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Right Where We Belong

We just returned from Elko, Nevada which hosts the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The theme of the 2023 National Poetry Gathering was, "Right Where We Belong". This was our second gathering, and yes, we did feel a sense of belonging as we met up with friends we met from last year and knew just what to expect from the event. This year, we went earlier in the week to take advantage of the different offerings that are part of the early week schedule. There are a variety of workshops, from rawhide braiding, poetry writing, drink mixology, leatherworking, journaling, and music marketing to name a few. Additionally, there are documentary films for screening, the Western Mercantile, and nightly shows with many of the performers who will perform later in the week. Another treat was a visit to the Northeastern Nevada Museum which has the largest display of wildlife animals in life size dioramas that I have ever seen. What an unexpected treat! At the Weigand Gallery there was an excellent display of "30 Years of Contemporary Cowboy Gear" with probably the most expensive spurs ever made.

Later in the week, Thursday through Saturday, was full of open mic for poets and musicians, one-hour presentations of cowboy poetry and music by artists from across the United States and Canada. Also on tap were agricultural panel discussions, a couple of western dances, and food everywhere. There was pretty much something for everyone, and you don't have to be a cowboy or own a ranch to enjoy the event!

But the best thing by far, for this spoiled gal from southern Utah, was the weather! In 2023, the Elko temperatures hovered below freezing all week. This year was "no coat" weather in the 50s and my old bones loved it!

Blue Skies and Good Horses by Teal Blake 2024 National Poetry Gathering

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