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An Interview with Michael Wallis

This is the complete, uncut interview with renowned author and historian Michael Wallis that I filmed on October 27, 2012 in Altenburg, Missouri. You'll see some scenic and otherwise complementary cut-away footage that I've shot over the years, but only occasionally, not meant to project a finished film. The interview with Mr. Wallis will be incorporated into this feature-length documentary, recently begun, about Western folklife, cowboy poetry, and the American frontier.

John Dofflemyer: To Hell in a Handbasket

A reading by John Dofflemyer of his poem To Hell in a Handbasket during the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada on January 31, 2013. John is a fifth-generation rancher in the southern Sierra Nevada foothills. His creative work as a writer and editor reflects John's deep connection with the land and contemporary ranch life. John edited the Dry Crik Review of Contemporary Cowboy Poetry from 1991 to 1994, and has also produced numerous poetry chapbooks through Dry Crik Press. He received the Wrangler Award for Poems from Dry Creek (published by Starhaven) from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum as the Outstanding Poetry Book for 2008. His most recent collection of poetry is Proclaiming Space. John and his wife Robbin maintain a blog called "Dry Crik Journal: Perspectives from the Ranch" at John is a member of the Western Folklife Center's Board of Trustees.

Dave Stamey: Twelve Mile Road

A performance by Dave Stamey of his song Twelve Mile Road during the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, February 2, 2013. Grown from this song performance version, the footage will blend with lyrical visualizations in the finished film. Dave has been a cowboy, a mule packer, a dude wrangler, and is now one of the most popular Western entertainers working today. He has been voted three times Entertainer of the Year, three times Male Performer of the Year and twice Songwriter of the Year by the Western Music Association, and received the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists. About Twelve Mile Road, the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry wrote, "Dave Stamey comes 'from the dust'—'out where lives are held together / with sweat and baling twine...'—as the title song depicts it in his new CD, Twelve Mile Road. He dedicates that song to his father, 'who lived it' and to '...the little ranchers scattered all over the West, who seem to get by on guts and stubbornness and damn little else...' Twelve Mile Road delivers complex-but-direct fresh and original songs about the real West, fueled by Dave Stamey's fierce allegiance to that endangered world. He knows the country and he knows what matters."  For more information, visit:

Wallace McRae: Things of Intrinsic Worth

A reading by Wallace McRae of his poem "Things of Intrinsic Worth" during the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada on February 1, 2013.  Wallace McRae is a third-generation rancher, with a 30,000 acre cow-calf ranch in Forsyth, Montana. He has been a part of nearly every National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. He was the first cowboy poet to be awarded the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a recipient of the Montana Governor's Award for the Arts, and has served on the National Council of the Arts.

Joel Nelson: Equus Caballus

A reading by Joel Nelson of his poem "Equus Caballus" during the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada on February 1, 2013. Music composed and performed by Josh Coffey, engineered and performed with Jacob Siener. Additional footage from the ranch of John Dofflemyer on December 20, 2013. Joel Nelson is highly respected in the world of cowboy poetry and recitation. He has appeared in many major cowboy poetry festivals, including the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which he co-founded. A Vietnam veteran and former custom saddle maker, Nelson is an excellent horse trainer. His CD "The Breaker in the Pen" (2000) was nominated for a Grammy Award. Nelson was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2009, and was also poet-in-residence at Rothbury, Northumberland, England. He lives and works with his wife on their 24,000-acre ranch outside Alpine, Texas, where they raise Corriente cattle.

KENV-TV Interview with Lori Gilbert

Lori Gilbert of NBC affiliate KENV in Elko, Nevada kindly interviewed me about my short poetry film of Joel Nelson's "Equus Caballus" at the Nevada Museum of Art, my longer-form "Mining the Mother Lode" that debuted at the museum, and my overall documentary work-in-progress called "The West." Our half-hour interview was on June 8, 2016; it aired the next weekend; and it now also streams (besides here) at: I wrote some production notes at:

Note:  The clips stream in high-definition, and might stutter because of a combination of your Internet speed and your computer's capability.  If this happens, when you click the icon "HD" inside the above frame at bottom-right, "HD is off" will display momentarily, confirming that things should run smoother.  Once your computer and connection can keep up, please try to give this a formal viewing if possible, by enlarging to full-screen view by clicking the box of  arrows next to the "HD" icon.​

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