© National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo 2015
Excellence through Competition Dennis, sometimes called Duke,  was raised in the heart of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado where his family still used horses and pack mules for prospecting the high alpine basins.  After several successful careers, he is returning to his roots, and enjoys working with horses.  He can sometimes be found on a remote trail or helping move cattle as he celebrates the heritage of the American West.  He also embraces his Scottish ancestry, travels and is an accomplished author.   www.cowboypoetryandbagpipes.com       Dr. Dennis L. Hunter Grand Junction, Colorado Tim Keane is Professor of Landscape Architecture, Distinguished Graduate Faculty, and Director of Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design at Kansas State University where he has served since 1984.  His research involves the study of rivers, creeks, gullies and erosional/depositional processes.  While this all sounds quite pretentious, he attempts to remain pragmatic, half-handy, and on occasion, entertaining.  Tim has been attempting to write “cowboy poetry” for twenty years or more. In 2014 and 2017, Tim was named “Champion” in the Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest and in 2016 he was Reserve Champion at the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo (NCPR).  Keane lives with his wife Sharon and a couple of bird dogs in northwest Wabaunsee County, KS.        Tim Keane, Manhattan, Kansas Robert was born and raised in Oklahoma, and spent much of his time starting colts and rodeoing. He cowboy’d on ranches in Oklahoma and Nebraska before starting his career as a farrier. Currently he makes his living shoeing and training horses.  Robert’s cowboy poetry and songs are inspired by his life’s events and those of friends he has met along the way. He has performed at various cowboy poetry gatherings, private events, churches, men's retreats and similar events. He also pastors at Three Rivers Cowboy Church in Muskogee Oklahoma.   In 2015 Robert released his latest CD Ride For His Pay, Produced by Jean Prescott, and is working on a book of short stories and his second Cowboy Poetry CD.  Robert lives with his wife Vicki and their son Tristen in Oktaha Oklahoma where they have recently started a small performance horse breeding operation.      Robert Beene, Oktaha, Oklahoma Danny is a day working cowboy.  Along with 3 to 6 other cowboys they work, gather, and catch cattle for area ranchers.  He and his wife Teresa also run a herd of mixed cows that carry their Wagon Rut “M” brand.  Danny wrote his first poem in 1986 after building his first saddle after watching the cowboy poets on the Tonight Show.  Danny, and good friend and cowboy Greg Burke, have been performing cowboy music and poems under the name Cowboy Tradition for the past few years.  Most notably they have performed several times for Lucas Oil and Cattle Co.        Danny McCurry, Ash Grove, Missouri Mark has been branded 'the Cowboy Poet of the Northeast' as his present home is in upstate New York's Adirondack Mountains region. The ranch-hand, descendant of horse-folk, cow-losopher performs regularly at Western events, dude ranches, Cowboy Gatherings, and many Cowboy social venues. Mark reveals "that in my heart, I knew I was meant to be a cowboy. An' while life situations didn't always allow the fate, along the bumpy trail, I did a fair piece of day workin’.  I made a hand, biddin' my skills with horses, cows, cowboys, cowgirls, and too many fences".  Mark is an ardent preserver, promoter, and fosterer of cowboy and western culture in everyday actions as well as the Administrator of Cowboy Poetry (Facebook Public Group) and as a Board Member of the Western Music Association Western Wordsmith Chapter. "I just hope to capture and share pieces of life that embody the spirit of our cow-folk forefathers and mothers and to open the trail for the younger buckaroos to follow. I enjoy sharing the: values; principles; truth, albeit with poetic license, and pride in cowboy and western culture.     Mark Munzert Sulphur Springs, Arkansas Rocky was born and raised in eastern Kansas.   As a kid he drove his mother crazy riding his horse in places they shouldn’t, across the front porch, for example.  In his heart, he has always been a cowboy.  Rocky has worked as a cowboy managing guest ranches in Colorado and New Mexico.  He is a cowboy historian, poet, and storyteller.  He says “If anyone is willing to sit a spell and listen, I am an Irish cowboy with the initials B.S. if that tells you anything.”  These days Rocky hangs his hat in the Red Rock country of Sedona, Arizona.  He and his wife, Karen, are involved with an award winning old-west reenactment group known as Doves and Slugs. They perform across Arizona and California bringing to life the history of the old west.  The pair are also "chuck wagon" dutch oven cooks and are always looking for more ways to bring the old west ideals and history to the public in the most entertaining ways.      Brian “Rocky” Sullivan Sedona, Arizona Gary, “J.C.”, grew up in a farming/ranching family where his love for that lifestyle led him to a degree in agriculture.  In a true turn of life he spent 40 years of his working career in the food industry, never losing his love for being around livestock.  Although Gary and his wife Donna are not cattle ranchers, they stay busy maintaining a small herd of Boer goats on their small acreage near Lorena, Texas.  In 2008, he discovered Cowboy Poetry, which led him into sharing his thoughts, through rhyme, on the lifestyle of the American cowboy and rancher.  Gary enjoys performing his poems and old classics at retirement centers and churches throughout the central Texas area.     Gary “J.C.” Penney Lorena, Texas


PW Conway is a cowboy poet, author and entertainer.  His book, Buckaroo Poetry, Cowboy Poems For Young and Old, was nominated for the Western Music Association’s 2014 cowboy poetry book of the year and won the 2014 Will Rogers Silver Medallion Award for poetry book of the year. He is a three-time winner of the Ventura County Cowboy Poetry competition. He has participated in the WMA’s Cowboy Poetry Jackpot in Albuquerque, NM.  PW has performed his poetry at events in Texas, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington and California. He has performed at charity events, cowboy gatherings and county fairs. When not writing, PW enjoys team penning and trail riding with his horse Rascal. His second book “Buckaroo Poetry, Welcome To My Campfire” is soon to be published, as well as a CD of “Buckaroo Poetry, Cowboy Poems For Young and Old”. PW lives in Simi Valley, CA     P. W. Conway, Simi Valley, California Smokey Culver, the “Coyboy Poet” is author of A Wrap and A Hooey,  Mr. Culver writes about whatever comes to mind, mostly farmers and ranchers, down-home folks, and the Western Way of life.  Smokey’s “What Makes a Man a Cowboy” was selected as a finalist for the NFR Cowboy Poetry Contest in 2014.  Mr. Culver was also named “Poet of the Year, 2014” at the Texas Independece Day Celebration in Granbury, Texas.  “The Lord has blessed me with an ability to put thoughts into words that generally make sense, and even stir-up emotions sometimes.”  You can see his works and information on Facebook at Bobwire Poetry by Smokey Culver    Smokey Culver, League City, Texas Paul Brown is a rancher, shepherd, hunting guide, certified wool classer, wool-mill operator and poet.  He and his wife raise mohair goats, fine wool sheep, and cattle, not to mention dogs, cats and chickens on their working ranch in Independence, Texas.  Whether reciting at hunting lodges, sheep shearing’s, spring works, or fall gathers, his poetry is reminiscent of a time before iPads and smartphones occupied our minds, when we found camaraderie in one another’s company.  Paul is currently working on his first book of cowboy poetry and accompanying CD.       Paul Revere Brown III Brenham, Texas Betty Burlingham grew up as a townie with dreams of becoming a scientist.  While making that dream come true, she accidentally fell in love with her major professor who was an avid cattle rancher.  Betty went to "graduate school" with him again--this time on the ranch.  She's been ranching full time for 35 years and couldn't have dreamed of a better life. Betty and Byron own and maintain ranches in KS and NC.  She's been writing and sharing poetry about her amazing and everyday experiences for four years.  Her other hobbies are diverse and include caramel making, square dancing, and stacked dry stone wall construction.     Betty Burlingham, Manhattan, Kansas Ron Ratliff and wife Iva Gail have been in the ministry for 27 years and now pastor the Tenth Street Baptist church in Trenton, Mo., where they have been for four years. They live 18 miles west of Trenton and run a cow/calf operation. Involved in the horse and cow business most of their lives, they have a deep love for the land and the people of rural America as well as the life style. The ministry is Ron's great love, with cowboy life second. He says, "There's only one thing I enjoy more than saddling a good horse and checking the banker's cows, and that is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ!"  Ron preaches revivals and writes and recites cowboy poetry when time and opportunity permit. He has recorded a CD of his original cowboy poetry.          Ron Ratliff, Gilman City, Missouri Ol' Jones didn't get far three years ago when he first entered the Cowboy Poetry contest at Strong City where he finished dead, dead, dead last.  The old boy was a fast learner though finishing second at the 2015 Kansas State Finals to National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo champion, Floyd Beard.  Now in 2016 after becoming the Kansas State Champion in the serious division, Ol' Jones is ready to try at the National level.  A regular listener to Red Sovine on radio's Cowboy Corner,  Jones tries to apply the down-home manner that makes Sovine, Trey Allen, Geff Dawson, Ron Wilson, Don Welborn, and Tim Keane so entertaining.  Ol' Jones doesn't know much about out of state cowboy poets, but he still admires Floyd Beard.  Retired from 42 years as a basketball coach, 22 at the college level; Jones is in Athletic Hall of Fames at Salina's Kansas Wesleyan University and at Baker University in Baldwin.  He now would like a little fame as a cowboy poet. Raised in tiny Vermillion back in Marshall County, Jones is a Kansan born and bred and here to stay.  Visit his website at:  jonesthecowboypoet.com      Jerry Jones Salina, Kansas
We have an amazing line up of contestants this year for the 2017 Contest.  Their bios and pictures are below.  Join us for the NCPR. August 3-5, 2017  - Shockey & Landes Building, Abilene, Kansas  20th Annual Event Presented to you by Rawhide Portable Corrals, Abilene, Kansas Shockey & Landes Building, Abilene, Kansas
Marci Broyhill, Prairie Poet & Storyteller grew up with burrs on her jeans along Cedar-Dixon County Line between Highway 20, Nebraska’s Cowboy Railroad Line and Highway 12, Nebraska’s Outlaw Trail.  Marci visits small town museums, giving life to stories waiting to be shared. Marci has participated at poetry gatherings in six states. She has published two CDs of her original poetry. She balances her presentations with information, reflection and humor. Marci is on Speakers’ Bureau of Humanities Nebraska with her program, Nebraska’s Outlaw Trail, Highway 12. Marci is a member Western Music Association and Nebraska’s Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway Highway 12.    Marci Broyhill, Dakota City, Nebraska