"Lauging Stock" ~ Cowboy Humor
6:00 and 8:00 pm
Thursday, October 5th ~ Henry Strater Theatre

Tickets are $40 for reserved seating

Tickets orders and seat selection available online or call 970-749-2995


Andy Nelson
Pinedale, Wyoming

A second-generation farrier, Andy has the experience and the talents and humor to bring authenticity and entertainment to an audience. Raised in Oakley, Idaho, Andy traveled the Great Basin of southern Idaho, northern Utah and northern Nevada with his father on farrier jobs from the time he was a child until he went off to college. While at Utah State University, he continued to shoe horses for the USU Horsemanship Program while studying in the Pre-Vet curriculum. He also spent many years working as a hand on a southern Idaho ranch, caring for cattle from calving through selling and helping with the hay operation. Andy and his wife Jaclyn raise horses and children. In 2006, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Andy was named the Western Music Association's Male Poet of the Year and was awarded the 2009 "Skinny Roland Humor Award" from the Academy of Western Artists. He has been featured at many cowboy gatherings across the West. The editor of CowboyPoetry.com said, "Andy Nelson can win over a crowd immediately with his hilarious tales and physical humor. He's a master at keeping up the pace throughout a performance."

For more information visit website

 
R.P. Smith
Custer County, Nebraska
R.P. is the fourth generation to raise cattle on the Pine Crest Ranch. The commentary and poetry that he shares are a by-product of the beef industry, and have been processed by reciting for ruminates, relatives and ranchers. His material is inspired by his family and what’s going on at the ranch, giving his work an authenticity and down-to-earth quality that strikes a familiar chord with his audiences, regardless of their occupation. He has found that humor and a firm faith that God is in control are mighty important tools to have when life takes an unexpected turn. R.P. is always glad to get back home and wait for the next inspiration to come – when he is stricken with a new idea he tries it out on his wife, the dogs and replacement heifers and, when he wants a tough audience, his six children. R.P. hosts a weekly radio program, “Homegrown,” which features his own poetry and commentary along with showcasing some of the talented folks he has met in his travels.

For more information visit website


 

Terry Henderson
Shawnee, Wyoming

Terry said she has been in ranching all of her adult life, except for some college time. She is a past president of Wyoming CattleWomen, two county CowBelle groups, and the first female to be elected an officer of their county stockgrower group. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Wyoming Stockgrowers. She spends most of her time working the family cow/calf operation, developing a grass-finished beef market and managing a neighbor's ranch. She is also a mother, five times grandmother, past 4-H shooting sports instructor, graduate of L.E.A.D. class VI (ag leadership) and a rural fireman with an engine boss rating. She is also the training coordinator for rural wildland firefighters and sometimes substitutes in town for a little extra cash. Her husband Frank just quit being an extension agent after 30 years, but she said he still isn't home much as he now works for the coal mines four days on and four off. She thinks it's mainly to get out of chores!
 
Gary McMahan
Bellvue, Colorado

Gary is known for his award-winning songs, captivating stories, uproarious humor and national championship yodeling. He has made his living doing everything from cowboying to guiding to performing. He can brand, calve, rope, ride broncs, fence, hay, shoe horses, pack and drive teams, and has won many honors in the rodeo arena. His colorful background has set him in good stead to practice his heart’s desire: to write, perform and record the stories, poems, songs, and humor of his Western heritage.  “Like horse manure, I’ve been all over the West,” he said.  “For most of my life, I’ve somehow managed to make my living either with a horse or a guitar. My guitar and I continue to travel the country ‘spreading it around’ and probably will ‘til we both give out.” For more information visit website
 

Join us for two evenings of Cowboy Poetry and Music!

Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7 ~ Henry Strater Theatre
Two shows: 6 pm and 8 pm


Friday, October 6 ~ 6:00
Saturday, October 7 ~ 8:00
Henry Strater Theatre

Tickets $25, reserved seating

Friday 6pm - Host ~ Gary McMahan
Saturday 8pm - Host ~ RP Smith

Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns
Pat Meade
Floyd Beard
  Friday, October 6 ~ 8:00
Saturday, October 7 ~ 6:00

Henry Strater Theatre

Tickets $25, reserved seating

Friday 8pm - Host ~Terry Henderson

Saturday 6pm - Host ~ Andy Nelson
Otto Rosfeld
Yvonne Hollenbeck

Trinity Seely

 


Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns
Newcastle, Wyoming
Fourth generation of a Wyoming ranch family, this working cowgirl grew up breaking and training horses, stewarding cattle and rodeoing – a close, lifelong relationship with cattle, horses and ranch people giving her poetry a strong foundation of reality. For a couple decades Rhonda and her late husband Bill dayworked on big, historic ranches where they sometimes lived in a cowboy tepee for a week at a time during spring and fall works, often riding 30-50 miles of rough country each day. “At 72, horseback work is still my greatest joy, and those days in the saddle inspire most of my poems,” Rhonda said.  She has been featured since the 80s at gatherings in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, North and South Dakota, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. She was the first woman to receive the National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration’s “All Around Cowboy Culture Award” in 2000, and the Academy of Western Artists named her “Top Cowgirl Poet” in 2003. Grateful to God for letting her live the cowboy life as well as write and perform to honor the cowboy legacy, she aims to be authentic and portray the cowboy honestly as he was, and is – whether reciting the works of classic cowboy poets or her own original poems.

For more information visit website

 
Otto Rosfeld
Valentine, Nebraska

This balladeer, poet and storyteller has spent his adult life as a public school teacher and doing summer work on ranches, mostly in the hay fields and tending cattle. Since 1993, Otto has been a speaker for the Nebraska Humanities.  He is considered an independent scholar, with living history and earth wellness his specialties.  Otto’s pure voice and simple guitar styling, along with acappella renditions using prairie percussion as accompaniments, brings one back to earlier times. “Bunkhouse entertainment at its best.” Otto makes his home on a small acreage north of Valentine with his wife Ann.

 

Pat Meade
Milo, Iowa
Born and raised in eastern Iowa, Pat has been involved in the farming and ranching industry all his life. He and his wife Nancy ran a string of quarter horses in the Midwest circuit and currently own and operate a cow-calf outfit. In his younger days, Pat competed as a rodeo cowboy in calf roping and steer wrestling. In recent years, he has been instrumental in organizing trail rides for organizations in states such as Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Iowa and Tennessee. He served as a race track steward before parimutual racing was implemented, and was field representative for the American Paint Horse Association from 1974 to 2005. In 2014, he was inducted into the PtHA Horseman’s Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Pat has always been interested in music and played in a band in high school. That early involvement gradually led to the kind of music he really loves…cowboy music that has a story to tell. In recent years, Pat has performed at a number of horse fairs, art shows and cowboy poetry gatherings and has been a featured artist on the RFD-TV show. Since 2004, he has recorded five albums, all with a story to tell and that good classic cowboy flavor. His latest CD is All I’ve Ever Known, released in 2010.
 


Yvonne Hollenbeck
Clearfield, South Dakota

When Yvonne and her friend Willard Hollopeter started the Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Old West Days in Valentine, Nebraska, little did she know that this would take her to the top of the cowboy poetry world. After being a “closet poet” for most of her life, Yvonne was coerced into performing at the very first daytime session of that gathering. Although she was a nervous wreck, a number of other performers encouraged her to continue writing and performing. Yvonne rose to become the most award-winning cowgirl poet in America and one of the most published cowgirl poets in the West. Yvonne and her husband, Glen, own and operate a working cattle ranch where Yvonne actively participates in every duty involved with its operation. Her poetry is a reflection of this life, although an occasional event or memory may also stir her creativity.

