The Daley News, Fall, 2014. I am thrilled to be presenting at Ted Talks in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 15. See calendar for details.
Film update: Denise Calderwood's documentary about me, I Found my Tribe, is now available through my mercantile. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details. Cost is $20. Simply place an order with me at my email address and I'll put the DVD in the mail to you.
For reasons too complicated to explain, email (not phone) is the best way to contact me.
Daley News from Spring, 2014
Was I cattle thief or a gypsy in a previous life? How else to account for loving every mile and every memory on the road during a seven-week tour. January-February 2014. Thank you sponsors, patrons, volunteers and organizers of the Colorado Cowboy Gathering, Elko National Cowboy Symposium, Cochise Cowboy Poetry Festival in Sierra Vista, Arizona Folklore Preserve near Hereford, Spirit of the West in Ellensburg, Washington, and Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, TX. A few highlights:
Reflections from the Emerald Isle, posted July 2013
In her current documentary, Alberta film-maker Denise Calderwood explores the question, "What is in you to do...and how did it get there?" For example, if no-one in your recent family history has any particular inclination for rhyme and meter, but you find yourself making a living as a cowboy poet, where does that impulse come from? Could it be part of your DNA? Calderwood recently took a small film crew to Ireland, where the O'Dalaighs were traditional bards to the chieftans. In random order, and disclaiming that this is a comprehensive list, here are
Ten Reasons to Go to Ireland to film your Poetry Documentary
Check calendar for Ireland tour details.
We are rounding the corner toward spring here in Alberta. Here's what's new in my part of the world:
Alberta friends: you have three chances in May for local shows: Friday May 10 with Eli Barsi at Red Deer Lake United Church just west of Spruce Meadows (a wonderful live music venue); May 24-26 at David Thompson Resort with a stellar lineup: Tim Hus, Eli, Horse Crazy, Naomi Bristow and from Nashville, Bobby Bare; and on Friday, May 31 at St. Michael's Anglican church with The Wardens-three singer-songwriters who also work for the Parks system. See calendar for more details. These guys are a class act all the way and they are the ones you've been hearing about on CBC radio.
And this big news is confirmed: In June I make a 12-day trip to Ireland where I'll be on tour at several pubs, festivals and museums. Check back soon for details. I am honoured to be part of a documentary film project that explores poetry and storytelling in the 21 century. We will be filming several performances and interviews in Irish venues and also exploring ancient connections to the O'Daleighs, who (as it turns out) are heralded as traditional bards and poets in several counties throughout Westmeath, Cork, and other counties.
100 Years of Thunder: Bruce Innes and I are taking bookings now for our show, 100 Years of Thunder: a celebration in poetry and song of the Calgary Stampede. Some feedback from previous shows: "Truly world class. Tales from the past and present, with insights into the future." "We enjoyed every minute of your completely entertaining show." "Boy oy boy, Thunder is acoustically and aesthetically exhilarating." We promise there is not one corny yahoo or yee-haw in the whole performance. Thunder is a grown-up, intimate, artistic, very engaging celebration of rodeo and western life; perfect for house parties, corporate gatherings and concerts. Call me for info.
I am very honoured to be featured in the January, 2013 issue of the iconic Western Horseman magazine, one of the oldest and finest western publications ever! And also honoured to be commissioned by Western Horseman to write the poem for its 2013 calendar, available now from Y.T. (yours truly) and also from Western Horseman. A great start to the new year. As we launch ourselves on another orbit around the sun, I wish you friends around your campfire, a dog that comes when you call, a pocket full of poems, and many happy trails.
Hot off the Press: 100 Years of Thunder, a salute to the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede.
Here is a collaborative, multi-discipline project (poetry, song, photography, historical essays) that takes you on a rip-snorting, poignant, hell-bent-for-leather ride as songwriter Bruce Innes and I pay tribute to the Calgary Stampede. 10 original poems (moi), 10 original songs (acclaimed singer-songwriter Bruce Innes), 10 iconic symbols of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth: Guy Weadick, Flores LaDue and the Big Four; chuckwagon racing; Calgary's white hat; Outlaw the bucking bull, pancake breakfasts, Indian Village, it's all here and then some.
