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HPPR Arts, Culture & History

'I Was Just A Cowboy That Wrote Poetry': Poet Reflects Ahead Of Gathering

Colorado-based cowboy poet Floyd Beard.
Colorado-based cowboy poet Floyd Beard.

Cowboys are synonymous with the West and Colorado's agricultural heritage. And this weekend, an event in our area celebrates that lifestyle through poetry.

Beginning on Thursday, Jan. 16, cowboy poets from around the nation will meet at the 31st annual Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering, held in Golden. 

KUNC’s Colorado Edition spoke with Colorado-based cowboy poet Floyd Beard to learn more about what cowboy poetry is, and what the gathering looks like.

 KUNC's Stephanie Daniel interviews cowboy poet Floyd Beard, who also reads aloud one of his poems.

Interview Highlights

These interview highlights have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Stephanie Daniel: What is cowboy poetry? Floyd Beard: Cowboy poetry is basically a story that’s told in meter, meaning it has a real nice rhythm to it, and rhyme. May the end words or every other line, or something, rhymes.

Why did you start performing poetry?

Well mom and dad said I told stories ever since I was a little kid, and stories come to me in rhyme form. I’m just fascinated with making things rhyme. I constantly to this day, my mind makes things rhyme right in the middle of a conversation wherever we’re at.

And my dad got to where he got to listen to those, he asked if I’d perform some for some of his friends. And so I did, and first thing you know, I was performing this thing that I didn’t even know about called cowboy poetry. I was just a cowboy that wrote poetry, and now I’m a cowboy poet.

Cowboy Poet Gary McMahan performs at the 2019 Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Credit Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering
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Cowboy Poet Gary McMahan performs at the 2019 Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

What is it like being surrounded by cowboy poets?

It’s a lot of fun. We get together, we’re always reminiscing that it’s a family get-together but you like everybody.

The Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering runs through Sunday, you can find more details at their website.

This conversation is part of KUNC’s Colorado Edition for Wed. Jan. 15. You can find the full show here.

Copyright 2020 KUNC