National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an annual celebration of the ranching and rural West and of lifestyles that are deeply connected to the earth and its bounty. Through poetry, music, and stories, ranch people express the beauty and challenges of that life. Each year during the heart of winter thousands travel to rural Elko, Nevada—to listen, learn, and share at what’s been called the most honest and open-hearted festival in America.

With hands-on gearmaking, cooking, dancing, and writing workshops; live poetry and music performances; exhibitions, talks, films, and storytelling sessions; and plenty of socializing between shows at the historic Pioneer Saloon or at one of the many dances, there’s something for everyone at “the Gathering.” And make sure to check out the open mics this year — or even participate yourself — because at the end of the week we’ll host a show featuring open mic highlights. So, whether it’s your first or thirty-sixth Gathering, this is not one you’re going to want to miss.

And we offer benefits to our Western Folklife Center members that include early purchase of National Cowboy Poetry Gathering tickets. Join Now!

Announcing the artwork for the 2020 Gathering poster:  Trail Blazers  (2013), by quilt artist and National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow,  Marion Coleman . From the collection of Arkainee Ervin.

Announcing the artwork for the 2020 Gathering poster: Trail Blazers (2013), by quilt artist and National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow, Marion Coleman. From the collection of Arkainee Ervin.

Aliza Pantoja