Saturday, January 29, 2011

The 27th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering


This weekend the 27th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering returns to Elko, Nevada for a long weekend of poetry, music and storytelling. Luckily for those of us who can't make it out west, the Gathering cybercast  will present all the festivities in glorious internet technicolor. 

We'll include our previous writing on the Western Folklife Center and its Gathering below; this promises to be another year of inter-generational and international connections, with Geno Delafose and his French Rockin' Boogie returning to Elko, along with members of the Hungarian puszta community, who the Western Folklife Center describe as:
the largest contiguous grasslands in Europe, comparable to the pampas of Argentina or the Great Plains of the United States. The puszta is home to the legenday Hungarian horseman, or csikos, who has tended and defended his herds of horses and grey longhorn Hungarian cattle since the Magyars first crossed into the area of the Carpathian Basin over a thousand years ago. 

Renowned for their horsemanship and animal husbandry, the csikos├│k have traditionally relied upon the vast grasslands of the puszta for grazing and livelihood. They have much in common with horsemen and cattlemen in other parts of the world, including the American cowboy. We will explore this common ground through conversations with Hungarian horsemen, performances of pastoral music and poetry, workshops, and an exhibition on Hungarian csikos and herding culture. 
For the taste of the festivities, here's Geno Delafose from last year in Elko:



Here are a few of our previous articles related to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: there's the coverage of last year's Gathering and our piece on Geno Delafose, as well as the WFC and their Deep West Video project. We've also discussed the WFC blog and their coverage of Henry Real Bird's trek on horseback across Montana, and, finally, here's our response to the Poetry Foundation blog's take on cowboy poetry.