The 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will celebrate a little-known corner of Mexico—Baja California Sur—and its rich ranchero culture. From January 26-31, 2015, the small high-desert town of Elko, Nevada, will welcome Baja’s vaqueros, who will share with their American cowboy counterparts the traditional acoustic music, ranch cuisine, local art and craftwork, traditional lore and humor of theirCalifornio roots.
For nearly 300 years, ranching families have carved out an existence in the rugged, arid environment of the sierra of the lower California (Baja) peninsula. These ranching families are the direct descendents of Spanish missionary soldiers, and continue to maintain their horseback traditions, using riding equipment patterned after the horse gear of their Spanish ancestors. They are a living link between Spain and the American buckaroo.
The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering has a long history of organizing cultural exchanges with people from around the globe who work with cattle, horses and other livestock. The goal of these exchanges is to build understanding, awareness and appreciation for how other cultures in the same occupation operate. Past exchanges have brought to the Gathering gauchos from Argentina, gardiens from southern France,butteri from Italy, csikos from Hungary, and herding cultures from Mongolia, Australia, the British Isles, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico.
Produced by the Western Folklife Center, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an annual celebration of the ranching and rural West. Through poetry, music and stories, ranch people express the beauty and challenges of a life deeply connected to the earth and its bounty. Every year, thousands travel to rural Elko, Nevada, in the heart of winter, to listen, learn and share. At the 31st Gathering, more than 55 poets, musicians and musical groups from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Mexico will perform on seven stages at four different venues. The line-up includes poets Baxter Black, Jerry Brooks, John Dofflemyer, Linda M. Hasselstrom, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Wally McRae, Waddie Mitchell and Paul Zarzyski. Musicians and bands include Gretchen Peters, Tom Russell, Ian Tyson, The Western Flyers, Wylie & The Wild West, Eli Barsi, Cowboy Celtic, Don Edwards, Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Albertans, Gary McMahan and many more! See below for a full list of artists and their hometowns. Visit www.westernfolklife.org for bios and audio samples.
The keynote address at the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will be delivered by ethnobotanist, nature writer and food activist Gary Nabhan. Gary’s unique perspective on the intersection of human culture and agriculture, as well as his ability to fuse deep scholarly research with respect for traditional ways of knowing, offers a welcome sense of hopefulness for rural America. The Gathering also features hands-on workshops in traditional western arts, western dances, films, discussions and open-mic sessions.
Tickets to the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased online at www.westernfolklife.org, or by calling 888-880-5885. Western Folklife Center members can purchase tickets beginning at 9:00 am Pacific Time, September 2, 2014, and non-members can purchase tickets beginning Thursday, October 2.
The 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is supported by NV Energy, Barrick Gold of North America, Newmont Mining Corporation, Nevada Humanities, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Elko Convention and Visitors Authority, the City of Elko and many more foundations, businesses and individuals.
The Western Folklife Center is dedicated to exploring, presenting and preserving the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage of the American West. We celebrate the wisdom, artistry and ingenuity of western folkways through exhibitions, educational programs, national radio and television programs, research and preservation projects, our website, and our premier event, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.We nurture connections among rural and ranching cultures globally, exploring universal themes in working traditions and artistic expression, which we believe are vital links to the past, present and future of the American West.
Eli Barsi, Moosomin, Saskatchewan,
Mike Beck, Monterey, CA
Baxter Black, Benson, AZ
Dave Bourne, Agoura Hills, CA
Jerry Brooks, Sevier, UT
Cowboy Celtic, Turner Valley, Alberta,
John Dofflemyer, Lemon Cove, CA
Elizabeth Ebert, Lemmon, SD
Don Edwards, Hico, TX
Thatch Elmer, Bear River, WY New!
Dick Gibford, New Cuyuma, CA
DW Groethe, Bainville, MT
Kenny Hall, Tropic, UT New!
Linda M. Hasselstrom, Hermosa, SD
Chuck Hawthorne, Manor, TX New!
Andy Hedges, Lubbock, TX
Carol Heuchan, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia
Brenn Hill, Hooper, UT
Yvonne Hollenbeck, Clearfield, SD
Ross Knox, Midpines, CA
Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Albertans, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Deanna Dickinson McCall, Timberon, NM
Gary McMahan, Bellvue, CO
Wally McRae, Forsyth, MT
Doc Mehl, Westminster, CO New!
Augie Meyers, San Antonio, TX New!
Chuck Milner, Reydon, OK
Waddie Mitchell, Twin Bridges, NV
Andy Nelson, Pinedale, WY
Joel Nelson, Alpine, TX
Rodney Nelson, Almont, ND
Wayne Nelson, American Falls, ID
Kay Kelley Nowell, Alpine, TX
Glenn Ohrlin, Mountain View, AR
Sharon Salisbury O’Toole, Savery, WY New!
Ed Peekeekoot, Crofton, British Columbia, Canada
Gretchen Peters & Barry Walsh, Nashville, TN New!
Shadd Piehl, Mandan, ND
Vess Quinlan, San Acacio, CO
Henry Real Bird, Garryowen, MT
Brigid Reedy, Boulder, MT
Pat Richardson, Merced, CA
Randy Rieman, Dillon, MT
Kent Rollins, Hollis, OK
Tom Russell, Canutillo, TX
Sandy Seaton Sallee, Emigrant, MT
Georgie Sicking, Kaycee, WY
Sourdough Slim & Robert Armstrong, Paradise, CA
Gail Steiger, Prescott, AZ
Caitlyn Taussig, Kremmling, CO New!
Charis Thorsell, Burbank, OH New!
Ian Tyson, Longview, Alberta, Canada
The Western Flyers, Burleson, TX New!
Wylie & The Wild West, Conrad, MT
Paul Zarzyski, Great Falls, MT