Cowboy Poetry Week News


image “Out to Pasture” © 2017, Clara Smith,


Find more about Cowboy Poetry Week here.



Find Cowboy Poetry Week events on the April calendar.


utstflagj samdpic
Poet Sam DeLeeuw has  has organized a number of events for Cowboy Poetry Week at Utah‘s Weber County libraries. Joining her will be poets and musicians Robin Arnold, Thatch Elmer, Saddle Strings, Gordon Champneys, and David Anderson. Find the events on the April calendar.


For years, the late Stan Tixier organized these events. He is greatly missed and the foundation he created for the programs is appreciated throughout the community.


orflagj  tomswearingen150_small
Oregon poet Tom Swearingen always takes an active part in Cowboy Poetry Week and this year he’ll be making appearances at the Oregon City Public Library, the East Portland Rotary Club, and the Canby Public Library.


Find the events on the April calendar.


florida77 davidcarlton77
Each year, David L. Carlton, seventh-generation Floridian raised in the cattle industry, works with Florida officials for a Cabinet resolution from the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida for Cowboy Poetry Week. Here’s this year’s proclamation:



Outtoorig  CP_Smith_Poster_15X20_R3
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.

Submissions are welcome through April 12, 2018. Find more here.


utstflagj marleenbussma
Utah poet Marleen Bussma helps the Enterprise Branch Library in Enterprise, Utah celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 2:00 PM.


nevadaflagj utstflagj
Russ Westwood, organizer of the popular Mesquite Western Roundup in Mesquite, Nevada, has organized three Cowboy Poetry Week events on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Utah libraries: the Hurricane Branch Library at 5:00 PM; the Washington Branch Library at 7:00 PM; and the St. George Branch Library at 6:00 PM.


coloflgaj rex
Colorado musician Red Rideout appears at two events celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week:  Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at the Evergreen Library at 6:00 PM and Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the Conifer Library at 6:00 PM.


tnflagy shanequeener3
Musician and poet Shane Queener received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam:



utstflagj samdpic
Utah poet Sam DeLeeuw received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert.



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Nevada poet Dan Bybee received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval:



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Award-winning DJ Totsie Slover of The Real West from the Old West show received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez:



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Washington’s Dayton Memorial Library holds its Second Annual Cowboy Poetry Night on Thursday, April 19, 2018.


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Washington poet, musician, and artist Lynn Kopelke received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Washington Governor Jay Inslee:



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Cowboy, packer, poet and humorist Chris Isaacs received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Governor Douglas Ducey:


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Francie Ganje of Heritage of the American West received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Governor Dennis Daugaard:



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Poet and rancher Diane Tribitt Scott received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton:




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Poet and regional historian Linda Kirkpatrick received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Texas Governor Greg Abbott:




cowradio jimandy

Each year for Cowboy Poetry Week, Andy and Jim Nelson’s Clear Out West (C.O.W.)” Radio Show has a special show that includes top cowboy poetry and songs that were originally poems or collaborations with poets.

This year’s program airs April 16-22, 2018 on its syndicated stations, and the following week it is available for listening on the COW web site, The music and poetry selections are:

“Spin That Pony” by Dave Stamey, from a collaboration with Les Buffham; Paul Hamblin’s rendition of “The Strawberry Roan” from Curly Fletcher’s poem; Jon Chandler’s “Back Story” from a poem by Waddie Mitchell; and Don Edwards’ “Ridin’, based on Badger Clark’s poem. Other selections include poems: Baxter Black’s “All Ranch Rodeo”; Waddie Mitchell’s “Evening Chat”; Yvonne Hollenbeck’s “Money in Horses; and Doris Daley’s “Say Hi to Grandpa.”

Clear Out West is “…a weekly syndicated cowboy radio show dedicated to introducing the cowboy culture to new folks, and bringing back some great memories to some old cowboys. Join your hosts, Andy and Jim Nelson, every week for some great cowboy music, some awesome cowboy poetry and some serious goofing off!”

