Campfires, Cattle & Cowboys Gathering, November 17, 2017, Duncan, Oklahoma

Campfires, Cattle & Cowboys Gathering

LIVE! UNDER THE STARS! Campfires, Cattle, and Cowboys Gathering, a cowboy poetry evening, returns for its third year, Friday, Nov. 17, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan.

Featured artists include nationally-recognized cowboy poet Jay Snider, cowboy poet laureate Francine Roark Robison, Danny Carl Williams, Donnie Poindexter, and the duo of Jim Garling on the guitar and Susanne Woolley on the fiddle.

Novice performers get a chance to break in their boots on the stage during open mic session interspersed through the featured performers from 6:00 – 9:00pm. Register that night or call for details.  All family friendly spoken or musical poetry welcome.

Meet, mingle and pick up your favorite artists’ books and CDs from 5:00-6:00pm or at their artist table throughout the night.

To warm your innards, there will be campfires, hot coffee and plenty of hot chocolate.  Bring your blankets and lawn chairs for this outdoor gathering. No charge to attend with a recommended donation of $20 to help the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center fulfill its mission and continue these types of programs.

For information, visit;; or call 580-252-6692.

National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo 2017, August 3-5, 2017, Abilene, Kansas



From the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo (NCPR):

It’s not too late to put the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo on your calendar. We still have a few spots open in the competition—so visit the website at for rules and entry forms and join us August 3rd after the parade at the Shockey and Landes Building, Abilene, Kansas, for our annual get-together and open mic event.

Then Friday and Saturday mornings until we are done, we start in with the cowboy poetry rodeo competition with free admission. On Saturday afternoon, August 6, 2016, at 4:00 p.m., get your tickets to the Matinee show where the winners will be crowned and perform their winning poetry followed by the Chisholm Trail Western Music Show with Geff Dawson and Cowboy Friends. For more information, visit our web site at Tickets available online.

Take time to see all the sights in Abilene and the area while you are in Kansas. You can see one of the biggest free fairs and rodeo in the Midwest, the Central Kansas Free Fair and Wild Bill Hickok PRCA Rodeo while you are there, plus many, many more attractions. Some of our contestants and judges will be performing during the rodeo each night so don’t miss it!

Don’t miss eating at the Brookeville Hotel where they serve family-style fried chicken dinners. If you would like to come as a contestant or a spectator, contact Geff Dawson, or call 785-456-4494 and we will get you hooked up. You’re not going to want to miss this event. We have several special guests coming to judge and entertain, and contestants can win thousands of dollars and prizes. Entries are open now.

Many poets who have participated in the NCPR have had high praise for the experience, including Yvonne Hollenbeck, Doris Daley, Linda Kirkpatrick, DW Groethe, Janice Gilbertson, Andy Nelson, the late Pat Richardson, and others. A celebration of “excellence through competition,” many lasting friendships are made at the NCPR.

Find more about the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo on Facebook; at; and at the NCPR web site,

This photo shows the 2016 contestants and judges.


THE CUTTIN’ CHUTE by Linda Kirkpatrick



by Linda Kirkpatrick

As the cowboy works the cuttin’ gate
There’s a few things he’s gotta know.
The first and foremost of these things
Is what must stay and what must go.

Now take that ole cow over there
The black with mottled face,
Why she ain’t calved in more than a year;
She’s got no business on this place.

So I’ll just cut her to the left
When she hits the cuttin’ gate,
So far of all the cows to go,
She’ll be number eight.

But when it comes to friends I know
And life is kinda in a tight
There is one thing fer darn sure,
I’ll cut you to the right.

© 2002, Linda Kirkpatrick, used with permission
This poem should not be printed or posted without the author’s permission

Ranch-raised in Texas Hill Country, Linda Kirkpatrick is known for her poetry, recitations, writings about regional history, and chuckwagon cooking.

She wrote this poem for her friends Ginger and W. B. Patterson, who, like Linda, are from long-time Texas ranching families.