The CD packaging and liner notes include a 10-page foldout of photos by renowned Alberta photographer Neville Palmer, accompanied by essays summarizing each of the past 10 decades by Calgary author Wendy Bryden. More details on The Mercantile Page. For now, let me acknowledge my collaborators on this project:
Bruce Innes, www.bruceinnes.com
Neville Palmer, www.reflectiveeye.com
Wendy Bryden (no website currently)
It is always an honour and a 100% delight to be invited to the Monterey, California cowboy festival. This year was no exception, with salubrious weather for good measure, topped off by a floating parade of Christmas sail boats down at Fishermen's Wharf. Californians and northerners needing/wanting a great escape next year: head to this great cowboy festival and enjoy the hospitality, ambiance, climate and top notch western entertainment.
Group hug in the Green Room with three of my favourite Texans,
Grace, Hulda and Sophia Quebe.
Alberta Touring Arts Alliance: thank you for a great Showcase weekend in Edmonton. This is where presenters (theatres, community and arts groups from around the province) meet entertainers (classical pianists from Berlin, jazz quartets from Quebec, brilliant theatre productions, blues singers from dark and smoky swamps, cowboy poets from Turner Valley). I had a great time, met folks from all over the province who are enthusiastic about and dedicated to live arts in Alberta. Looking forward to bringing western poetry to some wonderful communities in 2012-2013.
Thank you, Mennonite Church Women of BC, for inviting me to be your Saturday night party girl at your retreat in Hope, BC. Joy, cheer, grace, music, fun, food and laughter all weekend long. I was thrilled to five of the "Mennonite Girls" who have just published the blockbuster runaway best seller, Mennonite Girls Can Cook. This is indeed a feel-good story about 10 women who love life, love cooking, and love traditional recipites. It started as a blog, and is now a best seller, with all profits supporting an orphange in the Ukraine.
I was so inspired by their story and the book is a winner. What rhymes with pfeffernuesse?
Six Mennonite Girls...one can rhyme and five can cook! Camp Squeah, Hope BC
Cowboy Poetry Interview on the Internet
Farm TV is an excellent resource on the internet devoted to all things agricultural in Alberta. Check out the clip at Farm TV for a recent interview filmed at the Trails End Poetry Gathering in High River.
It's springtime in the Rockies. I can tell because I have sandals, rubber boots, and winter boots all by the backdoor. Crocuses are finally up. Knees are stiff from planting pansies. Income tax is done. One lone daffodil (which dear friend Neil says is the first line of a haiku) is making a brave stand in the garden. Folks in these parts are branding.
High River Little Britches Parade: the parade (this Monday, May 23 at 10 a.m.) is still a go, even though the iconic Little Britches rodeo has been cancelled because of Equine Herpes Virus (only the 2nd time in 57 years that the rodeo has been cancelled.) A first for me: I am thrilled and honoured to bits to be the parade marshal. High River is an historic Southern Alberta western town and this year they salute the cowboy arts in general and cowboy poetry specifically. See you on the parade route or at George Lane Park for the barbecue.
Watch for pix early next week. DD
My New Book is Here! Holly Jolly and West Word Ho!
As of Dec. 15 my brand new book, West Word Ho! is hot off the press. 96 pages of poetry and a few pictures, divided into five categories: Fun and Nonsense, Romance on the Range, Old Friends, Grit and Grace, It's Christma stime. Lots of you know I'm descended from an old pioneer ranching family in Southern Alberta; as an added bonus, the appendix contains excerpts from my great grandmother's memoir. She wrote about the exciting...but often lonely...times of being a ranch wife in the 1890s.
Book launches in 2011 at the Colorado Cowboy Festival; Elko, Nevada; Ellensburg, WA; and Alpine, TX. Canadians: as a kindness to me, friends in Calgary, Okotoks and Granum have copies on hand for easy purchase. See the Mercantile page for details. You can also order directly from Fiddle DD Enterprises from the Mercantile Page.
As I write, the sugar cookie dough is chilling in the fridge, the hoar frost is sparkling like a million Hope Diamonds on the barb wire fence, and Christmas angels (alias Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe) are filling my little den with music. No chestnuts roasting on any open fires around here, but holiday spirit just the same. May all your trails lead through happy holidays with your family and friends.
