Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest Entries Are Open for 2024

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Manhattan, KS – Write, rhyme, ride, recite! It’s time to enter the 2024 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest. “Current and aspiring cowboy poets are invited to enter our regional contests where they can perform their original cowboy poems in person,” said poetry contest chair Ron Wilson of the Lazy T Ranch near Manhattan.

“We are also pleased to announce a new youth initiative in that American Royal Youth Rodeo participants will be able to enter our contest for free in 2024,” he said.
Regional contests will be held as follows: Friday, May 3, 7 p.m., Rollin ‘Red’ Vandever Memorial Park, home of the “Wilson County Old Iron Club,” 10392 Jade Road, Fredonia; and Friday, May 17, 6 p.m., Hays Public Library, 1205 Main Street, Hays.

Contestants can enter to perform at either location or at both. All ages are welcome. Those interested in competing can enter online at www.cowboypoetrycontest.com. Only the top qualifiers at each of the two regional contests advance to the finals which will be held at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan on June 9. State champions at the finals will receive the Saddlejack Bradrick Award, the coveted Governor’s Buckle, discounts and gift certificates from leading western wear stores, free membership in the International Western Music Association-Kansas Chapter, and two tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills plus an opportunity to present their poems in the story circle after the symphony.

“We are mighty grateful to the sponsors who make this possible,” Wilson said. Sponsors include the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, the Kansas Farm Bureau, the International Western Music Association-Kansas chapter and Western Wordsmiths chapter, the Hays Public Library, Symphony in the Flint Hills, Flint Hills Discovery Center, and western wear donors.

Contestants can enter online at www.cowboypoetrycontest.com . There are two categories: Serious poems or humorous poems. Contestants can recite a serious poem, humorous poem or both. Awards will be presented in both categories. Only the contestant’s original work is allowed. All poetry must be family-friendly. The finals will be held on Friday, June 7, 2024 at the Discovery Center at 7 p.m. on the night before the Symphony in the
Flint Hills.

There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend all of these events. For more information or to enter a regional contest, go to www.cowboypoetrycontest.com .
State contest committee members include IWMA-Kansas President Martha Farrell, Andover; Orin Friesen, Benton; Jeff Davidson, Eureka; Brad Hamilton, Hoyt; and Ron Wilson, Manhattan.

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