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Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Young Cowboy Poets on YouTube

Forrest Mackay/YouTube
Forrest Mackay was the winner of last year's young poets competition

  The sponsors of the country’s largest cowboy poetry gathering are trying to get younger poets involved – so they’re asking for submissions on YouTube.

The Western Folklife Center will hold its 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada in January.  And for the second year, it’s holding a contest for poets between 18 and 35 who submit their work on YouTube.

Amy Mills is the center’s programs coordinator.  She says the subject should be rural life, and it’s OK to upload your video while sitting in the saddle.

Mills tells KUER,“I have a couple of poets whom I work with who will call me from underneath a tree where they can get good reception on their horse.  And one of them likes to joke that when he’s calling from his horse phone that he doesn’t need to be hands free, because the horse knows where it’s going.”

Last year’s winner was Forrest Mackay from New Mexico.  His poem was about a couple of cowboys who got caught in a blizzard and wind up eating one of their horses.

“Our story spread through the country, and most believed our tale," Mackay said in his YouTube video,"Till they found Lynn’s horse that spring.  He was alive and well.”

The jury prize winner gets a chance to perform at the gathering, while the audience favorite gets free passes to attend.

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