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National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

  Click here  to learn more about acclaimed photographer Kurt Markus and the 35th Gathering Poster.  View the Brochure (PDF).

Click here to learn more about acclaimed photographer Kurt Markus and the 35th Gathering Poster. View the Brochure (PDF).

Ticket Sales start September 4
for Western Folklife Center Members!
Click Here to Join Now
Public sales for 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering tickets begins October 4, 2018.


View the invited poets, storytellers and prosewriters.
View the invited singers/songwriters/musicians.
Check out the ticketed shows and the workshops.

Since 1985, ranchfolk, rural denizens and aficionados of the American West have traveled to meet in remote Elko, Nevada. Here in Elko, they are captivated by poets and musicians whose verses speak of a life lived on the land. They listen, they learn, they kick up their heels and enjoy a week filled with entertainment, delight and laughter at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Or, simply, “the Gathering.”

Known for its big-heartedness, the Gathering welcomes all! Come early in the week for hands-on workshops and intimate evening performances. Stay through the later part of the week, when things really ramp up with full days and nights of offerings. Learn about creative solutions to current challenges in the rural West; listen to poems and songs from the finest Western wordsmiths; take in talks, exhibitions, films, vendors and family shows exploring just about everything of interest to the ranching West... or simply dance the night away. Friends, old and new, await at the historic Pioneer Saloon, located in the Western Folklife Center, the heart of it all.

In honor of the Gathering’s 35th anniversary, we'll be revisiting our past and charting our course for the future. Come reminisce with us as we remember our roots and refine our routes forward!

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.

2019 Gathering Highlights

34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Playlist

Poet Amy Hale Auker is a featured artist for Western Folklife Center Members’ Show #1, Family Ties, at the upcoming 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. (Ticket price for non-members is $40, starting October 4, subject to availability.)

Banner photo by Charlie Ekburg