Poetry gathering goes virtual - Odessa American: Local News

Poetry gathering goes virtual

oanews@oaoa.com | Posted: Monday, September 14, 2020 2:11 pm

ALPINE The Board of the Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering voted to postpone its February 2021 in-person Gathering until February 2022. Until then Lone Star will broadcast one or more 90-minute professionally produced “virtual” Cowboy Poetry events. 

The February 2020 Inaugural Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine had more than 2,100 in attendance. Then within weeks of the inaugural Lone Star Gathering the pandemic hit, producing uncertainty for 2021’s Gathering in Alpine.

“We believe a series of Virtual Cowboy Poetry Events will keep the Gathering alive, fresh and actually happening, although in a different form, and get us through the pandemic, however long it continues,” Event Producer Bob Saul of Fort Worth said. The Board approved a plan Thursday evening to begin filming for one or more virtual events. Saul said he discussed the idea of producing online poetry gatherings with co-chairs Gene and Kay Nowell (rhymes with Powell) and with John and Erika Moore, who all have years of experience producing live and on-line shows, both as producers and performers.

“The internet has been crucial for keeping the arts alive and in the public eye through these trying times,” John Moore said. “The internet has also proven to be the most beneficial avenue for musicians, artists and events to bring in some degree of income as well,” said Kay Nowell. “We will also be able to promote our beautiful home of Alpine and Sul Ross State University as well as stories and insights from the performers that defines their uniqueness and gives rise to their art. This will whet the appetite for our next in-person Gathering in Alpine,” Gene Nowell added.

The Gathering plans a series of online cowboy poetry events. Each 90-minute virtual event will showcase three or four performers. Viewing will be accessed via ticket purchase. Members will get free or reduced-priced tickets. Fans can watch events of their choice over the span of the series.

“Hopefully, we will be back to an in-person event in February 2022, but this can get us over the hump,” Saul said. “This is possibly a blessing in disguise because it provides the potential to reach a much larger audience, both geographically and generationally, than our in-person annual Gathering has allowed,” he said. “It is not a replacement, but an enhancement and will call attention to the beautiful Alpine area as well.”