Faces and Voices of Cowboy Poetry

Welcome! In 2019 the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering celebrates its 35th year. For over three decades, thousands of poets and reciters have traveled to Elko to share original and classic poetry. The twenty-four artists featured in this online and storefront exhibition represent a small sampling of poets who took the stage in the early years of the Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and whose diverse stories and distinctive voices contributed to the greater cowboy poetry movement. Their original poetry is grounded in everyday life of the rural ranching West and gives a glimpse of the wide-open landscape of their experiences – poignant, humorous, philosophical, and lesson-filled.

Exhibit Photographer: Kevin Martini-Fuller

Kevin has been creating formal portraits of the participants at the annual ‘National Cowboy Poetry Gathering’ since 1986. His exhibition record includes numerous one person and group shows in galleries and museums throughout the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He is a past recipient of the ‘International Grand Prize’ awarded by the Photo Imaging Education Association, which resulted in his work being shown at 45 venues in a worldwide traveling exhibit.


JB Allen

Virginia Bennett

Baxter Black

John Dofflemyer

Elizabeth Ebert

Sunny Hancock

Linda Hussa

Teresa Jordan

Bill Lowman

Wally McRae

Waddie Mitchell

Joel Nelson

Kay Kelley Nowell

Gwen Petersen

Vess Quinlan

Buck Ramsey

Henry Real Bird

Bob Schild

Sandy Seaton Sallee

Georgie Sicking

Jesse Smith

Red Steagall

Colen Sweeten

Jack Walther

Western Folklife Center

The Western Folklife Center uses story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world. Our exhibitions, educational programs, national radio and television programs, research and preservation projects, and our premier event, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, explore and give voice to traditional and dynamic cultures of the American West.


National Endowment for the Arts
Nevada Arts Council
NV Energy Foundation