JIM HOY (b. 1939) is a native of Cassoday, where he was reared on a small stock ranch working cattle, breaking horses, driving mules, and stacking loose hay. Too much of the latter two activities convinced him to go to college. He is currently a folklorist at Emporia State University, where he specializes in the folklife of ranches.

A man there lives on the western plain
With a ton of fight and an ounce of brain
Who herds the cattle and rides the train
And goes by the name of cowboy.
- Poet Unknown, 1884

EVER SINCE THE FIRST GATHERING AT ELKO, Nevada, in 1985 the popularity of cowboy poetry has burgeoned. Cowboy and cowgirl poets from Kansas have been active in the movement, building on a tradition that had linked our state with cowboy poetry since the days when some anonymous drover, to stave off the boredom of riding drag, came up with the first verse of "The Old Chisholm Trail."

This book represents the best cowboy verse from Kansas using both contemporary and historic poems from poets living in the state, from those whose roots were here, or from those whose verse is about the state. Some of these poems have been written by working cowboys while others reflect the prairie landscape and ranching heritage of Kansas, but all carry the tone of authenticity, of loyalty to the tradition of the cowboy and his work.

ISBN 1-880652-49-8

(This book can be ordered from your local bookstore or by calling BOOK KANSAS! At 1-800-790-2665.)

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Last updated: 04/03/97