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john laughing by Charlie Ekburg.jpg

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

  Click here  to learn more about acclaimed photographer Kurt Markus and the 35th Gathering Poster!

Click here to learn more about acclaimed photographer Kurt Markus and the 35th Gathering Poster!

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 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 and 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.

COMING SOON: We'll be updating our website periodically with information on featured participants; our special "ticketed shows" - featuring the hottest performances of the Gathering; and workshops - gearmaking, cooking, dancing and more - for the 2019 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering!

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. Join now or Read more.

2018 Gathering Highlights, January 29-February 3, 2018

A sample of shows, discussions and workshops that you might expect at the next National Cowboy Poetry Gathering!

34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Playlist

The late cowboy poet, Jess Howard, shared a bit of fun in 2011 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