The Gathering

Next week, the Western Folklife Center in Elko will host the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering on January 29-February 3, 2018. Nevada Humanities has proudly funded the Gathering every year throughout its 34-year run!


This is not an ordinary festival. The Gathering is a weeklong festival of poetry, music, and cultural arts, with workshops beginning on Sunday, January 28, and a wide range of events happening day and night throughout the week at the Western Folklife Center, the Elko Convention Center, and other sites in Elko. This year’s theme is Basques & Buckaroos: Herding Cultures of Basin, Range and Beyond. According to the Gathering organizers, “The buckaroo and herding traditions of the Great Basin call out to surrounding lands and even across oceans in all their cultural expressions, then and now. Among Basque communities overseas and in the American West, traditions of music, improvised poetry, literature, dance, cheese making, and more are flourishing.” An array of Basque & Buckaroos events, performances, and workshops will be taking place to pique your interest. 


Take a look at what happens at the Gathering.


Each year Nevada Humanities supports the event’s Keynote Address, which sets the tone for the Gathering; this year’s Keynote features ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things that help us all “rethink how to ‘make it’ in today's West.” Don’t miss this Keynote Address on Thursday, February 1, at 9:15 am, at the Elko Convention Center Auditorium.


We are excited to catch Elko native and well-known Basque-American author, Vince J. Juaristi, Nevada Humanities-funded talk about “America’s Deal: A New Basque Home On the Range” on Friday, February 2, from 1:00-2:00 pm, at the Elko Convention Center Turquoise Room. Juaristi will draw on his own family stories of immigration as he highlights important events that paved the way for hundreds of Basque settlers arriving in the U.S. during the 1940s and 1950s. 


If you cannot join in the Gathering festivities in person, Nevada Humanities will be broadcasting 11 shows from the Gathering and posting them online and on YouTube. Tune in starting Wednesday, January 31 for "The Best of the West," with Adrian Buckaroogirl​, Wylie & the Wild West​, and Riders In The Sky! The shows will not be live but will be uploaded at the end of each performance.


What event are you hoping to catch? We hope to see you at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. Click here for a schedule of the Gathering events.


Written by: Staff of Nevada Humanities

Image Courtesy of Jessica Brandi Lifland