Originally Published: August 7, 2008 11:52 p.m.
The 21st Annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering will take place Aug. 15 and16 at the Yavapai College Campus and at the Yavapai College Performance Hall in Prescott.
The theme of this year's Gathering is Headin' For New Range.
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.
For people coming from Arizona's cattle culture, the gathering offers renewal through familiar, traditional, and much-loved art forms. For city folks, it offers a chance to experience the Arizona cowboy's life through his or her own eyes.
The Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering presents 100 poets, reciters and old-time singers who keep alive the working cowboy's oral traditions by writing, reciting and singing narrative poetry about their lives on the Arizona range.
Some professionals will be on hand to provide the very best of cowboy entertainment. Jean and Gary Prescott from Ovalo, Texas, will headline the 7:30 pm evening show on Friday with featured poets Bimbo Cheney, Rolf Flake, Suxi Killman, Joel Nelson, and Mike Prince. Saturday's 7:30 pm performance will showcase the Western harmony band Desert Sons with featured poets Sally Bates, Ray Fitzgerald, Kay Kelley-Nowell, Steve Lindsey and Gary Robertson.
All evening performances will be held at the Yavapai College Performance Hall, 1100 E. Sheldon, Prescott.
Center stage of the event is reserved for the real working-cowboy poets who represent the best of authentic cowboy storytelling traditions.
The 12 featured poets in the evening shows have been chosen from over one hundred applicants.
This year's Poets Gathering begins with a special presentation of "Head 'Em Up, Move 'Em Out" on Friday at noon at the Yavapai College Performance Hall.
Free daytime sessions Friday afternoon, noon to 5 p.m., and all day Saturday, 9 a.m. -5 p.m. with a lunch break, take place on the Yavapai College Campus, 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 Randy Huston and Gail Starr and light refreshments.
Formal evening shows take place Friday and Saturday nights in the Yavapai College Performance Hall.
Reserved-seat tickets for the evening shows are only $16 and may be ordered by calling the Yavapai College Community Events box office at 776-2000 or 1-877-928-4253. Yavapai College is located at 1100 E. Sheldon Street, Prescott. For further information and a schedule of events, visit www.azcowboypoets.org or call Jim Dunham at772-0301.