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Cowboy Poets Email This Page
Filmmaker: Kim Shelton
VHS - $ 95.00
Price includes Public Performance License.
American cowboys have been writing poetry for more than a century. This little-known literary tradition both belies the macho image of the Western Heroes and serves as an imaginative form of oral history.Cowboy Poets travels to the big sky country of Nevada, Montana, and Arizona to explore the tradition and to introduce three working cowboys and the poetry they write about the lifestyle and land they love.

Cowboy Poets profiles three cowboy reciters -- Waddie Mitchell, Slim Kite and Wally McRae -- representing three different aspects of the cowboy-poetry tradition. Waddie Mitchell is a young working cowboy who runs a small ranch in northern Nevada; his flashy buckaroo clothes show the world that he is proud to be a cowboy. Slim Kite is a retired cowboy of the old school -- he believes that there is no more cow-punching, not the way he learned it. His poems, all learned from other reciters over the past sixty years, connect him with generations of cowboys and the way of life he loved. Wally McRae is a third-generation rancher in northern Montana, a gentleman-pholosopher, who uses his considerable poetic gifts to make personal statements about continuity within the ranching community and the strenth of cowboy traditions under siege in the modern world.

An important documentary of an endangered lifestyle, Cowboy Poets offers a unique perspective on the American West and is an innovative addition to courses in folklore, anthropology, oral history, poetry, American literature and American history.

Running time: 52 min, Year released: 1988
Close captioned?: N, Color?: Y
Avail. formats: 16mm,VHS
ISBN: 1-55974-083-3
Language: English, Subtitled?: N
For classroom?: Y, Study Guide?: N
Grade level: 7th and up


"A fitting tribute to the oral tradition with which these men keep their family histories alive...A masterful job of blending the poetry and the lives of these men."
--Terry Orme, Salt Lake City

"...Unfolds with the sweet and casual-seeming charm of a country dance."
--Harper Barnes, St. Louis-Dispatch

Other Credits:

Produced and Directed by Kim Shelton
Executive Producer: Bill Jersey
Original music by Hal Cannon
Gold Apple Award, National Educational Film Festival; Blue Ribbon, American Film and Video Festival
This title can also be found in: American Film Festival Award Winners, American West, Americana, Artists, Musicians & Performers, Authors, Cowboys, Cowgirls & The West, History, Literature and Literary Portraits, National Educational Film Festival Award Winners, Poetry, U.S. History, U.S.A., Writers

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