Find more at


wyostflgj lkeltner
Wyoming’s Leslie Keltner, cowboy poet, Western songstress, and keeper of traditions received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Wyoming Governor Matthew H. Mead:



coloflgaj terrynash
Poet and rancher Terry Nash appears on KWGL, “The Range Legendary Country” radio in Grand Junction, Colorado on Monday, April 16 at 10:20 AM and talks about Cowboy Poetry Week . Visit the station’s Facebook page.


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L.L. “LuckyLindy” Segall celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week, appearing Friday, April 20 at 10:00 AM CDT on KNAF 910 on the “Talk of the Texas Hill Country” show with Jerry Sotello, produced by Angela Compton. He’ll be sharing the late Carlos Ashley’s poetry.

He’s also involved with the first annual “Texas Hill Country Cowboy Gathering: A Celebration of Song, Story, Poetry and Art” scheduled for November 8-10, 2018 in Fredericksburg, Texas.


washstflg susanmatley150
Washington state writer and musician Susan Matley celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on her blog at She writes, “Two years ago I interviewed four cowboy poet friends. This week’s blog shares what they’ve been up to since then.” The poets are Janice Gilbertson, Lynn Kopelke, Doris Daley, and Clark Crouch.


calflag.png chucklearn
California musician and great friend of the BAR-D Chuck Learn celebrates Cowboy Poetry Week on Sunday, April 21 at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival when he will recite classic and modern cowboy poetry  on the Outwest Stage.


coloflgaj terrynash
Poet and rancher Terry Nash received a proclamation from Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, proclaiming Sunday, April 15 as Cowboy Poetry Day:





nebraskaflag marc-broyhill
Nebraska storyteller and poet Marci Broyhill received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Governor Pete Ricketts:




sdglag francie
Francie Ganje of Heritage of the American West have organized Cowboy Poetry Week activities at South Dakota libraries:

Local libraries celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week

STURGIS, SD – As part of the nation-wide celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week,  libraries in the Black Hills are centering their participation around the Center for Western & Cowboy Poetry’s Rural Library Project.

The program’s mission is to serve as an outreach activity to rural communities where the focus on cowboy poetry and writing  often serves as a history lesson as well as a literary one.

At the Belle Fourche Public Library, Belle Fourche, SD, director Wanda Nelson has created a display that includes Belle Fourche and other area cowboy poet publications.  “Here in Belle Fourche, cowboy poetry continues as  a popular form of literature and entertainment,” says Nelson. “We have a wealth of poets right here close to home.”


Children’s story hour and a community book walk are part of the activities planned at the Whitewood Public Library.  The community is home to a well-known cowboy poet, Robert V. Carr, who lived there in the late 19th century.  Carr wore many hats during his time in the community – as the editor of the local paper to a student at the South Dakota School of Mines. Memorabilia from the well-known cowboy poet along with other historical memorabilia from Crook City (a community just north of Whitewood that no longer exists) are also on display at the library.

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The Whitewood Cowboy Poetry Walk is set for Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 9:30-3:00pm and features Carr’s life and works.  According to Weyer, there will be a dozen or more displays located along Laurel Street in Whitewood that tell his story – including his participation in Seth Bullock’s Cowboy Brigade.  School children will dress in period costume and there will be a question and answer session following the walk.  The event is open to the public.


The Rapid City Public Library will feature its popular Local History Room along with a display of cowboy poetry and western literature it offers to patrons year round.  As does the Sturgis Public Library where director Julie Moore Peterson  points out that along with Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21, 2018, it is also National Poetry Month.  “Cowboy poetry relates to so many people who work hard every day on ranches and farms,” she observes, “who often times use humor to get over the tough times.” She adds, “I think cowboy poetry should be preserved as an art form because it is an important historical reference as well.”


Cowboy Poetry Week in South Dakota is recognized by Governor Dennis Daugaard who has signed an official Proclamation in support of the prominent place cowboy poets and western writers hold in the state.