For more information visit website


 


Floyd Beard
Ramah, Colorado

Floyd and his wife Valerie are ranchers on the high plains and canyons of southeastern Colorado. A fifth-generation livestock producer, Floyd has run cattle in the Colorado mountains, the rolling eastern plains and in the canyons of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. He turns his experiences and observations while in the saddle into stories that have delighted audiences for over 30 years, from the Mexico border to Stony Plains, Alberta, Canada. A multiple award-winning cowboy poet and finalist for 2015 WMA Male Cowboy Poet of the Year, Floyd also holds audiences spellbound with his recitations of cowboy poetry classics. Writing stories that are inter-woven with his Western code of high ethics and integrity and are richly sprinkled with humor, his philosophy is simple: “Life is a journey not a destination, and is best viewed from atop a good horse.”

For more information visit website

 


Trinity Seely
Cascade, Montana

Trinity grew up in the Chilcotin of British Columbia, Canada, a vast empire of cattle ranches, snowy peaks and jackpine forests, where she learned “how to work hard and dream big.” Her family owned and operated a guest ranch – her dad flew people out to remote lakes to fish while Trinity and her sisters ran the dude string, milked the cows, cleaned cabins and rooms, prepared meals and entertained guests with the family band. Trinity and her husband Jeff raised and trained performance horses in Utah for a number of years while growing their family of four children. Since then, they have lived worked on many large cattle ranches in the American West. She released her debut album of original songs in 2011, sharing the personal insights of a wife and lover of a cowboy. Her third release, Cowboy's Wage, was archived into the Cowboy Hall of Fame museum and the song "The Hand," co-written with Waddie Mitchell, won the Spur Award with the Western Writers of America for best song of 2016. According to Western Horseman magazine editor Jennifer Dennison, "Music and storytelling are as much a part of working on a ranch as a saddle is to riding horses. Trinity Seely embraces the oral traditions of the cowboy life and offers a musical window into her life as a cowgirl and ranch wife," she said.

For more information visit website

 
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DAYTIME SESSIONS OF COWBOY POETRY, MUSIC, STORYTELLING AND FOLKLORE ~
10:30 am to 4:30 pm ~ Strater Hotel, General Palmer Hotel and Rochester Hotel.
The “heart” of the Gathering, featuring 40 invited performers in four concurrent theme sessions every hour. In open sessions anyone can entertain.
To sign up, please call Lindy Simmons at 970-946-2460.
FREE admission.
 
POETS & MUSICIANS
 
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Vic Anderson
Estes Park, Colorado
Vic provides rhythm guitar and vocals for the Lazy B Wranglers in Estes Park. He won the WMA’s Male Yodeling Championship in 2003 and 2010 and was nominated for the Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers award in 2013. He was Tex Williams’ lead guitar player on Tex’s final tour and has provided music for a movie trailer, local and national television and radio ads. Vic is well known for his melodic whistling and has performed at Equitana, at Esne, Germany and in Canada.
He has hosted a yodeling workshop at the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering and spent a season as the entertainer for the Yellowstone Park Roosevelt Ranch Cookout, as well as driving stagecoaches and wagons loaded with guests through bison herds there. He is a novelist, columnist and free lance writer.
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"Straw" Berry
Cordell, Oklahoma

Growing up in west central Oklahoma, Straw became part of the third generation of Berry’s to work and live on the Botchlett Ranch raising cattle, sheep and poultry. After stints as a police officer and a musician, he went into the livestock feed, farm and ranch supply industry, from which he retired in 2010. Straw and his father currently work a small cow/calf and wheat operation and he starts a colt or two along. He and wife Penny live in Cordell where he is vice-president of the Washita County Historical Society. Straw received a BA in History and Sociology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and began writing and reciting Cowboy Poetry in about 2000. He has entertained at numerous cowboy gatherings and for civic groups and has recorded a CD titled Red Hill Reflections.

