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Sarah Sweetwater, who initiated the Pioneer Arts and Crafts event in Elko City (Nevada) Park in 1975. The Pioneer event grew into the Cowboy Poetry Gathering that began in 1985 and continues today having spawned Gatherings all over the West. (Sharlot Hall Museum/Courtesy)

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“Cowboy” poetry is as old as the trail driving days following the Civil War when young men working horseback in the great American West brought with them elements of the British ballad tradition.

By Sally Bates April 23, 2017