Winner of Online Poetry Competition Announced

Western Folklife Center logo                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 15, 2014

Contact: Darcy Minter, 775.340.4240
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National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Announces Winner
of Online Poetry Competition

Elko—The Western Folklife Center and its 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which in December held the YouTube-based spoken word poetry competition, Expressing the Rural West: Poetry of the Next Generation, today announced the competition winner to be New Mexico cowboy, Forrest Mackey.

Poets between the agges of 18 and 35 were invited to submit videos which detailed some aspect of western lifestyles. All work had to be original.

As the winner, Mackey won a performance slot at the Gathering.

"I'm really excited by all this," Mackey said. "The Gathering is a unique thing, and I can't wait to be a part of it."

Mackey, who normally channels his creative efforts into songwriting, said he saw a post about the competition on a social media site and decided to participate.

"The West is full of history," he said. "For example, the poem I wrote for the competition was inspired by a story I read about a cowboy who lived in the West during the trail drive days. Now, through song and poem, I can retell those forgotten stories of yesteryear, bringing the old west back to life."

To view competition entries, visit

The 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering takes place January 7 through February 1, 2014, in Elko, Nevada. Drawing on three decades of presenting the artistic traditions of ranching and cowboy culture in the American West, the theme of the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is Expressing the Rural West: Into the Future! Through performances of poetry and music, thought-provoking films and fruitful discourse, artists and audiences of all ages will share their art and their opinions on meeting the challenges of rual life in the modern West.

Tickets can be purchased at, by calling 775-738-7508, toll-free 888-880-5885, or by stopping in to the Western folklife Center's ticket office, 501 Railroad Street, Elko.