FEATURING: Jonathan Odermann, Penny the Hen.
Jonathan Odermann's poems show off his Badlands home and humor, and his amiable pal, Penny the Hen. One of the original voices keeping the cowboy poetry tradition going, Jonathan Odermann recites a set of new material. Interspersed with scenes from his wintery stomping grounds and tender moments shared with Penny, Jonathan filmed this segment himself for our Covid-times 2021 virtual Gathering. And, true to form, his segment is chock full of North Dakota funnies.
From the 37th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering "Rodear Year."
“Out Feeding Cows”
Interview with Penny the Hen
“The Dog-gone-Fencing Blues"
“Good Old Grey"
“The Cowboy and the Airplane" (poem by Floyd Oyhus)
“My Most Trusted Mount"
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jonathan Odermann is a third-generation rancher who raises cattle in the badlands of western North Dakota, running cows about 25 miles north of Medora, sharing the landscape with Theodore Roosevelt National Park. He was moved to start writing verse after hearing cowboy poetry at the Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Jonathan’s original work runs the gamut from short, funny pieces to longer, epic sagas, and he likes to amuse and delight his audience with a blend of humorous and thought provoking poems inspired by his real life experiences. Jonathan really enjoys cowboy poetry and encouraging others to share their stories through written and visual art.
Penny the Hen
Speaking of his avian companion and filming partner, Jonathan Odermann said, "I have to give a lot of credit to Penny and the other chickens for the Rodear performances. They were such an interactive audience when we were filming the outdoor scenes that I could barely keep a straight face. It showed throughout the performances and ended up being pretty magical when Penny found her way in front of the camera." Her Rodear Year appearance was a very special honor and brought joy and wonder to many. A few months after her Rodear Year feature aired, Penny passed away. She was remembered as a conversational, lovable, and remarkable creature who liked to be picked up and to perch on your hand.
Filmed on location in Medora, North Dakota, 2020.
Made possible by the Arthur & Marianne Glaser Fund and by the multitude of staff, artists, volunteers, and community members working behind the scenes to make this show happen.
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.