Cowboy Poetry Gathering


The 28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering—the nation’s greatest celebration of the American West, its people, culture and traditions—will take place January 30 to February 4, 2012, in Elko, Nevada, a high desert community where ranching has been a way of life for more than a century. The poetry, music, workshops, films, discussions, exhibits and dances that compose the Gathering honor Elko and other rural communities across the West where people work on horseback.

With its strong horse and cattle culture, Elko is a natural place for this celebration. “People always wonder why we hold this event in such an out-of-the-way place at such an inhospitable time of the year,” says Charlie Seemann, Executive Director of the Western Folklife Center, which produces the Gathering. “It’s when ranchers and cowboys are the most available. At other times of the year, they are calving, haying or shipping. This is their event and we want them to be here…and the journey to Elko is part of the experience.”

Once they arrive in Elko, visitors will find an old-time western town with real working cowboys, and much more. The town has a thriving Basque culture and several famous Basque restaurants, all-night casinos, legal brothels, some of the largest gold mines in the world, and incredible views in every direction. “Elko during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an experience like no other,” explains Don Newman, Executive Director of the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority. “This little town comes alive with people. You can listen to an incredible musician one minute and find yourself sitting next to him or her at the bar swapping stories the next. In addition to the entertainment, people come to the Gathering to make new friends, drink Basque Picon Punch, eat the biggest steak and the best lamb they’ve ever had, shop, people-watch, and have an experience they’ll never forget. And they almost always come back for more.”

Visit for more information about the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Visit for more information about Elko. Tickets to the 28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased at, by calling 775-738-7508, toll-free 888-880-5885, or by stopping in to the Western Folklife Center’s ticket office, 501 Railroad Street, Elko.

The Artist Line-up Includes:

Mike Beck & the Bohemian Saints, Monterey, California
Baxter Black, Benson, Arizona
Dave Bourne, Agoura Hills, California
Jerry Brooks, Sevier, Utah
Ken Cook, Martin, South Dakota
Doris Daley, Turner Valley, Alberta, Canada
Stephanie Davis, Columbus, Montana
John Dofflemyer, Lemon Cove, California
Ramblin\’ Jack Elliott, Northern California
Rolf Flake, Gilbert, Arizona
Dick Gibford, New Cuyama, California
The Gillette Brothers, Crockett, Texas
Skip Gorman, Connie Dover & the Waddie Pals, Wyoming
DW Groethe, Bainville, Montana
Amy Hale Auker, Prescott, Arizona
R.W. Hampton, Cimarron, New Mexico
Carol Heuchan, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia
Yvonne Hollenbeck, Clearfield, South Dakota
Hot Club of Cowtown, Austin, Texas
Jess Howard, Wibaux, Montana
Tim Hus & The Rocky Mountain Two, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Ross Knox, Benson, Arizona
Marley\’s Ghost, Mill Valley, California
Michael Martin Murphey & The Rio Grande Band featuring Pat Flynn, Pueblo, Colorado
Wally McRae, Forsyth, Montana
Waddie Mitchell, Twin Bridges, Nevada
Andy Nelson, Pinedale, Wyoming
Joel Nelson, Alpine, Texas
Rodney Nelson, Almont, North Dakota
Glenn Ohrlin, Mountain View, Arkansas
Vess Quinlan, San Acacio, Colorado
Henry Real Bird, Garryowen, Montana
Pat Richardson, Merced, California
Randy Rieman, Dillon, Montana
Ronstadt Generations, Tucson, Arizona
Martha Scanlan, Birney, Montana
Georgie Sicking, Kaycee, Wyoming
Sourdough Slim, Paradise, California
R.P. Smith, Broken Bow, Nebraska
Jay Snider, Cyril, Oklahoma
Dave Stamey, Orange Grove, California
Gail Steiger, Prescott, Arizona
Rod Taylor, Cimarron, New Mexico
Ian Tyson, Longview, Alberta, Canada
Dick Warwick, Oakesdale, Washington
Andy Wilkinson & Andy Hedges, Lubbock, Texas
Wylie & The Wild West, Conrad, Montana
Paul Zarzyski, Great Falls, Montana


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