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National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

2018 Highlights

Thank you, from the Western Folklife Center

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Our 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering was a huge success and a lot of fun, thanks to everyone who joined us in Elko. To our delighted audience and fans, gracious sponsors and the amazing multitude of volunteers from across America who helped out, we send a special thanks  ̶   and an invitation to our 35th!

Yes, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is turning 35! We invite everyone to join us in marking this milestone as we reminisce, re-gather, remember our roots and refine our roots. From special international guests to "vintage" videos of favorite Gathering moments, we'll look backward to gain insight to move forward. We'll revisit past successes, acknowledge the continuity that informs change, and honor each other an where we came from...all with one eye toward the future. We like to think that 35 years brings maturity, but don't worry, 35 is still young enough to know how to celebrate! And, we plan to do this shindig up in style.

Tickets for the 2019 Gathering go on sale to Western Folklife Center members the day after Labor Day, September 4, 2018, and to the general public one month later. Read more.

34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Playlist

In 2011, the late cowboy poet, Jess Howard, shared a bit of fun with his "Cowboy Banker" story at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. A saddle bronc rider who won rodeo's title of NCRA Saddle Bronc Champion in 1970, Jess turned to cowboy poetry in the 1990s, writing about his experiences - and occasionally the ridiculous side of life.

Banner photo by Charlie Ekburg