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Poet and horseman Tom Swearingen received a Cowboy Poetry Week proclamation from Oregon Governor Kate Brown:



nmflag Totsie
Award-winning DJ Totsie Slover of The Real West from the Old West show aired five tracks from the new MASTERS: VOLUME TWO, the poetry of S. Omar Barker CD on her April 18, 2018 show:

About S. Omar Barker – Andy Hedges,
“Purt Near!” – Randy Rieman
“Horses vs Hosses” – Paul Zarzyski
“Bear Ropin’ Buckaroo” – Terry Nash
“The Riders” – Andy Hedges

You can listen to the show here.


idahoflj tommytucker
Tommy Tucker‘s April 20, 2018 “Snake River Radio Roundup” from 1350 AM  KRLC  in Lewiston, Idaho, celebrated Cowboy Poetry Week “with phone interviews with poets Duane Nelson & Tom Swearingen and special in studio guest “Grampa Nord” (Dave Nordquist).” The show included live performances and cowboy poetry and Western music.


South Dakota’s KEVN television reported on the Cowboy Poetry Week event in Whitewood,  “Whitewood students learn about local Cowboy Poet.”  As noted above, “The community is home to a well-known cowboy poet, Robert V. Carr, who lived there in the late 19th century.  Carr wore many hats during his time in the community – as the editor of the local paper to a student at the South Dakota School of Mines. Memorabilia from the well-known cowboy poet along with other historical memorabilia from Crook City (a community just north of Whitewood that no longer exists) are also on display at the library.”





It will be a great 17th annual Cowboy Poetry Week, and behind it are the people who make it and the Rural Library Program and everything else possible at the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry: the generous supporters.

Thanks to those whose generosity fuels all of the Center’s programs (February, 2017-February 2018):

Bryce Angell, ARIZONA COWBOY POETS GATHERING (sponsor), Armovaz, Denise Arvidson in memory of Ross Christian Arvidson, Sally Baldus, Michael Babiarz-KVMR, Stephen Barnard, Norma Battenfield, Valerie and Floyd Beard, ALMEDA BRADSHAW (sponsor), Bert and Carol Braun-THE COWPOKE FOUNDATION in memory of Pat Richardson (sponsor), Paul R. Brown III, Wendy Brown-Barry, Jerry Brooks, Marci BROYHILL (sponsor), Marleen Bussma, Daniel Bybee, Ron Cagle, Greg Camp, Jeff Campbell, Maurice Carter, Jim and Stella Cathey in memory of Joan Taylor and Garland Haak and Louise M. Fritts,  Steve and Marge Conroy in memory of Allen “Hook” Hill, KEN COOK (sponsor), Hugh Cooke, Doris Daley, Teddie Daley, Marvin and Elaine Del Chiaro, Eileen Dirksen in memory of “California” Steve Dirksen, Patricia Frolander, Charmaine Ganson,  Del Gustafson, Jean Mathisen Haugen, Thomas F. Hawk, HEBER VALLEY WESTERN MUSIC & COWBOY POETRY GATHERING (sponsor), Buzz Helfert, Sarah Hendricks, YVONNE AND GLEN HOLLENBECK (sponsor), Eldon Housley, Judy James, Dee Strickland Johnson (“Buckshot Dot”), Laverna B. Johnson, Robert Kinsey, Linda Kirkpatrick, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Susie Knight, Colleen Kohler, Lynn Kopelke, Georganna Kresl, Jarle Kvale, CHUCK AND CINDY LEARN (sponsor), Deanna Dickinson McCall, Gary McMahan-HorseApple Entertainment, Susan Matley in memory of Liz Masterson, Al “Doc” Mehl, Rod Miller, Howard Moon, Dick Morton, Mike Moutoux, Terry Nash, NATIONAL COWBOY POETRY RODEO (sponsor), ANDY NELSON-CLEAR OUT WEST (sponsor), Rodney Nelson, Nika Nordbrock, Kay Kelley Nowell, Dale Page, Shelly Pagiliai-Prairie Moon Quilts, Susan Parker, Maryanne Patterson, Linda and Bill Patterson, JEAN AND GARY PRESCOTT (sponsor), Shane Queener,  Cindy Quigley, Paul Quinton, RANGE (sponsor), George Rhoades, Diana Rice, Barbara Richhart (Western Belle)-Cowtrails, Betty and Ken Rodgers in memory of Trisha Pedroia, Roberta Rothman, Chester Roundtree, Sandy Seaton Sallee, Marjorie Satterfield, Mary Seago, Ron Secoy, Susan Shuma, Totsie Slover, Lawrence Smith, Sally Smith-Joelle Smith Western Art, SANDI AND JAY SNIDER (sponsor), Marilyn and Kip Sorlie, SPALDING LABS’ FLYING SL RADIO RANCH SHOW (sponsor), Dave Stamey, David Stanley, Patrick Sullivan, Rocky Sullivan, Sunshine Prairie Farm, Tom Swearingen, P’let and Mike Tcherkassky, Jim Thompson (California), Smoke Wade,  John Waters, WESTERN FOLKLIFE CENTER (sponsor), WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION (sponsor), and Jim White.