 
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Marty Blocker
Cody, Nebraska
Marty is a working cowboy and ranch manager for a large cattle operation just west of Cody. Plying his trade gives him a lot of subject matter for his poems and an edge of authenticity in his works. In addition to writing his own poems, Marty recites the works of past and present masters presenting a wider range of styles and stories. He was the All-Around High point winner of the 2007 National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Hot Springs, South Dakota and was a featured artist at the 2010 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. He has been featured in several magazines and performed at venues across the high plains region. If it's riding colts, feeding with a team, brandings or just plain making a living on the ranch, Marty likes to share and promote the good – and sometimes not so good – way of life that is waning from our Western folklore.
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Marleen Bussma
Dammeron Valley, Utah
Marleen was raised on a small farm in North Dakota and horses and cows have been part of her daily life. As a young girl, herding cattle on horseback stirred her imagination to want to be just like Dale Evans. Farm stories and intriguing tales of the Old West have had a big influence on her writing. She has put together verses on the plight of the women of the West from frontier days to modern farm and ranch times. Her current book, Is She Country?, was named the WMA’s 2016 Cowboy Poetry Book of the Year and won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in western literature. Marleen is retired and lives with her husband Vaughn and in Dammeron Valley.

 
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Dominic Farrenkopf
Hamilton, Montana
Dominic performs as "Dusty Trail," cowboy comic and poet, accompanied by his trick pony Thunder.  Dusty and Thunder have been performing cowboy poetry together since 2011 and have appeared at events in Montana and Alberta, Canada. When he's not writing cowboy poetry, Dominic writes whimsical rhyming poetry for his hometown newspaper.  His column, “These Poems Need Homes,” is in its sixth year.  In addition to a love of writing, Dominic teaches poetry and runs workshops in primary, middle and high schools. He recently accepted a role in his local Montana 4-H as Cowboy Poetry Leader, and hopes to excite today’s youth about writing and reciting cowboy poetry.
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Doug Figgs
Lemitar, New Mexico
Tucked among the cottonwoods along the Rio Grande River is a hidden treasure – a singer/songwriter inspired by his love for horses, dedication to the cowboy way of life and devotion to his family. Doug and his wife Cathy run a farrier business, grow some hay and day work for other local ranches when they get the chance. Doug is an active member of the Western Music Association and Academy of Western Artists and performs at gatherings and rodeos throughout the West. He recently received the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum's 2017 Traditional Western Album of the Year award for The Cowboy Way.

 
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Hanson Family Singers
Veneta, Oregon
The stage comes to life with the energy, talent and enthusiasm of Lisa, Theresa and Daniel Hanson. Dazzling audiences everywhere with new and fresh arrangements, this dynamic trio brings you the best of Western Swing, yodeling mastery, rousing fiddle tunes and blazing harmony combined with humor and audience participation. The beautiful harmonies and vocal arrangements of The Hanson Family have gained them much recognition in the music world as well as the honor of winning, among other awards, the 2014 Academy of Western Artists Duo/Group of the Year, the 2014 Western Music Association Crescendo Award, the 2013 Kamloops Cowboy Festival "Rising Star Showcase," the 2016, 2015 and 2006 WMA Marilyn Tuttle "Best of the Best" harmony award, and the 2005 WMA "Youth Yodeler of the Year."
They have entertained at the Alaska State Fair, Pendleton Roundup, Paramount Theater in Seattle, New York City Center Theater, the Wyoming State Fair and hundreds of other events and venues across the U.S. and Canada. With great instrumentation, spectacular yodeling mastery and a deep love for music, the Hanson Family is fast becoming a popular group in the entertainment world!
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Andy Hedges
Lubbock, Texas
Andy Hedges is a songster, reciter and guitarist. His varied repertoire includes classic cowboy poetry recitations, obscure cowboy songs, dust bowl ballads and blues. Andy taught himself to play the guitar when he was 14 and began collecting classic cowboy poems and traditional cowboy songs. He has released nine albums including four joint projects with songwriter Andy Wilkinson. In 2010, Andy won the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for Outstanding Traditional Western Album. His latest album, Cowboy Recitations, is a collection of traditional and modern cowboy poems that Andy has picked up over the years. Andy lives in Lubbock with his wife and children.

