I agree with Philip Klein that Harry Reid probably isn’t doing cowboy poets any favors. But let’s not hold that against the cowboy poets.
Take it from someone who has attended hundreds of poetry readings over the past decade. I have heard far too many poems which use the phrase f*#k Bush, f*#k Palin or f*#k Jesus (possibly all three simultaneously.) And lest I forget all those zombie poems. So hearing about poetry inspired in part by rural landscape and life on the ranch sounds both literally and figuratively refreshing. Given that cowboy poetry originated during the Civil War I think it’s worth giving it a second look.
Needless to say, there aren’t exactly a lot of cowboy poetry readings in New England or New York. In fact, I would be hard pressed to say if there are any at all. So if I found myself in Elko, Nevada next January I would be inclined to attend The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Perhaps cowboy poetry will have to do without a government grant. Who knows? With all the attention perhaps it will spread across the country like “Wildfire”. (Hey, it’s not like the opportunity readily presents itself for me to make a reference to Michael Martin Murphey.)