The staff at Fiddle DD Enterprises: Bird Hunter, Dog, Poet
What a Weekend! Once again, Nominee for Best Weekend of the Year goes to the Anchor D Women's Weekend. 20 guests and about 10 hangers-on (wranglers, poet, singer, massage therapist, cook, cook's assistant, et al.) enjoyed three days of spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery in Canada's Kananaskis Country west of Turner Valley. Our cook Pearl gave Martha Stewart a big run for her money...most of us ate better on the trail than we would at home. And what a joy to have Eli Barsi along for campfire music. We found the only valley in the Rockies that was unaffected by smoke from BC forest fires and/or rain and/or hail. Put a bookmark on the Anchor D's website (www.anchord.com) and book early to get your spot for next summer.
Pearl (far left) and Pearl's Girls (Brit, Janice, Pam) have the appetizers ready after we ride back from the headwaters of the Sheep River.
Eli and I on the trail.See the top ridge of the highest mountain...
we were up there somewhere. Yodel-ay-hee-hoo.
West Word Ho! (Note: this is a play on words and not to be confused with Westward Ho, which is a campground near Sundre.) In conjunction with Trails End Cowboy Poetry Gathering in High River, AB (Sept. 24-26) I'm offering a cowboy poetry writing workshop on Thursday evening, Sept. 23 at the High River Library. Phone (403) 933-4434 to register. For more info on the Gathering, go to the Alberta Cowboy Poets website.
It's a happy day around here when the Elko, NV selection committee submits its list of performers for the upcoming year and my name is on it. I'll never take that for granted and when friends and fans cavalierly say, "See you next year in Elko!" I just nod and say to myself, "time will tell... I sure hope so...don't count your chickens, etc. etc." So I'm thrilled to report that yes, indeed, I will see you in January, 2011 in Elko. This year, the Gathering's special guests/equestrian feature will be the horsemen of Hungary.
Yes, that was me on CBC Radio's Cross Country Check-up on Sunday, Aug. 1. The program was all about Canadian festivals. Cowboy Poetry was represented along with blue grass, folk music, fringe festivals, Highland Games etc. etc.
My flowers are looking good on the back patio. That's where we have our morning coffee, gather whatever wits we still have, and suck up courage for the rest of the day. As Labour Day approaches, let me holler first and loudest that I love what I labour at. May there be moments of bliss and fragments of poetry along your trail during these last summer days. -Doris
Happy news about my newest CD, Beneath a Western Sky. According to the Western Way magazine, it is now #1 on western playlists for cowboy poetry. The DJs reporting in for this quarter, who play western music and poetry and determine the charts, are from Texas, Utah, Oregon, Missouri, New Jersey (yes, New Jersey!), Colorado, California, New Mexico, Georgia and West Yorkshire, England.
Cowboy Poetry Week: Bravo to Margo Metegrano at www.cowboypoetry.com for being indefatigable, cheerful and peerless when it comes to promoting cowboy poetry. Margo brings the highest standards of professionalism (credits, editing, timeliness, polish, comprehensiveness, meticulous research) to our world. April 18 marks the beginning of National Cowboy Poetry Week....check in at www.cowboypoetry.com for a host of events. First off, be sure to tune into Ralph's Backporch for live cowboy poetry chitchat and performances from some of your favourite western desperados on April 19. Google Ralphs Backporch for details, or go to www.blogtalkradio.com/ralphsbackporch
Cowgirls Rock the Rockies: Eli Barsi and I are thrilled to be tagging along on the Anchor D Women's Western Weekend Trai Ride, Aug. 20-22. We promise to to uphold the code (What happens on the trail, stays on the trail) and we both look forward to fabulous scenery, wonderful camaraderie, wholesome and abundant victuals, and we'll do our best to keep you entertained around the campfire. Contact the Anchor D (www.anchord.com) for booking info--and do it soon!
Festival Fans: Bookings confirmed for Pincher Creek (June 19); Willow Creek (July 9); Stony Plain (Aug. 13-15); Heber City, UT (Nov. 3-7); The Dalles, OR (Nov. 27); Spirit of the West in Ellensburg, WA (Feb. 18-20, 2011) and the 25th Texas Cowboy Poetry Festival in Alpine, TX (Feb. 25-27, 2011).
