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By Darcy Minter
Special to The PREVIEW
The Western Folklife Center and its 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering has announced the launch of a spoken word poetry competition, Expressing the Rural West: Poetry of the Next Generation, on YouTube.com.
Poets between the ages of 18 and 35 are invited to submit videos which include an artist introduction and do not exceed four minutes in length. Submissions must be original compositions, content should have a rural focus and poems should be performed and not read. Poets must be currently living in one of the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Poems will be judged by the public as well as by a committee of two professional poets and two staff members of the Western Folklife Center. There will be a winner of the public vote and a winner of the juried competition. The winner of the public vote will receive two free Three-Day Deluxe Passes to the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and a free Gathering poster. The winner of the juried competition will be given a performance slot at the event and must be able to travel between Jan. 29 to Feb. 2. Travel and lodging will be paid by the Western Folklife Center.
To submit a video, participants must upload it to their own YouTube page and tag it “2014 Cowboy Poetry Competition.”
For more information, visit the competition YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/2014poetrycontest or the poetry contest web page at http://bit.ly/1hXg6Wy. Public judging will end Dec. 19 and contest judges will select a winner by Dec. 21.