National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Shows

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Shows

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is a week-long festival of cowboy poetry, music, and art, rooted in tradition but focused on today’s rural West. It began in 1985 as a time and place where western ranchers and cowboys could gather to share poems about their lives working cattle. Three decades later, the Gathering encompasses western poets, musicians, artisans, and storytellers, sharing their creativity across the country, telling their stories of hard work, heartbreak, and hilarity, and what it means to make your way in the rangeland West.

The 38th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will take place Jan. 30-Feb. 4, 2023, in Elko, NV. Tickets go on sale to Western Folklife Center members Sept. 6, 2022. More information: https://www.nationalcowboypoetrygathering.org/

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National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Shows
  • Cowkids Stampede

    FEATURING: Wylie + the Wild West

    Wylie + the Wild West perform before an excited audience of local children. Lead singer and front man Wylie Gustafson, along with Clayton Parsons on electric guitar, Tim Lashley on drums, and Max Lashley on upright bass give an auditorium full of children a taste...

  • Friday Morning Brew

    FEATURING: Margo Cilker, Wylie Gustafson, Jonathan Odermann, Jessie Veeder, and Special Guests.

    It takes a bit of java to get perking on a Friday morning at the Gathering. These poets and musicians will caffeinate you with their performances. Guest poets George Wallace and Karen Stockett open th...

  • Paying Tribute

    FEATURING: Annie Mackenzie, Waddie Mitchell, Terry Nash, Gail Steiger, Forrest VanTuyl.

    Attributing their words to those they admire, and contributing their wit to those who inspire, this group pays tribute to the poets and people who have influenced them. Poets Annie Mackenzie, Waddie Mitchell...

  • Opening Lines

    FEATURING: Floyd Beard, Straw Berry, Tom Sharpe.

    Three cowboys walk into the Pioneer Saloon. . . Which one has the best opening line? Floyd Beard, Straw Berry, and Tom Sharpe take the stage with poems from classic to "cowboy poultry."

    From the 38th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

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  • Big Sky Cadences

    FEATURING: Mike Beck, DW Groethe, Wylie Gustafson, Brigid + Johnny Reedy.

    Who knew there was so much talent in the state of Montana? These four acts are sure to entertain. Mike Beck, DW Groethe, Wylie Gustafson and Brigid and Johnny sing, play music and perform poetry from the heart.

    From the 3...

  • Different Strings for Different Folks

    FEATURING: Pipp Gillette, Marley's Ghost, Sourdough Slim + Robert Armstrong, Denise Withnell + Keri Lynn Zwicker.

    How many stringed instruments will you see on this stage? Add a couple without strings for more fun. Texas's Pipp Gillette, the West Coast's Marley's Ghost, California's Sourdough Sl...

  • Georgie, Pat, Jess, and Elizabeth: Classic Poems + Tales

    FEATURING: DW Groethe, Brenn Hill, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Rodney Nelson, Dave Stamey.

    Remembering Georgie Sicking, Pat Richardson, Jess Howard and Elizabeth Ebert through poetry, stories and song. Poets DW Groethe, Yvonne Hollenbeck + Rodney Nelson share the stage with singer/songwriters Brenn Hill ...

  • Close the Gate Behind You

    FEATURING: Maria Lisa Eastman, Dick Gibford, Dave Stamey.

    Poets Dick Gibford and Maria Lisa Eastman join singer/songwriter Dave Stamey onstage to entertain and educate. They will take you on a journey through time and place on foot and horseback. Always remember to close the gate behind you.

    Fr...

  • Poetry, Song, and Beyond

    FEATURING: Corb Lund, Waddie Mitchell, Michael Martin Murphey + the Rio Grande Band,.

    What happens when you combine a talented Texan, an accomplished Albertan and a novel Nevadan on stage? A stellar show you don't want to miss. Michael Martin Murphey + the Rio Grande Band's cosmic cowboy sound w...

  • Laughter–It's What's for Dinner

    FEATURING: Chris Isaacs, Jake Riley, Kent Rollins, Sourdough Slim + Robert Armstrong.

    No matter who you are, or what you do, chances are your favorite shows have one thing in common–laughter. Bring your insatiable hunger for a good joke and a slick story. The perfectly-seared comedy of Arizona'...

  • Blazing Trails

    FEATURING: An American Forrest, Cat Clifford, Dylan Clough.

    This is a show so full of musical grit, the grains will be stuck in your ears for weeks (metaphorically, of course). Forrest VanTuyl spends his summers with a pack string in Eastern Oregon and his winters unpacking poetic Western music ...

