Friday, January 28, 2005

High Desert Dispatch ...

I'm in Elko, Nev., at the 21st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. I would have been blogging sooner, but the laptop I brought has been, shall we say, difficult.
Anyway, I just watched Oscar Auker, 13, recite some poems with a degree of poise and aplomb that would be the envy of many an older performer. After Oscar, a guy named Jim King recited a poem about a guy under the influence riding a motorized tricycle that was so funny I had tears running down my face.
Cowboy poetry, for those unfamilar with it, is actually a sophisticated performing art. The text no more comes to life on the page than a musical score does.


  1. I'd like to hear more about cowboy poetry. Hope you'll be blogging again soon with some more update. Maybe with pictures? I once saw a piece on Sunday Morning about this annual meeting. I bet you're having a ball! Anyway, nice site you've got started.


  2. I wonder: Not knowing much about cowboy poetry, but knowing -- as the man said about art -- what I like, would Robert Service be considered a cowboy poet?

  3. I covered the Pincher Creek, Alberta, cowboy poetry festival back in the early 1990s, respectively for The Edmonton Journal and Quill & Quire (the trade magazine for Canada's publishing industry). I can't get enough of the stuff and after began collecting the works of cowpokes. Your brief squib about Elko interested me, mostly because of the Columbian content. I never thought about multicultural cowboy writing before. Keep up the good work. If you get some time, drop by my blog: