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Charlie Seemann, cowboy poetry
expert, to offer multimedia presentation, 'Get Along Little Doggerel,'
Nov. 25, 2008 --
executive director of the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nev., will
speak at Arkansas State University on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m., in
the Mockingbird Room of the ASU Student Center, 101 N. Caraway Road,
Jonesboro. His multimedia presentation, “Get Along Little Doggerel:
The Long Trail of Cowboy Poetry and Song from Cow Camps to Cowboy Poetry
Gatherings,” is free and open to the public. Seemann’s visit is
sponsored by ASU’s Department of English and Philosophy and the Heritage
Studies doctoral program, with support from the National Endowment for
Seemann is a noted international authority on cowboy poetry and the folk
culture of America’s western states. He will discuss how poetry has been
an important cultural contribution from American cowboys from the early
1800s to the present. His lecture will focus on the history of cowboy
poetry as it has evolved from the stories and verses told by working
cowboys into a highly theatrical form of performance that is showcased
at major festival and readings, including the “National Cowboy Poetry
Gathering” produced annually by Seemann’s Western Folklife Center for
the past 25 years.
Although telling stories and creating poetry has been part of the
folklore of cowboys from the earliest days of ranch culture, cowboy
poetry was first printed in newspapers and other publications by the
late 1800s. The earliest poems were shared mainly among cowboys and
ranchers, but organizations like the Western Folklife Center have
recently brought cowboy poetry to a wider audience. Cowboy poetry is now
flourishing within numerous communities.
The National Cowboy Poetry Gatherings have been so successful that
cowboy poetry has received national attention through major newspapers
and networks, and numerous articles, books, recordings, and
documentaries have brought the artistry of cowboy poets to an
international audience. Additional information on the Western Folklife
Center, including podcasts of cowboy poetry and on-line exhibits, is
available at the center’s Web site:
For more information, contact Dr. Gregory Hansen, associate professor of
English and Folklore, at (870) 972-3508, or e-mail him at email@example.com.
of Charlie Seemann courtesy of the Western Folklife Center.