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Storytellers: The Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering

For four days a year, Golden turns into the Old West as it plays host to the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

GOLDEN, Colo. — For four days every year, Golden turns into the Old West, as it plays host to the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering. 

Singers, musicians and poets who write about Western life perform in three concerts across those four days. They participate in and host workshops, too. 

"A cowboy poetry gathering is just a bunch of cowboys or poets and musicians who come together in the same place and spread the culture of the cowboy way," said Jeneve Rose Mitchell, who played a cover of 'I've Been Everywhere' on cello at the gathering's opening night concert.

There are gatherings like this one around the country, but the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering is one of the oldest, running for 30 years now. 

Peggy Malone, a musician from Fruita said each gathering plays an important role in preserving Western culture.

"We're keeping the west alive through poetry and music," she said. 

Whether they write about praying for rain on a drought-stricken ranch or what it truly means to be a Westerner, every poet, musician and cowboy in attendance is carrying on the long tradition of a unique way of life. 

"The stories were primary around the campfires," Skip Gorman, said. "And then if the stories were good, they'd turn them into poems, and then they'd take the poems and slap some kind of melody on them and then you'd have a ballad."

This year's gathering is over, but if you want to stay up to date on how to score tickets to next year's, keep your eyes peeled to the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering's website

"A big part of my life is keeping those songs alive," Gorman said.

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