Riders with Rhymes will gather again across Kansas, as the Kansas Cowboys Poetry Contest resumes in person in 2022.
“We are so excited to be able to come together and share in person again, starting May 6 in Fredonia and May 20 in Hays,” said poetry contest chair Ron Wilson from the Lazy T Ranch near Manhattan. “In addition to the Cowboy Poetry Contest for Adults, we will be offering a Youth Division for ages 18 and under. We invite current and aspiring poets to participate in our regional competitions where they will perform their original poems,” he said.
Qualifying competitions will be held as follows: May 6, 7 p.m., Rollin’ Red’ Vandever Memorial Park, Wilson County Old Iron Club Headquarters, 10392 Jade Road, Fredonia; and May 20, 6 p.m., Hays Public Library, 1205 Main Street, Hays.
The top qualifiers in each of the two regional competitions qualify for the finals, which will be held at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan on June 10. State Champions at the Finals will receive the Saddlejack Bradrick Award, the coveted Governor’s Buckle, awards and gifts. certificates from major western clothing stores, free membership in the International Western Music Association-Kansas chapter and two tickets to Symphony in the Flint Hills as well as an opportunity to present their poems in the story circle after the symphony. Young winners will also receive scholarships.
“We are very grateful to our sponsors who make this possible,” Wilson said. “Many thanks to the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, the Kansas Farm Bureau, the Western Wordsmiths and Kansas Chapters of the International Western Music Association, the Hays Public Library, Lawton Nuss and our Western Clothing Donors.”
Entrants can register online at www.cowboypoetrycontest.com. There are two categories: serious poems or humorous poems. Candidates can recite a serious poem, a humorous poem or both. Only the original work of the candidate is authorized. Prizes will be awarded in the two categories plus the youngsters. The finale will take place June 10 at the Discovery Center the day before Symphony in the Flint Hills.
Admission is free 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.