Expressing the Rural West: Poetry of the Next Generation

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Juried Poetry Contest Winner for 2014, Forrest Mackey

For our 30th Gathering, the Western Folklife Center initiated a new spoken word contest, Expressing the Rural West: Poetry of the Next Generation, which ran from November 7 through December 19, 2013. Poets between the ages of 18 and 35 were encouraged to upload video recitals of original poetry rural life in the West.

Forrest Mackey of New Mexico was the winner of the juried competition and performed at the Gathering, with travel and lodging paid by the Western Folklife Center. Appreciative audiences were also treated to music when Forrest joined the lineup at our open mic "Take Your Turn" session(s).

The winner of the public contest, Randi Johnson, received two 3-Day Deluxe Passes to the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and a Gathering poster.

To see all of the tagged video submissions we received, visit For more information about this contest, email Darcy Minter, Communications Director, Western Folklife Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race."   --   John Keating, Dead Poets’ Society