 

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Nolan King
Cortez, Colorado
Born and raised in Cortez, Nolan has spent his entire life working with livestock, horses and the land.After falling in love with the sound of yodeling at a young age, he taught himself how to yodel and sing and later started learning how to play the guitar and other instruments. He cowboyed on the Texas/Oklahoma border for two years which gave him the ability to travel to the Fort Worth Stockyards every week to perform with Devon Dawson and the rest of the Cowtown Opry. Now back in Colorado, Nolan divides his time between his three biggest passions: ranching, Western music and dancing.

 

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Tim Krebs
Lewis, Colorado
Krebs is a singer, songwriter and ranch cowboy since his youth. He started playing a guitar at the age of 42 and sings all over the country at cowboy gatherings, Western settings, churches and many more places. "I love to sing the old cowboy songs, Western gospel and much more," he said. "My mission is to lift up my Lord, whenever and wherever I sing."


 
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Slim McWilliams
Lewis, Colorado
A fourth-generation Colorado native, Slim was reared on the stories of Will James. He started riding when he was four and grew up wanting to ride the rough string. Slim spent many years on working ranches, breaking colts, packing and guiding for outfits from Arizona to Montana.  He learned many traditional cowboy songs around a campfire, in a bunkhouse or in the cab of a pickup on the rodeo trail. He writes songs and poems based on his experiences and the semi-true stories of his friends. He and his wife Sue live in southwest Colorado.  
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Ken and Lyn Mikell
Verde Valley, Arizona
Ken and Lyn play a wide range of traditional music, with particular attention to the Celtic roots of cowboy music. Using a wide range of musical instruments, they animate and illuminate the music and poetry that followed the trail west. They have been making music together for more than 30 years. From old time trail songs to the golden era of the radio and silver screen cowboy, Ken’s rich vocals and Lyn’s beautiful harp put a new twist on old-time favorites. They have an extensive knowledge of the history of Western music and enjoy sharing it with audiences. They have lived in northern Arizona since 1978 and were present at the first Arizona cowboy poetry gathering in Prescott in 1987. Since then they have been featured at gatherings all over the West. They are especially proud of their work with Northern Arizona University Elderhostel and Road Scholar programs. Their work in schools and classrooms is educational and entertaining, introducing a new generation to an important part of America’s unique cultural heritage. The music of the Old World found a new home at the hearths and campfires of the Old West, and Ken and Lyn are proud to be part of that continuing tradition.

 
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Miss "V" – The Gypsy Cowbelle
Thermopolis, Wyoming
Living the life she sings about, the Gypsy Cowbelle is a genuine troubadour, offering intriguing glimpses into American culture and history. While caretaking a remote ranch, she honed skills such as driving teams, making tack, canning food, building banjos and wrangling. Two decades spent exploring the nation’s blue highways and backcountry afforded her rich understanding of the land and its people. While conducting workshops and performing her signature “Cowbilly” music nationwide, she has also appeared in movies, books, newspapers and radio interviews, entertained Wyoming’s first lady and shared the stage with Baxter Black and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko.
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Terry Nash
Loma, Colorado
Raised on a farm/ranch operation in eastern Colorado, Terry now ranches in western Colorado, raising cattle, horses and hay. Summers, the cattle graze on a little piece of heaven called Pinon Mesa, and Terry spends as much time horseback on that mountain as possible. He also writes and recites cowboy poetry in venues all over the West, and has been a top-five nominee for the WMA’s “male poet of the year” for four years, 2013-2016.

