Canyon cowboy poet<br>heads to Elko gathering

Grand Canyon poet Ross Knox will perform during the 19th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev., an event scheduled to run Jan. 25-Feb. 1.

Grand Canyon’s Ross Knox will perform for the 18th time in 19 years at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev.

Poets and musicians ages 11 to 87 from 15 western states will be featured on six stages during the gathering. Each year, thousands of fans travel to the small Nevada cow town in the dead of winter to celebrate the ranching and cowboy culture.

Knox started bukarooing at age 16 when he moved from central Oregon to Elko, Nev. He spent most of those days working the major ranches in northern Nevada, but also worked on ranches in Arizona, Wyoming, California and Oregon.

Knox now lives in Arizona where he works with 40 head of mules as a packer who runs supplies to Phantom Ranch. Ross writes poetry from his experiences, reflections and his heart.

Knox was in Elko for the first cowboy poetry gathering and has missed only one in the past 19 years.

Other Arizona artists featured at this year’s event includes Sally Bates of Chino Valley, Baxter Black of Benson, E.T. Collingsworth of Portal, and Gail Steiger of Prescott.

This year’s gathering theme is "Year of the Horse" and poetry, music and workshops will focus on the impact the horse has had on modern society and the Asian lunar calendar.

Human and equine history have been intertwined through millennia of warfare, empire building and agricultural evolution, from the Mongol armies of Ghengis Khan to the cowboys of North and South America.

The horse has been one of mankind’s closest animal partners. Entire cultures and economies have developed around the horse, some of which endure to this day, including cattle ranching in the North American West.

For almost two decades, National Cowboy Poetry Gathering audiences have enjoyed contemporary and classic cowboy poetry and music styles ranging from western swing to old-time.

The Elko gathering, named the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering by the U.S. Senate in 1999, offers numerous educational workshops designed to preserve Western culture, including rawhide braiding, horsehair hitching and horsemanship clinics.

There are also panel discussions focused on promoting the economic health of ranching, exhibits of Western gear, numerous youth activities and dances.

For a schedule of events and ticket information, call 1-888-880-5885.

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On the Net: For an in-depth look at the gathering schedule and for an Internet cybercast of key speakers and performers (Jan. 29-Feb. 1): www.westernfolklife.org.

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