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April is Cowboy Poetry Month

April is a busy month for our cowgirl and cowboy poets. In April, we celebrate cowboy poetry and its roots.

In 1860, Texas had a surplus of cattle and the rest of the West wanted beef. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving began herding cattle to supply the beef. From the 1860s to the 1910s, 25 million head of cattle were moved on cattle drives. The Goodnight-Loving Trail and the Chisholm Trail were two of the most famous trails used in the West.

Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving

Cattle drives were long, the trails full of dangers. Cowboys herding the cattle passed the time with stories that turned into poems and sometimes into song. Long after the cattle drives ended, cowboy poetry continued to appear in livestock journals, on calendars, Christmas cards and postcards, and old diner menus.

Due to the cattle drive traditions that cowboy poetry grew out of, cowboy poetry is meant to be read and is performed aloud. Cowboy poetry and music gatherings are common all across the United States. Poets recite older classics and also write and perform their own poetry.

In April, many events are held to celebrate our poetry. Check out the events on this website for events here in our area. If you don't live in our area, check your local library or community calendar of events for an event near you. Hope you'll take the time to enjoy an event near you!

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