Three Colonel Smith Middle School students will represent Fort Huachuca with their winning Student Cowboy Poetry Writing Program submissions at the 21st Annual Cochise County Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering on Feb. 9.
The Student Cowboy Poetry Writing Program has been in effect since 1995, allowing students to apply their historical knowledge to creating cowboy-related poetry. Twenty-three schools throughout Cochise Country are included in the contest, producing more than 1,500 poems to be judged each year.
In the middle school division, Briana Watters, 8th grade, won first place with her submission of “The Mare;” Valerie Sousa-Nelson, 8th grade, won second place with her submission of “He’ll be a Great Cowboy;” and Ayden Springer, 6th grade, won third place with her submission of “I’ll Always be a Cowboy.” These poems will be published in the “Saddlebag of Poems” book along with all of the winning entries.
When Springer, 11, was asked how she felt about being chosen as a winner, she said, “I was super excited and I was jumping around the house!” This is the second year she has placed in the contest.
According to the website, www.cowboypoets.com, “The goal of the [Student Cowboy Poetry] Writing Program is to encourage students to develop their talents, research a theme and write a poem. The program fits with the Arizona curriculum and provides a wonderful opportunity to teach a little of the Arizona history. It also gives students an outlet to create their own unique poem, to be shared with family and friends. Truly a win-win program.”
The Gathering takes place Feb. 8, 7 p.m.; Feb.9, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Feb. 10, 1 p.m., at the Buena High School Performing Arts Center, 5225 Buena School Blvd., Sierra Vista. Admission is $18, $16 for military and those 55 and older, and $6 for students in grades 3 – 12.
The top winners also perform on stage with the featured artists during the three main performances at Buena High School throughout the weekend. Colonel Smith Middle School winners will recite their poems on Feb. 9, 10 a.m.
For general information, contact 458.2262 or www.cowboypoets.com.