a part of it all.

Coming, April 2018:

Track list and sources
Acknowledgements
Order information

MASTERS CD Series

The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry produces compilation CDs of classic and contemporary poetry recitations. The CDs are offered to libraries in the Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week Rural Library project, given as premiums to the Center’s supporters, and available to the public.

The current CD series is MASTERS.

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MASTERS: VOLUME TWO (April, 2018) contains over 60 tracks in a double CD of the poetry of S. Omar Barker. Many of today’s top reciters and poets—including individuals,  siblings, couples, parents and children—bring forth Barker’s humor and humanity. Andy Hedges introduces the CD.

Find more about MASTERS: VOLUME TWO here.

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The first CD in the series. MASTERS (2017), includes the works of Larry McWhorter, J.B. Allen, Sunny Hancock, and Ray Owens, reciting their poetry in recorded poems, “live” performances, and their recitations of other masters’ works (Buck Ramsey, S. Omar Barker, and Henry Herbert Knibbs). Jay Snider introduces the CD.

Find more about MASTERS (2017) here.

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Previous to the MASTERS series, the Center produced ten volumes of The BAR-D Roundup.

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The Center’s Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution—is held each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, a compilation CD and the celebration’s poster—by Clara Smith in 2018; by Jason Rich in 2017; by Gary Morton in 2016; by Don Dane in 2015; by Jason Rich in 2014; Shawn Cameron in 2013; by R.S. Riddick in 2012, Duward Campbell in 2011, Bill Owen in 2010, Bob Coronato in 2009; William Matthews in 2008; Tim Cox in 2007; and Joelle Smith in 2006—are offered to libraries in the Center’s Rural Library Project. The outreach program is a part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.

We need your support to continue and expand these programs. Join us and be a part of it all.

Cowboy Poetry Week 2018 Art Spur: “Out to Pasture” by Clara Smith

Outtoorig

© Clara Smith, “Out to Pasture,” ClaraSmithArt.com
Request the artist’s permission for any use of this image

 

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We know many that are worthy of a poem or a song. In Art Spur, we invite poets and songwriters to let selections of Western art inspire their poetry and songs.

Our 48th piece offered to “spur” the imagination is a special Cowboy Poetry Week Art Spur, a painting by artist Clara Smith, “Out to Pasture.” The painting is selected as the poster art for the 17th annual Cowboy Poetry Week.

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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 in our feature here and visit ClaraSmithArt.com.

SUBMISSIONS

Submissions are welcome from all, through Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Poets and songwriters are invited to be inspired by the photograph; a literal representation of the art is not expected.

• Please follow our regular guidelines for content.

• You may submit one poem.

• Send your poem to poems@cowboypoetry.com and note “Art Spur” in the subject line.

Selected poems will be posted.

Find previous Art Spur subjects here and at CowboyPoetry.com.