"The mind that finds its way to wild places is the poet's. The mind that never finds its way back is the lunatic's." G. K. Chesterton. As we wake up to the meadowlark's song and sniff the promise of spring on the wind, may we all (under cover of darkness, with no one watching) give ourselves to moments of poetic and even lunatic abandon. -Doris
It's a beautiful day in the west here in Alberta. For starters, I may not have to get out of my pyjamas until this afternoon when I go play the piano for an hour for my buddies at the seniors lodge. Just got home from Elko, and all I can say is that jet lag/sleep deprivation is a wonderful thing when you have so much fun getting that way. Highlights: old friends, new friends, western music extraordinaire, sharing sets with Glen Ohrlin, DW Groethe, Rodney Nelson, The Andys from Texas, and many others; countless magical moments in the Pioneer Bar; dancing to Corb Lund and Wylie and the WW; meeting the cracker cowboys from Florida; quick visits with wonderful photographer Jessica Lifland; Basque food; the list goes on and on. Go to www.westernfolklife.org for more details.
If Elko is the gourmet main course, the Colorado Cowboy Gathering in Arvada was the peerless appetizer. Three days of fabulous cowboy poetry and music in January with more great friends. I opened and emceed the Michael Martin Murphy Show....they should have called it The Economic Initials Show: DDD hosts MMM. Many thanks to friends Ken and Joan who made sure that this was the year we got to go down to the old Buckhorn Bar to enjoy a fabulous meal, topped off with more magic in the bar with Bill Barwick and Roz Brown. Thank you, Liz M, for being Shopping Consultant to the Stars and getting extra fabric for dining room chair project.
Snowbirds: see you next week (Feb. 12-14) in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Then on to central Alberta for shows in Lloydminster (Feb. 18) and Wainwright (Feb. 19 and 20).
Garth Bibby: you are one lucky cowboy. Eli, Garth and DD at Westlock AB.
Photo credit: Les Dunford
Big News: It's a Daley Double
Hooray! Humbled, thrilled, proud, excited (go to thesaurus for more verbs) to announce that the members of the Western Music Association voted me North America's top female cowboy poet for 2009. And the cherry on top of THAT great news is that my CD, Beneath a Western Sky, was named best cowboy poetry CD.
The awards took place Nov. 21 in Albuquerque, NM. There are 35 million Canadians in the world, and up until then I think (arguably) the two happiest were Kirkby and Marie Fontaine from Pine Falls, Manitoba, who won $50 million in last week's lotto. They are now #2 and #3.
Other winners: Best male cowboy poet: Waddie Mitchell. Best traditional group: Sons of the San Joaquin. Entertainer of the Year: Dave Stamey. Male Performer: Bill Barwick. Female Performer: Juni Fisher. So you can see that I am in very good company. A complete list of winners, and report from Albuquerque, will be up at the Western Music website.
Fabulous news, thank you so much to my fellow performers, colleagues, friends and fans who have cheered me on to this great accomplishment. I'm a winner every day for getting to do what I love, and for all the wonderful folks I meet along the trail. On Life's Ladder of Happiness, this award puts me on the top rung. But having said that, the best award I'll ever win (and I win it every day) is this one: Doris Daley: Procurer and Collector of the Best Friends and Fans in the World.
Top 5 Nominations
Thank you, members of the Western Music Association, for nominating me as one of the Top 5 Cowboy Poets in North America, and for nominating Beneath a Western Sky, as one of the Top 5 cowboy poetry CDs. My co-write with Liz Masterson is also in the top 5 for Collaborations, appearing on her album Roads to Colorado. The winners will be announced at the WMA Conference in Albuquerque next month.
South Dakota and Nebraska
No finer hospitality than what they dish out on the Great Plains! Thank you to Bruce and Mary Jo in Hot Springs, to Ken Cook in Martin, to the Hollenbecks in Clearfield, and to the great Old West Days committee in Valentine, NB. We were lucky in Valentine: the wind died down to 50 mph. This was a Canadian Cowgirl Tour with Eli Barsi and her husband John, himself a great bass player, yodeller and driver!
The Saturday night show crew: Jon Chandler, John Cunningham, Gale Patzlaff
RP Smith, Eli and me in front.