  • Rosin the Bow

    Featuring: Kristyn Harris, Hot Club of Cowtown, The Quebe Sisters

    Rosin up the bow and watch the strings fly. These three female-fronted acts put the swing in western music. Kristyn Harris handles all the tricky syncopations with her guitar. Hot Club of Cowtown whizzes along with frontwoman Elan...

  • All O'er the West

    Featuring: Andy Hedges, Corb Lund, Jake Riley

    From the northern reaches of Alberta to the plains of Nebraska and all the way down to the Texas Panhandle, these three troubadours are all about going the distance. Corb Lund shares songs from growing up ranching in the foothills of the Canadian Roc...

  • Bull-Slingers, Braggarts, & Blowhards

    FEATURING: Henry Real Bird, Rodney Nelson, Sourdough Slim.

    The title says it all! Good-natured jabs, artful nonsense, boasts so good you'd be a fool to not believe them... it may be winter, but the hot air emanating from this bunch will keep you toasty. Henry Real Bird delivers an entertaining r...

  • Along the Western Trail

    Featuring: Dale Burson, Wylie Gustafson, Yvonne Hollenbeck, R.P. Smith, Jessie Veeder.

    Driving the Western Trail was a storied route of long stretches, notorious cow towns, serious weather, and all manner of trouble, from Texas up to the burgeoning northern railways and ranches. As the Trail cut...

  • Ranch Truck Radio

    Featuring: Corb Lund, The Munsick Boys, Dave Stamey

    You might forgive your ranch truck its rough shocks, cracked windows, quirky tailgate, geriatric miles, and depleted A/C…if it’s got a working radio. And, if it’s blasting these goodies, it’ll be your trustiest steed. With the rut-busting tunes...

  • Sweet Harmonies

    FEATURING: Marley's Ghost, Brigid + Johnny Reedy, Denise Withnell + Keri Lynn Zwicker

    Sharp to sugary, glazed to gumdrop, these groups match harmonic wavelengths to bring you the sweetest sounds this side of the candy counter. From the sonic morsels of rootsy Marley’s Ghost, to the smooth-as-hon...

  • Ranch Family Show

    FEATURING: Deanna Dickinson McCall, Matt Robertson, Gail Steiger, Jessie Veeder.

    Ranching is not a solitary affair. After all you can't have a family ranch without a ranch family. And, in many families, traditions are handed down across generations, as they grow their agricultural work into crea...

  • Wild Abandon

    FEATURING: DW Groethe, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Bill Lowman, Sourdough Slim + Robert Armstrong, R.P. Smith.

    Get ready to bust your gut and snort your rip with this handful of poetic humorists. DW Groethe soaks his jokes in wry. Yvonne Hollenbeck stitches her stories with side eyes. Bill Lowman runs ci...

  • Living Nations, Living Words

    FEATURING: nila northsun, Henry Real Bird, M.L. Smoker.

    Three poets from Joy Harjo's "Living Nations, Living Words" project share their work. Contemporary Native poets, nila northsun, Henry Real Bird and M.L. Smoker share “poetry [that] emerges from the soul of a community, the heart and lands o...

  • Roots & Routes

    FEATURING: Dick Gibford, Annie Mackenzie, Sam Platts + the Plainsmen, Matt Robertson.

    Setting roots and setting routes, the evening reflects on voices we've featured virtually and the real-life paths they're taking to continue on tradition's road into the future. Join dayworkin' cowboy and smoki...

  • Both Feet on the Ground

    FEATURING: Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Andy Hedges, Ismay, Lara Manzanares.

    Bask in an evening of well-grounded vibrations. Texas folkster Andy Hedges and living legend Ramblin' Jack Elliott may have an eye toward the sky, but their songs land right here on earth. Ismay's music explores the connectio...

  • Highlights of the Open Mic

    FEATURING: Floyd Beard, John Doran, Meghan Doran, Sariah Knight, Larry Maurice, Philip Page.

    For the second year, the G Three stage hosts a handful of poets and musicians who have graced the open mic stages during the week. Selected by audience feedback, these wordslingers and tunesmiths--amateu...

  • Gimme Open Roads & Fresh Air

    FEATURING: Tish Hinojosa, Carolyn Martin's Swing Band, Halladay + Rob Quist, Olivia Romo.

    This is a journey through the Great American West you won't want to miss! The tour bus is outfitted with a sassy and classy crew, fueled by a high octane mix of music and poetry, and headed to western place...