The Academy of Western Artists established the annual Will Rogers Awards in the mid-1990s to honor excellence in contemporary cowboy and Western culture. In the beginning of this genre, many cowboy poetry books consisted, quite literally, of mimeographed pages stapled together. Cowboy poets eventually recognized the need to improve the quality of their publications and production of these books vastly improved. By the early 2000s, some of the individuals who were judging for the AWA were seeing enough books of sufficient quality to merit special book awards for this category. Thus, the Will Rogers Medallion Award was born to recognize both authors and publishers of high-quality books that embody the traditions and values of the American cowboy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born on a farm in George Rhoades Cotton County, Okla., was a soldier, printer and rancher before making journalism his career, first as a reporter, then as a professor, teaching the art to others at Oklahoma State University, Utah State University and the University of Texas at Arlington. He’s since retired to his hay farm in Oklahoma. Along the Chisholm Trail includes poems about the Chisholm Trail, farm life, cowboy tall tails, and other reflections and observations.
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