California Girls--that's what we were for four days in August. Thank you so much to our hosts, Marvin and Teresa O'Dell in Palm Desert, OutWest Marketing in Newhall, and Red Mule Ranch in Fiddletown. And best wishes to OutWest, who opened their new storefront location on Main Street in Newhall (near Santa Clarita) in late August. I dare you to visit the shop and walk away empty handed! (I came away with a beautiful Scully shirt, an Annie Oakley candy box, and a string of shotgun shell Christmas lights.) At the Red Mule Ranch we sold out the house and shared poetry and music while the sun set in the California west. Magic. A great trip with amigos Eli Barsi and Joni Harms.
Hi again. When I updated the Daley News for August I forgot to brag up Outwest Marketing, a fabulous western emporium that you can visit in real in the Santa Clarita Valley in California and online at www.outwestmktg.com. Jim and Bobbi Jean Bell are wonderful western supporters and as an added bonus have wonderful taste in cowgirl accessories, jewelry, household doo-dads, vintage and contemporary western jingles and jangles....just tops in every way. I will put a link to their website over on my other page. DD
Summertime and the living is easy...wait, that one's been written already. Greetings from the greenest yard in Turner Valley. Bob: fishing. Chloe the Wonder Dog: swimming in the creek. Doris the poet: writing new material for upcoming festivals in Monterey, CA, Colorado, Elko and Arizona and many other spots where I hope to see you. Californios: please take note of Cowgirl Tour Aug. 20-22 (see calendar for details.) And friends in Northern Saskatchewan: Them cowboys are trailin' north again thanks to the hard work and cowboy creativity of western singer Larry Krause. These will be sell out shows in Prince Albert and Big River.
Very happy to report I'm invited to the big doings in Elko, Nevada again in the new year. This festival defies all description: a big, exciting, whirlwind dust-up in a good old western town with plenty of top-quality western entertainment. A week earlier I'll be at one of my favourite shows (Colorado Cowboy Festival) where I've made wonderful and lasting friendships. Later in February I'll be back in Sierra Vista, Arizona...fell in love with this place last year and you should plan to go.
Before any of that happens, if you are travelling in Alberta or BC this summer, plan to attend the Elko, BC storytelling festival on Aug 8-9 and then the Stony Plain Cowboy Festival (west of Edmonton) on Aug. 14-16. Stony Plain continues to impress as one of the finest festivals of its kind in Canada.
Before I head off to the ballgame tonight, let me also underscore, bold, big font, italicize, etc. etc. a three-point Canadian Cowgirl Tour with Eli Barsi in the beautiful states of South Dakota and Nebraska in the fall. Eli is one of Canada's great gifts to the cowboy and western roots singer/songwriting world and she and I have been doing some songwriting together. Hope your peonies are blooming and your steak is sizzling. -Doris
Computer crash now fixed!
Website updated at least twice a year!
New gigs posted at Calendar!
Springtime in the Rockies!
Hi Everybody. So sorry it has taken me so long to update the Daley News. The bad guys hacked our computer in February and it took a while to recover from that mess. But enough about that...now for some good news updates:
Quick review of winter performances: San Antonio Library Foundation Gala at Boudros Bistro on the River Walk--nothing says "party time" in Texas like grilled prawns, sea bass with mango chutney, cowboy poetry, and a beautiful room full of library boosters! Thank you San Antonio. Wonderful hospitality at the following cowboy festivals (in random order): Elko Nevada; Sierra Vista, Arizona; Arvada, Colorado; Alpine, TX. This was Elko's big 25th anniversary reunion festival and what a thrill to be on the roster. Among other things, I opened for the Sons of the San Joaquin on the Mystery Show. (You've heard of mystery meat...this was sort of the same only way better and the recipe was one Canadian cowboy poet + three Hannah boys + Richard Chon world's best fiddler + Liz Masterson, dynamo emcee = a wonderful surprise concert for 120 happy risk-takers at one of the best cowboy festivals in the world.
This was my first invitation to the Cochise Festival in Sierra Vista and I'm delighted to report I'll be back again next year for their Feb. 12-14 Cowboys and Sweethearts show. Thank you, Arizonians, for a real highlight weekend, both at the festival itself and at the Arizona Folklife Preserve just up the road. Canadians---if you spend the winter in AZ, circle this one on your calendar for next year.
Many thanks to the great folks in Coronation, Alberta (you all deserve a crown) for a great night last week with Sid Marty in concert at your beautiful community hall.
