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The Sturgis Public Library has created a display of cowboy poetry and western titles available at the library for check out.

The Sturgis Public Library has created a display of cowboy poetry and western titles available at the library for check out.

Area libraries celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week


F.Ganje - April 18, 2018

STURGIS, SD – As part of the nation-wide celebration of Cowboy Poetry Week,  libraries in the Black Hills are centering their participation around the Center for Western & Cowboy Poetry’s Rural Library Project.

The program’s mission is to serve as an outreach activity to rural communities where the focus on cowboy poetry and writing  often serves as a history lesson as well as a literary one.

At the Belle Fourche Public Library, Belle Fourche, SD, director Wanda Nelson has created a display that includes Belle Fourche and other area cowboy poet publications.  “Here in Belle Fourche, cowboy poetry continues as  a popular form of literature and entertainment,” says Nelson. “We have a wealth of poets right here close to home.”

Children’s story hour and a community book walk are part of the activities planned at the Whitewood Public Library.  The community is home to a well-known cowboy poet, Robert V. Carr, who lived there in the late 19th century.  Carr wore many hats during his time in the community – as the editor of the local paper to a student at the South Dakota School of Mines. Memorabilia from the well-known cowboy poet along with other historical memorabilia from Crook City (a community just north of Whitewood that no longer exists) are also on display at the library.

The Whitewood Cowboy Poetry Walk is set for Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 9:30-3:00pm and features Carr’s life and works.  According to Weyer, there will be a dozen or more displays located along Laurel Street in Whitewood that tell his story – including his participation in Seth Bullock’s Cowboy Brigade.  School children will dress in period costume and there will be a question and answer session following the walk.  The event is open to the public.

The Rapid City Public Library will feature its popular Local History Room along with a display of cowboy poetry and western literature it offers to patrons year round.  As does the Sturgis Public Library where director Julie Moore Peterson  points out that along with Cowboy Poetry Week, April 15-21, 2018, it is also National Poetry Month.  “Cowboy poetry relates to so many people who work hard every day on ranches and farms,” she observes, “who often times use humor to get over the tough times.” She adds, “I think cowboy poetry should be preserved as an art form because it is an important historical reference as well.” 

Cowboy Poetry Week in South Dakota is recognized by Governor Dennis Daugaard who has signed an official Proclamation in support of the prominent place cowboy poets and western writers hold in the state.

For more information on Cowboy Poetry Week, go to www.cowboypoetry.com



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