National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: The Anthology

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cowboy poetry

Celebrate National Poetry Month with…

Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, is proud to announce the April 2, 2014, release of NATIONAL COWBOY POETRY GATHERING: The Anthology, by the Western Folklife Center, foreword by Baxter Black (978-0-7627-9684-7; $16.95 paperback), celebrating 30 years of wrangling words with these rough-and-tumble voices of cowboy country.

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is the granddaddy of all cowboy poetry events, recognized by the US Senate for its pioneering role in the preservation and revitalization of this important American tradition. In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the event, this commemorative volume collects over 100 poems by various cowboy poets who have appeared at the gathering over the last three decades. In addition to poems that will make you laugh, sigh, or sit up straight in your saddle, the anthology features expressive photos, biographical head notes, artwork from the Folklife Center’s archives, and illuminating sidebars on topics such as working cattle; life on the land; the relationship between cowboy poetry and song; gear and horses; and profiles of important poets from earlier times. A foreword by cowboy poet extraordinaire Baxter Black and an introduction give context both to the event itself and to cowboy poetry in general from the days of the trail drives in the nineteenth century to the lives of the hardworking men and women who still ranch and live on the land in the West today.

Wallace McRae’s classic, “Reincarnation,” from the 25th annual gathering:

Featuring: Amy Hale Auker, John Dofflemyer, Elizabeth Ebert, D.W. Groethe, Linda Hasselstrom, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Linda Hussa, Chris Isaacs, Wallace McRae, Waddie Mitchell, Joel Nelson, Buck Ramsey, Pat Richardson, Andy Wilkinson, Paul Zarzyski, and more.

The Western Folklife Center, based in Elko, Nevada, helps enhance the understanding and appreciation of the American West through the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and other performances, exhibitions, educational programs, and preservation projects. It has created numerous features for public radio, including What’s in a Song, an occasional music series for NPR’s Weekend Edition, and Emmy Award-winning public television specials, among other programming. Visit them at

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