West Word Ho! If a cowboy poetry writing workshop interests your writing group (all ages, for school groups, youth, and adults) then please call me (403) 933-4434. I presented several of these during April (poetry month) and it is really fun to get together with like-minded folks who put pen to paper.
New CD: Beneath a Western Sky is doing great, with many plays on various U.S. cowboy shows (especially Cowboy Jubilee in Weatherford, TX and C.O.W. Radio in Wyoming), Spirit of the West here in Canada, and Golden Graham's Country Show in the U.K.
www.cowboypoetry.com This continues to be the most comprehensive, professional, well maintained, current, and far-reaching cowboy poetry website in the world. Visit often for festival dates and reviews, cowboy poetry essays, the ongoing Art Spur writing challenge (I have a poem up there this go-round), and all news and info related to cowboy poetry.
It is springtime in the Rockies (how do I know? The Stanley Cup play-off season is in full swing.) May The Great Tulip be with you. Happy Sytennde Mai to the Norwegians. Eat leffse. --Doris
Performing in front of the remuda at Alpine, TX, February 2009 Photo credit: Pam Chance
NEW CD IS HERE !!!!!
Hooray and Ho ho ho, deck the halls, with a "joyful and triumphant" thrown in for good measure. My third and newest CD just rolled off the presses. Beneath a Western Sky contains a few old favourites plus several new ones about to be day-byood at our CD release party on Dec. 7 (a sold-out show and late comers will have to sit under a pile of fishing equipment.) Includes: Dancing with the Stars, Average Girl, a Baxter of Blacks, What is a Westerner, 100 Years from Now and Firefighters. Special bonus: my songwriting partner and cowgirl signer extraordinaire Eli Barsi makes two guest appearances with songs we have co-written.
Merry everything as we gallop into Christmas season. Douse your fruitcake, make a list, plumb the pudding, curl your ribbon, send a card, put your feet up, get out the flannel sheets, hang a stocking, feed the birds, sing a carol, memorize a poem. Thanks for dropping by, Happy holiday trails from Doris and Bob.
Greetings from the end of the lane in the prettiest town in the prettiest valley in Alberta. Every day I say "today is the most beautiful day of summer/fall so far" and then tomorrow comes and it's even nicer.
News from Fiddle DD Enterprises
New CD is almost ready to go to press, called "Beneath a Western Sky," a line taken from one of my newest pieces called Average Girl. If we hit the giddyup trail at full speed later this week, it should be out by Nov. 1. I'll circulate a fan-out note to my email list when it absotively, posilutely is ready. CD Release Party planned for early December, perhaps in our shed.
Upcoming gigs include Heber City, Utah, always a jam-packed week of buckaroo entertainment and activities. In the new year, I'm off to Colorado for the 20th annual Colorado Cowboy Gathering, one of my absolute favourites. Then to Elko for the 25th fandango, and (a first for me) the highly acclaimed festivities in Sierra Vista, Arizona (Feb. 5-7). And as if all that isn't already a bag full of treats, I'll be off to Alpine, TX at the end of February for the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Feb. 27-28. I don't believe in reincarnation; even so, I might have been a javelina in a previous lifetime, so strong is the pull for me to that beautiful part of the world. Ray, save me a dance! I just added a link to the Texas Gathering website...my Link page will do that automatically for you or you can go to www.cowboy-poetry.org
Thank you, Calgary Stampede Corporate Relations Committee, for inviting me on the ladies trail ride earlier this month. It doesn't get much more Canadian, much more western, or much more Stampede than that: riding through the herd (including Papa Smurf) in the Stampede's Born to Buck program on a pristine October day, with a view that stretches all the way to Hawaii to the west and to Moose Jaw to the east (slight exaggeration.) For pix, go to www.cowboypoetry.com/photowk
Be careful if you live in bear country. I am walking these days either with a can of spray, or with a local octegenarian (I can run faster than her). I'll end with an amazing coincidence: the exact number of dollars needed to "save" Wall Street....that's how many leaves I need to rake. A number with a lot of zeros. My name is Doris Daley, I am not running for any political office, and I approve this message.
For a cowboy poet, every month is poetry month, but for the world at large, that honour goes to the month of April. Bravo and thanks to the wonderful students and staff at Carson City Middle School in Nevada and in Alberta--Heritage Heights, Millarville, Cayley, Turner Valley and High River for inviting me to be their poetry cheerleader this year.
