Congratulations to our Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest Winners for 2018!


(Left to right, Danny McCurry, Lieutenant Governor Tracy Mann, and Tim Keane)


The Kansas Chapter of the International Western Music Association (IWMA) congratulates all the winners and contestants in the 2018 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest:

Serious category – 1st, Danny McCurry, Ash Grove, Missouri; 2nd, Tim Keane, Manhattan; and 3rd Scott Wiswell, Valley Center. 

Humorous category - 1st, Tim Keane, Manhattan; 2nd, Betty Burlingham, Manhattan; and 3rd, Jerry Jones, Salina.

Only those who finished in the top tier of the regional qualifying contests could compete at the state finals.  Others who competed at state included John J. Cannon of Fredonia and Dana  Moodie of Neodesha.

 “Many thanks to our lead donor, the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, and our other sponsors:  The Symphony in the Flint Hills, the Kansas Chapter of IWMA, Flint Hills Discovery Center, Drovers National Hall of Fame, Ranchland Trust of Kansas/Kansas Livestock Association, and Vanderbilts, Roberts Cowboy Outfitters and R Bar B Saddle Tack and Trailer and Outpost Western Store who are donating prizes for the winners,” said contest chair Ron Wilson, Poet Lariat, of Manhattan.  “Special thanks to Sharon and Chester Chesmore who represented IWMA and helped with scoring.”

As Kansas state champions, McCurry and Keane received the coveted Governor’s Buckle, the Saddlejack Bradrick Award, discounts and gift certificates from leading western wear stores, a one-year membership in the Kansas Chapter of IWMA, two tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills, and the opportunity to present their poems at the Ranchland Trust luncheon and at the story circle following the symphony. 

Governor Jeff Colyer M.D. signed award certificates for the winners.  Lieutenant Governor Tracy Mann presented the buckles to the champions during story circle time.  In addition, the state winners will have their entry fees paid to compete in the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo.  It is not necessary to go through the state contest to enter the national rodeo because anyone can enter the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo directly, but the Kansas winners will have their entry fees paid by the Kansas contest. 

 State contest committee members include: Brad Hamilton, western entertainer; Geff Dawson, National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo; Orin Friesen, President, Kansas Chapter of the IWMA; Jeff Davidson, Past President, Kansas Chapter of the IWMA, and Ron Wilson.


1)    to encourage and develop the art and practice of cowboy poetry

2)    to expand outreach in support of this unique form of art and folklore, and

3)    to support local grassroots events which can promote cowboy poetry and benefit the local economy.

Questions?  Email contest chair Ron Wilson at