The 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering —the nation’s greatest celebration of the American West, its people, culture and traditions—will take place January 28 to February 2, 2013, in Elko, Nevada. The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering features performances of poetry and music from the cowboy and ranching occupation, but also presents exhibitions, films, workshops, dances and discussions—all centered on land-based culture in the American West, its traditional arts and the challenges it faces in the 21st century.
The 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will host butteri, cowboys from Italy, who have their own unique poetry, music, gear and traditional techniques, but still have much in common with their counterparts in the American West and cattle cultures across the globe. The butteri are from the Maremma region of Italy, where they have been raising and herding the large lyre-horned Maremmana cattle for centuries. The Italian cultural exchange is part of the Western Folklife Center’s ongoing effort to build understanding among herding cultures worldwide, and is exclusively sponsored by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation.
Cowboys, poets and musicians converge in Elko, Nevada
The 29th Gathering will present more than 50 poets, musicians and musical groups from the U.S., Canada and Italy, performing on seven stages at four different venues. The line-up includes cowboy poets Baxter Black, Wally McRae; Paul Zarzyski; Waddie Mitchell; Yvonne Hollenbeck, Joel Nelson, Elizabeth Ebert and many others.
Music is as integral to the gathering as poetry; the musical line-up includes Don Edwards, Tom Russell, The Quebe Sisters Band, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott; Brenn Hill, Wylie & The Wild West, Dave Stamey, Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Albertans, Los Texmaniacs Cowboy Celtic, The Saddle Cats and more.
The event also features workshops in traditional western arts such as cinch-making and rawhide braiding, as well as songwriting, Italian cooking and rhythm guitar. Three western dances, open-mic poetry, film screenings and music sessions are also on tap.
Cowboys and Social Media
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If You Go:
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (888) 880-5885
Western Folklife Center’s ticket office,
501 Railroad Street, Elko, NV
Buttero photo courtesy of Natalia Estrada, all other photos courtesy of Charlie Ekburg.