The next generation of poets

The Western Folklife Center and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering has launched the 3rd Annual spoken word poetry competition on YouTube.

The competition is aimed at writers and poets ages 18-35.

Poets must be currently living in one of the following western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The winner of the public vote is the poet whose video gets the most “likes.” The winner of the public vote will receive two free three-day deluxe passes to the 32nd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and a free Gathering poster. The winner of the juried competition will be given a performance slot at the event and must be able to travel between Jan. 27-31, 2016.

One of the most popular events held in Elko is also a nice shot in the arm for the local economy.

The Gathering draws between 7,000 to 8,000 people to venues across town, including Elko Convention Center, Western Folklife Center, Flag View Intermediate School, Elko High School and the Great Basin College theater. Western-themed movies also are shown at the Crystal Theater. An economic impact study conducted by the Nevada Commission on Tourism found that the total economic impact of the event in Elko was $7 million during the week of the Gathering.

Guidelines for the competition can be found on the Western Folklife Center’s Web site at: or the contest’s YouTube channel at:


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