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National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

From January 30 - February 4, 2023, cowboy poets and musicians from all over the world will gather in Elko, Nevada at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Several members of the Mesquite Western Poets will be making the cold and snowy trip to this gathering.

What is the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering?

“The Gathering” is a week-long coming-together of people rooted in the poetry, music, and arts of cowboy country. It is a delightful, immersive experience for those who appreciate the rural West’s boundless creativity. It is an open-hearted occasion to forge connections and grow knowledge among, and with, people who live life on the land. It’s a mid-winter, multigenerational, merrymaking event full of ranch-y folk and ranch-y food, art, gear, film, discussions, dance, music, verse, and more. It is the place to talk cowboy poetry. And, it’s a darn good time for all! First produced in 1985, by a small group of folklorists and poets, the Gathering has grown into a national and international happening. Expect a full week of entertaining and educational programs highlighting cultural expression of the rangeland West. And, expect an atmosphere ripe for spontaneous “you couldn’t dream this stuff up if you tried” moments. If you do it right (and there’s really no way to do it wrong), you’ll listen, you’ll laugh, you’ll reflect, you’ll connect, you’ll learn, you’ll cavort, you’ll live tradition, and you’ll leave refreshed in the creative possibility of the West.

Where does the Gathering take place?

In the high-desert cowboy town of Elko, Nevada!

At the corner of Railroad and Idaho streets lies the heart of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering—the Western Folklife Center (WFC), headquartered in the historic Pioneer Hotel building. Here, you’ll find Gathering shows, exhibits, shopping, and probably a new friend or two at the Pioneer Saloon.

The hubbub doesn’t stop here. The WFC also hosts Gathering shows, workshops, dances, films, vendors, food, and carousing in multiple venues around town, including the hotspots of the Elko Convention Center and Conference Center.

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