The Western Folklife Center presents cowboy poetry-film

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The Western Folklife Center presents cowboy poetry-film


National Poetry Gathering. Photo from Art of the Rural.

The Western Folklife Center is creating a series of poetry-films, combining verse and image to place a spotlight on rural and agrarian poetry of the West. The center has received a nearly $50,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for the project.

The center has already teamed up with the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno to produce a poetry-film called "Between Grass and Sky: Rhythms of a Cowboy Poem." It combines the work of Texas cowboy poet Buck Ramsey and Reno filmmaker Jerry Dugan.

Please click on this link to view the film:

Meg Glaser is artistic director for the Western Folklife Center. She says that partnering poets and filmmakers will help capture the challenges the rural West faces today.

"We find that a lot of poetry that we're hearing right now does speak to water issues, it speaks to climate change, it speaks to encroachment of urban sprawl, things that impact the use of open spaces and the land in the rural West."

Along with highlighting the difficulties of farming in the West, especially the ongoing drought, the works will also be a celebration of agrarian life.

"It won't all be issue-oriented," Glaser says. "A lot of it will speak to some of the beauty and the love of the land, in some ways almost a reverence, a sacred, spiritual relationship between human and the earth."

The series will be presented at future National Cowboy Poetry Gatherings in Elko, along with film festivals and other events. Unlike a lecture or exhibit, poetry-films can also be easily shared online, expanding the dialogue between rural and urban communities.