For the first time, the 2013 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest will have qualifying rounds in additional locations across Kansas so that more Kansans can enjoy and participate in this unique form of expression.
The process will culminate on Friday, June 14, when the finals of the third state-wide Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest will be held in Alma in conjunction with the Symphony in the Flint Hills. "Cowboy Poetry honors Kansas history and our western heritage," says contest chair, Ron Wilson, Poet Lariat.
The expanded contest is being held with support from the Kansas Arts Foundation and in partnership with the Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association. Qualifying rounds will be held around the state, encouraging participation from all corners.
Entrants must qualify at one of the following events to compete at this contest: Chisholm Trail Wild West Days, Wellington, Kansas - April 26 - 28, 2013; Echoes of the Trail, Fort Scott, Kansas - June 7-9, 2013; or Dodge City, with details to be announced.
The Final Round of the Contest will take place at the St. John's Lutheran Memorial Hall in Alma, with the contest beginning at 7 p.m. There will be two divisions: serious and humorous poetry. The event is free and open to the public. All are encouraged to attend and participate.
As the honorary chair of the Symphony in the Flint Hills, Brownback will be signing the winning certificates of the Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest and the grand prize will be the Governor's Buckle. The award is titled the Saddlejack Bradrick Kansas Cowboy Poetry Award.
The first place competitors in each division will receive the coveted Governor's Buckle. A Champion will be named in each division, receiving two tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills where they will receive recognition from Brownback and will be asked to recite their work again in the Patron's Tent at the Symphony in the Flint Hills. The Symphony in the Flint Hills will be held Saturday, June 15 at Fort Riley.
"We are honored to be among the first grant recipients from the Kansas Arts Foundation," said Wilson. "Their support makes it possible to extend our participation across the state so more Kansans can be engaged. We encourage folks to enter the contests or to just come out and enjoy them."
For information or to enter, go to cowboypoetrycontest.com or contact chair Ron Wilson, Poet Lariat at [email protected] or Abby Amick, Wabaunsee County Economic Development, 785-765-4655, [email protected].
Committee Members include: Jeff Davidson, President, Kansas Chapter of Western Music Association from Greenwood County; Brad Hamilton, Western Entertainer from Hoyt; Geff Dawson, accomplished cowboy poet and entertainer from the Alma area, and Trey Allen, Winner of the 2011 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest.