Books, Videos and Links, Cowboy Poets

A great selection of cowboy poetry and music can be purchased through the Western Folklife Center, or call 775-738-7508. The most popular anthology of cowboy poetry is called Cowboy Poetry:A Gathering. Edited by Hal Cannon. There is also an interesting book of essays about cowboy poetry entitled Cowboy Poets & Cowboy Poetry, edited by David Stanley and Elaine Thatcher. A very good CD of cowboy recitations was issued by Smithsonian Folkways recently. Books and recordings by both Waddie Mitchell and Wallace McRae are available at the Western Folklife Center. For the 10th Cowboy Poetry Gathering, a PBS special was produced by Alan Sacks and Hal Cannon and is available on VHS. A new documentary, "Why the Cowboy Sings," has recently been produced by the Western Folklife Center and is airing nationally on PBS. It too is available on VHS.

Links:, the website of the Western Folklife Center is the best place to find books, recordings, and information about the folk arts of ranching. is also a good site with a great deal of interactivity.