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Lovers of the American West were treated to a hearty helping of cowboy poetry, storytelling and song as the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering got underway after a two-year hiatus at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado.

Eight of the most prominent entertainers in the business gathered to reminisce and celebrate the life of the humble cowboy.

The event attracted poets and songwriters from as far away as Australia and Canada — as well as a packed house for each performance.

The Jan. 15-16 event included various workshops on everything from humor to songwriting to harmonica playing.

While the exact origins of cowboy poetry remain a point of discussion, most agree it dates back to the late 19th century cattle drives of the early West.

Long days and cool nights made life on the trail challenging.

Cowboys and ranchers gathered around an evening campfire to tell stories, sing songs and reflect on the day’s journey.

Established in 1986, the Colorado Cowboy Gathering was formed to celebrate cowboy life and culture. The performances rekindle life on the range as award-winning poets, singers, musicians, and yodelers recount the joys and hardships of the Old West.