Thanks also to the Margaret T. Morris Foundation for foundation support and to Laura and Edmund Wattis Littlefield, Jr. for substantial program support.

Be a part of it all! Join this great community of people helping to preserve and promote the arts and life of the real working West:




For Cowboy Poetry Week’s second year, in April 2003, the United States Senate passed a resolution, with unanimous approval, recognizing our Cowboy Week celebration. In past years, twenty three states’ governors have officially proclaimed Cowboy Poetry Week and there are a growing number of activities across the West and beyond.

Last year (2017) poets and others who worked on Cowboy Poetry Week recognition from state officials, included: Chris Isaacs (Arizona), Terry Nash (Colorado), David L. Carlton (Florida), Bobbie Hunter (Idaho), Geff Dawson (Kansas), Diane Tribitt (Minnesota), DW Groethe (Montana), Marci Broyhill (Nebraska), Dan Bybee (Nevada), Totsie Slover (New Mexico), Keith Ward (North Carolina), Jarle Kvale (North Dakota), Jay Snider (Oklahoma),  Shane Queener (Tennessee), Linda Kirkpatrick (Texas), Jerry Brooks (Utah), Lynn Kopelke (Washington), and Leslie Keltner (Wyoming).

We’re interested in pursuing recognition in all states with ranching cultures and cowboy poetry activities. If you’d like to be involved, this year or in the future, please email us.

For 2018, the following states’ governors are being contacted, alphabetically by state. This list is updated frequently. Please let us know if you are contacting your governor, so that we can avoid duplicate efforts.

azlfag  Arizona – Chris Isaacs (received)

coloflgaj Colorado- Terry Nash (received)

florida77  Florida-David Carlton  (received)

idahoflj Idaho – J.B. Barber, Cowboy Poets of Idaho

minnflag  Minnesota – Diane Tribitt Scott (received)

montanaflg Montana – DW Groethe

nebraskaflag Nebraska – Marci Broyhill (received)

nevadaflagj Nevada – Daniel Bybee (received)

nmflag New Mexico-Totsie Slover (received)

ndflagj North Dakota – Jarle Kvale

okflag Oklahoma – Jay Snider

orflagj Oregon-Tom Swearingen (received)

sdglag South Dakota – Francie Ganje, Heritage of the American West (received)

tnflagy Tennessee – Shane Queener (received)

texasflag Texas-Linda Kirkpatrick (received)

utstflagj Utah – Sam DeLeeuw (received)

washstflg Washington – Lynn Kopelke (received)

wyostflgj Wyoming – Leslie Keltner (received)

Find more about Cowboy Poetry Week here.