Linda Kirkpatrick is headed to the 31st annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering (February 24-25, 1017). A stellar lineup includes Doris Daley, Pipp Gillette, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Jim Jones, Luke Reed, Gail Steiger, Dale Burson, Mikki Daniel, Kevin Davis, and Randy Rieman. There are special concerts by Trinity Seely and Kristyn Harris and by Red Steagall and Dan Roberts and other performers include Mary Abbott, Apache Adams, Gary Allegretto, Amy Hale Auker, Sally Bates, “Straw” Berry, Mike Blakely, Almeda Bradshaw, Don Cadden, Bob Campbell, Craig Carter, Allan Chapman & Rodeo Kate, John Davis, Doug Figgs, Ray Fitzgerald, Rolf Flake, Ryan Fritz, Jeff Gore, Audrey Hankins, Andy Hedges, Don Hedgpeth, Randy Huston, Chris Issacs, Jill Jones & Three Hands High, Suzi Killman & Cyndi Austin, Linda Kirkpatrick, Daron Little, Deanna McCall, Pat Meade, Chuck Milner, Glenn Moreland, Joel Nelson, Sam Noble, Kay Nowell, Jean Prescott, Gary Prescott, Mike Querner, Heather Watson & Nathan Schmidt, Jay Snider, Caitlyn Taussig, Rod Taylor, Floyd Traynor, Keith Ward, and Jim Wilson.

This year’s Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering poster is by Tyler Crow, the newest and youngest member of the Cowboy Artists of America. (The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry/ is also pleased to have Tyler Crow art for this year’s Cowboy Poetry Week poster.)

Find more about the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering on Facebook and at

Find more about Tyler Crow on Facebook,  and at

Find more about Linda Kirkpatrick, including her books and recordings, at,, and find her “Somewhere in the West” column in The Hill Country Herald.


25th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering, Sierra Vista, Arizona


The 25th annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering (February 3-5, 2017) in Sierra Vista, Arizona features Arvel Bird, Mikki Daniel, Desert Suns, Rena Randall & Due West Trio, Juni Fisher, Sue Harris, Carol Heuchan, Susie Knight, Jon Messenger, Dale Page, Saddle Strings, and Jay Snider. Participating artists include Broken Chair Band, Call of the West, Van Criddle, Sam DeLeeuw, Mike Dunn, Nancy Elliot, Kerry Grombacher, Purly Gates, Harpy Trails, Larry Harmer, Randy Huston, Ken & Jerye, Deanna Dickinson McCall, Peggy Malone, Carol Markstrom, Mike Moutoux, Terry Nash, Tony Norris, Notable Exceptions, and Outriders.

From the organizers:

The CCCPMG is celebrating our 25th Anniversary and have a great show the weekend of Feb 2-5 with a special show on Wednesday,  Feb 1, with the Red Hot Rhythm Rustlers performing their Silver Screen Cowboy show.  Then on Sunday we have the Sons of the Pioneers doing a full show as a matinee.

Also we will have a book available for sale (cover shown above) covering our 25 years and every artist who performed at our Gathering is listed. It also lists all student winners for each year and all committee chairs by year. The book is $14.95 with a pre-sale price of $12.00.

Find more at and on Facebook.

29th Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering (2016) report by Nika Nordbrock

29th Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, Prescott, Arizona
by Nika Nordbrock


Cowboy poetry was once again in Prescott as the 29th Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering in Prescott, Arizona, on August 11, 12, and 13, 2016, continued the tradition of sharing the poetry and music with neighbors and friends. Poets, musicians, and audience certainly had a marvelous time during this fantastic weekend. The Gathering poster’s artwork was “Dogies ‘n’ Dust,” by Marcia Molnar.


This year over 50 poets and musicians celebrated the twenty-ninth gathering with the multiple day sessions on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday and three ticketed evening shows on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The evening shows were held in the Performing Arts Center at the Yavapai College Prescott Campus. The all-volunteer Gathering crew once again made it a seamless event for the public. The program was dedicated to 17 year old Ben Jensen who has been volunteering since he was five years old. The evening shows were well attended. The day sessions covered serious and humorous cowboy poetry and cowboy music. The patrons enjoy the college venue with its parking, convenient bathrooms, plenty of seating in the larger venues, two snack bars, air-conditioned rooms, and no hills to climb. All the day sessions were well-attended.

na1photo by Nika Nordbrock

The Gathering received support from various community sponsors—hotels, restaurants, businesses, and individuals. As many know, without such sponsorship, gatherings around the West would not be able to continue sharing with audiences the lifestyle of those who earn their livelihood on horseback as working cowboys and in the livestock and ranching sectors.