 
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Sam Noble
Durango, Colorado
Sam participates in numerous gatherings and has been a featured poet in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska and Wyoming. He has been reciting poetry three nights a week in the Bar D Chuckwagon chapel every summer since 1991 and is an active participant at cowboy churches and campfire settings throughout the West.
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Kay Kelley Nowell
Alpine, Texas
Kay and her husband Gene day work and run their own cow/calf herd on leased country. They also stay busy with their small pre-conditioning and custom feeding operation and pipe and steel business. Kay's poems come from her experiences of breaking colts, working cattle and the cowboys she has known. In 1989, Kay recited one of her poems on the “Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson but said she prefers the down-home atmosphere and authenticity of traditional cowboy gatherings and treasures the friends she has made through cowboy poetry.

 

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Jake Riley
Kearney, Nebraska

Jake grew up in the Upper-Arkansas Valley of the Colorado Rockies. He’s always enjoyed rhyme and poetry and started writing some in school but he's only recently begun sharing his poetry with others. Much of his work is inspired by rural life and his ranching and rodeo experiences, but he occasionally ventures out into the realms of philosophy and theology. He loves the process of putting a story together within rhythm and rhyme, as well as performing his work for an audience.  Jake considers himself incredibly blessed to have opportunities to do what he loves and to have "the best wife on planet Earth" and an increasing number of energetic young children.

 

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Dennis Russell
Cimarron, New Mexico
Dennis blends his original Western poems and songs and shares some of the classics around campfires or at cowboy gatherings. He and his wife Jana have a cow-calf operation in Redwing, Colorado, and their home headquarters is in Cimarron. Dennis was appointed the first Poet Laureate of Cimarron and won the first WMA Western Wordsmiths Chapter Cowboy Poetry Jackpot in the Novice Division in 2014. He was Vice President of the WMA Western Wordsmiths Chapter in 2015 and nominated for 2016 Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year. He was Western Radio's Top 10 CD and Top 15 Poet also in 2016. Dennis is the founder of the Cimarron Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering held at the Philmont Scout Ranch annually the last week in August.

For more information visit: website


 


Lindy Simmons
Mancos, Colorado
Lindy has lived on a ranch with her husband Eldon for 44 years. She followed the family on the rodeo road for several of those years. Her poetry is rooted in the true stories of the cowboys of history and present day. She is fluent in Spanish and is a Mexican and southwestern history buff. Lindy’s “day job” was as a professor at Fort Lewis College in Durango for 27 years. She retired to be a full-time writer of poetry and history.

 

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Del Smith
Ridgway, Colorado
Del Smith and his wife Laura are both natives of Western Colorado. They lived in Silverton for many years and owned an outfitting business there which included four-wheel drive tours, trail rides, camping trips and guided elk hunts. Del said he feels more comfortable performing his songs and poetry around the camp fire than in front of a microphone. They now live in Ridgway where Del is a pastor at Ridgway Community Church.


 

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Steve Jones
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
After 17 years with the Yampa Valley Boys, Steve is beginning his solo career and will continue to perform Western music, including some songs with an Irish flavor. Steve is most known for his tenor voice and some call him "the Irish cowboy tenor." He will be introducing some new songs at this year's gathering, including "Picasso," co-written with Les Buffham, about a wild horse in northwest Colorado. This is also the title track of his new CD. Steve is an experienced entertainer and will continue to mix classic Western songs with contemporary music, originals and "a good deal of humor."

 

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Tom Swearingen
Tualatin, Oregon
Tom is an Oregon horseman whose original cowboy poetry is often inspired by his own experiences and observations from the saddle. Tom brings his stories to life with rhythm and rhyme and a style that makes him a popular performer not only at cowboy gatherings and horse camps, but wherever else you find folks who appreciate the heritage of the West. Two-time winner of the National Finals Rodeo Cowboy Poetry Contest and 2015 and 2016 finalist for WMA Male Poet of the Year, Tom’s poems have been published by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, featured in Cowboys and Indians magazine, and recognized by such organizations as the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Tom’s Horses and Happiness CD was a two-time finalist for WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year. His newest, Rhyme ‘Em Cowboy!, was a 2016 finalist for WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year.

For more information visit: oregoncowboypoet.com