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Poetry Gathering features youth poetry contest

To The Leader

 

ALPINE, TEXAS – A youth poetry contest has been announced by the Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering in conjunction with its inaugural event scheduled for February 21-22, 2020.

Held on the campus of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, the gathering will feature poets and singers heralding from across Texas and several western states.  

As a reminder that keeping the spirit of the West alive is not just a job for the old-timers, the youth contest provides a way for young people to not only express their appreciation for the cowboy way of life but also carry on the tradition.  

“I am thrilled that the organizers want to promote this opportunity for the youth,” said Elizabeth Baize, a native of Fort Davis, who is working alongside Kay Nowell and Karen McGuire, both of Alpine, to organize the contest. 

“Developing the art of writing, whether poetry or prose, affords an individual with a powerful tool,” she said. “It can teach a lesson, relay a personal value, make a lasting impression, or just bring the gift of laughter into someone’s life.”

Baize participated in the poetry contest herself during her high school years and still has a poem she wrote entitled “Rattler Tale.” 

She smiles as she glances over her teenage attempt at capturing the story. 

“When I think about my snake encounters, an image flashes into my mind’s eye regarding this one – the first moment I caught sight of the snake crawling away from my horse’s legs,” she said. 

“However, I realize that without these words in front of me, many details would have escaped my recollection,” Baize said. “Thanks to the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering Poetry Contest and a dedicated mother who challenge me to participate, I can relive an incident that occurred over half my lifetime ago.”

To encourage participation, the youth poetry contest is divided into five age divisions with the top three places in each division receiving a personalized plaque. 

Plans also are underway for students to share their poems during a special session on Saturday morning during the gathering. 

Baize hopes that the contest will not only give students a reason to write, but also an opportunity to share their creativity, experiences, and dreams with others.  

“Whether or not they realize the fact, young people with an interest in agriculture already have great stories to tell,” she said. “We are waiting in anticipation to hear them.”

For more information, contest guidelines and entry deadline, visit lonestarcowboypoetry.com/youth_contest.