na3photo by Nika Nordbrock

The public part of the Gathering kicked off with the Thursday evening show which featured Jim Jones with host Chris Isaacs. Even with a “heckler” in the audience, Chris Isaacs was the ultimate professional who kept the show moving smoothly. The show included the Amy Hale Auker Steiger, Dale Page, the Fiddlin’ Duo, Gary Kirkman, Suzi Killman, and Jay Snider.Once again the authentic and historic chuck wagons provided by Myron and Betsy Deibel and the plants from Ken and Lisa Lain, owners of Watters Garden Center, provided the stage setting ambiance.

na4photo by Nika Nordbrock

Friday morning the poets and singers participated in outreach programs at fourth grade classes in several elementary schools, at the Bob Stump Northern Arizona Veterans Hospital, and at the Arizona Pioneers Home.

na2photo by Nika Nordbrock

At noon on Friday, the Gathering started with the opening program in the Yavapai College Performance Hall. After the posting of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, Joe Konkel, president of the Gathering, welcomed the audience to the Gathering and Introduced Prescott Mayor Harry Oberg who welcomed the audience and mentioned that the Gathering was Prescott’s second largest cowboy event as only the Frontier Days Rodeo drew a bigger crowd each year.

After the opening, the patrons scattered to seven venues, where they could enjoy a variety of cowboy poetry, stories, and music.

Evening host Randy Huston kept the 7:00 pm Friday show at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center running smoothly and on time. Mary Kaye headlined the show and was joined on stage by Doug Figgs, Floyd Beard, the Fiddlin’ Duo, Gary Kirkman, Kay Kelly-Nowell, and Don Fernwalt. Fourth graders also recited their poems which they had written for the Gathering’s “Poetry in the Schools” program.

na6photo by Nika Nordbrock

Saturday was another busy day with the eight concurrent day sessions from 9:00 am-5:00 pm at the Yavapai College Prescott Campus. During the day, folks took a break to stroll through the Prescott Farmers Market, enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant or the college’s snack bars, or listened to the sessions.

At 1:00 pm, Joe Konkel hosted the special ranch history session, which featured the Nesham Family from Hillside, Arizona. Galen and Rodella Nesham have ranched in Arizona since 1962. Not only do the Neshams ranch on Thorn Peak, Tres Alamos, Pipeline, and Santa Maria Ranches, but also they are active in the ministry at Hillside Bible Church and Walnut Grove Chapel, where Galen is the minister. They say, “We are blessed, blessed, blessed.”

Several new faces at the Gathering were Calvin Danner, Nancy Elliott, Leon Gee, Bonnie Krogman, All day cowboy poetry fans were able to enjoy stories about ranch life, ranch women and men, green grass, life in the West, and Western history, both serious and humorous, with sessions of cowboy poetry, cowboy classics, and cowboy music.

On Saturday evening, 7:00 pm performance, which was hosted by Tom Weathers, headlined R. W. Hampton with Curt Brummett, Bonnie Krogman, Bimbo Cheney, Kevin Davis, Steve Lindsey.

na5photo by Nika Nordbrock

The Gail I. Gardner Award for a cowboy poet was presented to Gary Kirkman from Taylor, Arizona. Gary has worked on and managed several ranches in Arizona and currently ranches in the Taylor and St. Johns area.

Saturday night was soon at a close and patrons, poets, host families, and sponsors parted once again. The crew of volunteers quickly dismantled the Cowboy Mercantile, the Green Room, and the stage. Soon the cowboy poet family, new and old “tribe” members, left each other with hugs and waves, and the words “See you next year” drifted across the Arizona night air.

If you missed the Gathering, you can still purchase the commemorative poster, programs, coins, bolos, and other Gathering merchandise. Contact the Gathering at

Remember to mark your calendars and check the website for August 10, 11, and 12, 2017, and the 30th Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering in Prescott, Arizona. It’s one gathering that you don’t want to miss. Be sure to bookmark as one of your favorite sites and “like” the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering on Facebook.

[Find additional photos by Nika Nordbrock in her report on Rope Burns.]

7th annual Whistle Stop Ranch Fall Cowboy Roundup



From the organizers:

7th annual Whistle Stop Ranch Fall Cowboy Roundup

Dave Stamey-GaryRobertson-Walt Cheney- with Michael Tcherkassky & Mark Birdsall
Saturday October 22, 2016
Doors open at 4pm- show starts 7pm
Dinner & refreshments

Cowboy fine shopping at Brushpoppers Western Store!
Where you will find incredible items & one of a kind of deals!

Our fine Cowboy Cooking & Working Chuckwagon Bill Schonhorst will be cooking up a feast on his Chuckwagon this year!

$45 tickets are Non Refundable

Inquiries to