Friday, March 27, 2009

The Economist on Cowboy Poets

Lone Pine, California, 2007. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

The British newsweekly The Economist has an interesting take on the phenomenon of Cowboy Poetry at a time when -- it feels -- that cowboys otherwise are disappearing from popular culture....

The rise of the cowboy poet coincides with the virtual disappearance from popular culture of another Western figure. Hollywood used to churn out dozens of films a year about square-jawed gunslingers. It now produces almost none, and there is currently no new Western series to be found on broadcast television or basic cable. But the departure of the heroic cowboy has opened some room for gentler, more reflective voices. Although it is growing, their audience is smaller: unlike Western films, cowboy poetry is mostly produced by Westerners, for Westerners.

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