Originally Published: September 3, 2004 7 a.m.
The 17th annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering will take place Aug. 19-21 at the Sharlot Hall Museum and the Yavapai College Performance Hall.
The gathering presents cowboy storytelling in verse and song, Western harmony bands, cowboy singer/songwriters and cowboy traditions from the latest range-country styles to fine art of the West, in a mix that is refreshingly different and delightfully entertaining.
Cowboy singer Jesse Ballantyne from Sheridan, Wyo., will headline the 7:30 p.m. evening show on Thursday with featured poets Leon Flick, Audrey Hankins, Randy Rieman and special guests Kip Calahan and Jim Wilson.
Friday's 7:30 p.m. performance headlines Roughstring from Animas, N.M., with featured poets Bob Bird, Ross Knox, Joel Nelson, Gary Robertson and special guest Steve Rafters.
Saturday's 5 p.m. performance will feature the Desert Sons from Tucson, featured poets Lee Brimhall, Bunny Dryden, Bob Ryan Van, Rod Taylor and special guest Georgie Sicking.
Saturday's 8 p.m. performance will feature the Desert Sons, featured poets J. B. Allen, Joette Conley, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Tom Sharpe and special guest Randy Rieman and special musical guest Jesse Ballantyne.
All evening performances will be held at the Yavapai College Performance Hall (1100 E. Sheldon St.)
Most shows sold out last year, so it is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance.
Center stage of the gathering is reserved for the real working-cowboy poets who represent the best of authentic cowboy storytelling traditions.
Fourteen featured poets were chosen from more than 100 applicants; they are: J. B. Allen, Whiteface, Texas; Bob Bird, Elida, N.M.; Lee Brimhall, Prescott; Joette Conley, Cave Creek; Bunny Dryden, Thatcher; Leon Flick, Plush, Ore.; Audrey Hankins, Congress; Yvonne Hollenbeck, Clearfield, S.D.; Ross Knox, Grand Canyon; Randy Rieman, Lamy, N.M.; Tom Sharpe, Grand Junction, Colo.; Rod Taylor, Cimarron, N.M.; Gary Robertson, Newbury Park, Calif.; and Bob Ryan Van, Cottonwood.
The gathering offers a mix of events. Formal evening shows take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night in the Yavapai College Performance Hall.
Free daytime sessions Friday afternoon and all day Saturday take place at the Sharlot Hall Museum, with as many as nine different small sessions at once.
A reception at the Phippen Museum Friday at 5 p.m. is free to all. It offers a great show of Western art, entertainment by Kip Calahan and Jim Wilson, and light refreshments.
Reserved seat tickets for the evening shows are only $16 and may be ordered by calling the Yavapai College Community Events box office, at 776-2033 or toll free 877-928-4253.
The gathering is presented by the Sharlot Hall Museum and the Hassayampa Inn with partial funding from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and from Arizona Artshare.