If you're looking for something to do this weekend, and you happen to be in Arizona, you might try the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering in Prescott.
More than 150 cowboy poets from around the West are expected to attend daytime workshops, and up to 5,000 people are expected to attend evening performances, says Warren Miller, one of the organizers.
"It is not a competition. It is a gathering of people who share a background and aesthetic commonality," Miller says of the event, one of the largest of its kind.
"People love it here because we have kept it close to the tradition."
The 14 featured poets are selected by a jury and must have ties to the Arizona ranching community.
Seventy-year-old Rolf Flake certainly qualifies: He's a fourth-generation Arizona rancher who manages a family ranch south of Apache Junction. He writes verse about things that affect his daily life, things such as rain or the lack thereof.
"They are simple and straightforward," he says of the poems.
Flake's primer on the genre goes like this: Cowboys, in a quest to entertain themselves, started telling stories. Some had a tendency to exaggerate, and the cowboy poem was born.
Sort of like a Minnesota fishing story, only performed in iambic pentameter, eh??