Cowboys can rhyme, too

“If you get thrown from a horse, you have to get up and get back on, unless you landed on a cactus. Then you have to roll around and scream in pain.” –Cowboy wisdom

cowboy poets web headerThe cowboy life is full of ruts and summits. Ups and downs make great tinder for poetry.

This Sun. at the library, cowboy poet Ron Wilson and friends will regale an audience with the nit and grit of cowboy life. Grit being the key word. The Cowboy Poetry Gathering is 2-4 p.m. Sun. Feb. 15 in Marvin Auditorium, and it’s one of many events celebrating this year’s Big Read selection, True Grit.

The whole community is reading True Grit this Feb. That means their imaginations are swimming with cowboys, heroes, desperados and the vision of a young woman who possesses enough grit to chase revenge down a rough trail.

true grit before & after

Rooster: “Where’d all the books go?” Answer: Topeka came and checked ’em all out. The whole community really is reading True Grit together.


The cowboy poets will add to True Grit‘s Western narrative with metered and rhymed tales of rogue horses, broken hearts and general rabble-rousing.

Attendees will be entered to win one of 5 pair of tickets to the Big Read Finale, the Don Williams concert Feb. 26 at Topeka Performing Arts Center. The Finale also features the Single Action Shooting Society in full western regalia from 6-7, who will visit about True Grit-era weaponry and shooting.

Wilson, who grew up on the Lazy T Ranch near Manhattan, writes poems that are fun, family-oriented and farm-inspired. He’s won numerous awards for his work, has performed internationally and published two cowboy poetry books.

Joining Wilson are:

Jeff Davidson, Manhattan, 2013 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Champion
Brad Hamilton, Hoyt, cowboy poet and singer/songwriter
Don Welborn, Meriden, western and country humor poet
Kathryn Gardner, Topeka, 2014 Cowboy Poetry Contest reserve champion award winner

The event is free and open to the public.

Leah Sewell

Leah is a former employee and wrote many stories and articles for the library.