- Associated Press - Saturday, January 25, 2014

ELKO, Nev. (AP) - A New Mexico cowboy has won a poetry contest held in conjunction with next week’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko.

The sponsoring Western Folklife Center says Forrest Mackey of Sedan, N.M., won a performance slot at the event after capturing the contest, “Expressing the Rural West: Poetry of the Next Generation.”

Poets between the ages of 18 and 35 were invited to submit YouTube videos featuring original work about some aspect of Western life.

The 21-year-old Mackey, who was raised on a ranch, says writing has never been easy for him and he usually never writes without a tune.

He says his poem was based on a story by a cowboy who lived in the West during “trail drive days” and was designed to bring “the Old West back to life.”

The six-day cowboy poetry gathering begins Monday.

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