The Western Folklife Center is honored to have Knox as part of the 2005 Gathering; he was selected from a pool of over 100 applicants. Knox has appeared at nearly every Gathering over the last 21 years, including the first one in 1985.
Cowboy, horseshoer and mule packer Knox began writing cowboy poetry as a young ranch hand. He had heard fellow cowboys recite some of Gail Gardner’s poems and thought he would try his hand at reciting and writing.
Some 30 years later, his cowboy poetry and recitations of cowboy classics have taken him more places than his work in the saddle.
Knox is known for reciting the classics of Kiskaddon, Fletcher and Clark, but is also known for writing about the things he knows intimately: horses, cattle, cow-dogs, loneliness, getting hitched, getting in wrecks, and the life of the cowboy.
Knox has made his mark as the longest working head packer in the Grand Canyon. Packing for over 14 years, he has logged more than 40,000 miles on the back of a mule.
Since its humble beginning in 1985 the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering has become a Mecca for cowboy poets, musicians, artists and enthusiasts.
Anyone interested in preserving and enjoying the cowboy lifestyle has flocked to the cow-town of Elko to be entertained and educated. The Elko Gathering is the largest in the United States and has spawned over 200 gatherings in other parts of the country.
The theme for this year’s Gathering is “Across the Generations,” emphasizing the preservation of western traditions and art forms for future generations through poetry, music and workshops.
The mission of the Western Folklife Center is to enhance the vitality of American life through the experience, understanding, and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West.
For more information, visit www.westernfolklife.org.