2016 Cowboy Poetry Poets

Waddie Mitchell


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Waddie Mitchell

From his earliest days on the remote Nevada ranches where his father worked, Waddie was immersed in the cowboy way of entertaining, the art of spinnin’ tales in rhyme and meter that came to be called cowboy poetry, a Western tradition that is as rich as the lifestyle that gave birth to it. Within his stories, old in a voice that is timeless and familiar, are the common bonds we all share,...

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Doris Daley


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Doris Daley

Doris has been an emcee and featured performer at every cowboy festival in Canada as well as several in the United States, including Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Oregon. In 2004 she was named Best Female Cowboy Poet in North America by the Academy of Western Artists, the first time any Canadian, male or female, has won the cowboy poetry category. In 2007, 2008 and 2009...

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Andy Nelson


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Andy Nelson

As a second-generation farrier, Andy Nelson has the experience and the talents and humor to bring authenticity and entertainment to an audience. Raised in Oakley, Idaho, Andy traveled the Great Basin of southern Idaho, northern Utah and northern Nevada with his father on farrier jobs. From the time he was a child until he went off to college, at Utah State University, he shod horses. Andy...

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Jeff Carson


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Jeff Carson

Jeff, distant cousin of Kit Carson, lives high in the Wasatch Mountains. Those long nights alone with his mules has led Jeff to spoutin’ poetry and prose like a hot tin coffee pot on a blazin’ campfire. Jeff was born and raised in Utah and has lived in Heber City for the past 20 years with wife, 4 daughters, and several mules. His passion in life is spending time on pack trips in the...

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DW Groethe


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DW Groethe

DW Groethe was born and raised in western North Dakota. Along the way he learned to play the guitar and started writing songs and poems about life out West. In 1991 he pulled stakes, moved to Bainville, Montana, and started working as a ranch hand. He has, over the years, been invited to perform his eclectic assortment of poems and tunes at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry...

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Jo Lynne Kirkwood


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Jo Lynne Kirkwood

Jo Lynne Kirkwood was born in the small northern Arizona town of Fredonia. Her great-grandfather was an original settler of the area, and her family has worked with livestock for generations. Jo’s poems reflect her intimate relationship with the land and the people of the Arizona Strip country, as well as an often tongue-in-cheek appreciation for daily agricultural life in central Utah, where...

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Ross Knox


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Ross Knox

Ross Knox—cowboy, horseshoer, and mule packer—was raised on a small cow outfit in Central Oregon, and left home when he was about 16, headed to Northern Nevada and later to Yellowstone. His recent CD liner notes tell that he was inspired by Gail Gardner’s “The Sierry Petes” and “The Dude Wrangler, and “began writing poetry as a young ranch hand because it was a...

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Walt “Bimbo” Cheney


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Walt “Bimbo” Cheney

Walter James Cheney II was an active five-year-old in Holbrook, Arizona, when he tagged along with a family friend to sing a song at the local radio station. The song was “Bimbo” and the nickname was born.   When he was in his early teens his family moved to the Midwest, but when he was eighteen he returned to Arizona where he found work as a cowboy. He subsequently rode rough...

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