34th Gathering of Cowboy Poets Returns this August to Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
The Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering will again take the stage at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center in Prescott on August 11-13. One of the area’s most popular annual events, this year’s gathering features more than 40 authentic cowboy poets and singers sharing the heritage and culture of the American cowboy for two days and three nights of entertainment.
Headline performers include Dale Burson, Floyd Beard, and Joni Harms. A highly collectible poster titled “Let ‘em in, Dad,” created by award-winning artist Valerie Kagounkin, will be available for purchase at the Gathering, as will raffle tickets to win an original framed giclée of the poster.
Dale Burson, a fourth-generation Texas Panhandle rancher and award-winning singer and songwriter, will take the stage on August 11, playing guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo. Dale runs cow-calf and yearling operations near Channing, Texas, and writes songs focused on ranch life and family values. In 2004, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum honored him for A Life More Than This.
Floyd Beard, a Southeastern Colorado lifetime cowboy, and sixth-generation rancher will headline the Friday performance. Drawing from his own experiences and observations of the Western way of life, this 2016 and 2017 International Western Music Association Male Poet of the Year delights his audiences by bringing alive classic and humorous contemporary cowboy poetry.
Joni Harms closes out the evening performances on Saturday with her pioneering blend of musical sounds that draws international crowds. The recent release of Lucky 13, her thirteenth studio album, has drawn rave reviews with Country Music People Magazine calling the selections “some of the very best country songs of recent years” that “prove that Joni Harms is one of country music’s most underrated writers.”
Joni enjoys ballad writing and story songs and “loves it when someone tells me that a song of mine has touched them or helped them through a tough situation,” affirming what she feels she was “put on this earth to do.”
The Gathering also offers free day sessions throughout the campus where attendees can meet cowboy poets and singers and enjoy stories of the culture and history of the American cowboy.
“We’re thrilled to offer this event back at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center,” said Meg Savoini, President of the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering’s Board of Directors. “The culture of the real American Cowboy lives on stage here every year and it’s been an honor to bring this form of entertainment to locals and tourists alike,” Meg continued.
The Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering has maintained a standard abandoned by most other gatherings, namely inviting men and women who are now or have been in the past a part of the working cowboys’ environment and workplace. The Prescott Gathering is respected by cowboy poets as one of the best gatherings in the country because it helps preserve the true “working cowboy” culture and heritage.