Recently Marilyn Ratzlaff of Next Chapter Group, a publisher, visited Pawhuska and Tallgrass Art Gallery so we could introduce her to Osage County's cowboy poets and writers. We were fortunate enough to bring together several cowboy poets and writers to share their work. The Osage is one of the last bastions of this spoken and written form of 'organic' poetry produced on horseback or after a long day of working on the ranches. It's an art form in it's own right.
Marilyn went away with a whole new concept of what cowboy poetry is, what these artists create and how we can work to preserve it. There poems and stories often tell of their day to day life, as well as their loves and losses. Stories told late into the night, sometimes with as much 'BS' as truth and shared with their co-workers will soon appear in a book.
Tallgrass Art Gallery is so excited to assist in bringing this art to the public as a book, or possibly several books. Preserving today's art for the future is important for all of us. When the cowboys are no more, their stories and poems will live on as memories of when the West was truly wild and cattle were tended by hard working hands. It's part of our heritage, made so famous by Oklahoma's favorite son, Will Rogers.
Musings by Bruce Carter, Owner/Curator of Tallgrass Art Gallery