Two trips to California coming up soon. The first on Mother's Day, where I'll be promoting the wonderful province of Alberta (Heart of the New West) at The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles. This is a quick trip, with four shows scheduled for Sunday, May 11.
In June, I am thrilled, excited, eager, delighted (go to thesaurus for more adjectives) to be appearing in a three-date concert series with two of the west's best contemporary cowgirl singers, and two of my favourite people, on stage and off, in the world of cowboy entertainment. Joni Harms (www.joniharms.com) and Eli Barsi (www.elibarsi.com) are both just wrapping up tours in France (Joni) and Canada (Eli) and we all three will rendezvous in California June 13, 14, and 15. First gig is at Mavericks Coffee House in Visalia on June 13. Then to Scofield's Cowboy Campfire in Fiddletown on June 14. And finally to the super charming venue at 143 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley. More details posted on my Calendar page. Look out, Northern California: The Saddle Babes are coming!
Signing off with glimpses of green grass and crocuses and robins out my window. All the snow is melted except for a few patches on the north side of the shed. We've had four days in a row of plus temperatures. In the immortal words of great cowgirl singer Etta James: At Last!!!
Many happy springtime trails to alll, Doris
Arvada, Colorado: doesn't get any better. Peerless fans, wonderful sound and stage, best volunteers, a Rocky Mountain High from start to finish. A high water mark in my career: an impartial jury of two self-appointed experts awarded me Best Posture Award.
Western Horseman (January 2008): that's me in the story about wildrags.
Nevada Magazine (January-February 2008): that's me keeping dandy company in the story about (choose one):
House Concert: the first in our new shed was a winner. Special guest Tom Cole from Fort Saint John, with guest appearances by Dave Wilkie, Denise Withnell, Ray Doyle (Wylie and the Wild West) and Brenna Daley. Please email me if you would like to be on the list for the next one.
New poems being whipped into shape for Elko: Rancho Tarbucks; Average Girl; Will James and other Canadian Content.
All things wild and wonderful, serendipidous and sparkly, jazzed up and pared down: that's what I wish for your trails in 2008. Drop me an email sometime,
p.s. the green paint in the bathroom turned out great
In this world of miseries, we should all repair to Fort Saint John, BC as often as possible (maybe not in January) for a taste of how the world once was and how it should be. Thank you Brian and JoAnn, Tom and Margie, Fred and Tammy, Clint, Kent, Richelle, Drid, the Grand Northern Hotel, Charlie Lake Church, and many others for your wonderful hospitality at the third annual Cowboy Concert. Just when I thought life couldn't get any better, the hospitality any sweeter, the volunteers any nicer or the crowds more enthusiastic...the cry went out that we were rounding up boats on Saturday and going for a cruise and picnic on the Peace River. Oh Canada, our home and native land.
House Concert: Please call me, 933-4434, if you would like to come to our first house concert in our new big shed in Turner Valley. Date: Saturday, Nov. 24. Guest performer: Tom Cole (a wonderful cowboy/country singer-songwriter from Fort Saint John...you won't want to miss him.) We can accommodate about 40-50 friends (we don't have that many friends, so if you come, please bring your in-laws, neighbours, parole officer, taxidermist, and/or gourmet club.)
Yours with green fingernails (I'm painting the upstairs bathroom), Doris
Here's news: we've moved. I am writing this from the bottom of a cardboard box, surrounded by the last of the miscellaneous stuff: Comet, Easter fluff, dictionaries, extension cords, dog biscuits, orange hunting vests and a china tea pot. After four wonderful years in the little farm house (renting) we are now living in our own house in Turner Valley, about 30 miles southwest of Calgary and what surely must be the most picturesque corner of the province.
So there went my summer plans for writing, writing and more writing, however I do have three or four new poems under construction and almost memorized. I will crack them out this weekend, far from home in Fort St. John, BC.
A highlight of the summer was the Anchor D Ladies Retreat, riding for three days in the Rockies with a great group of gals. The "support staff" outnumbered the paying guests by a significant margin, but that's how the math works when you bring along a poet, a singer, a massage therapist, several cook's assistants, three wranglers and a manicurist (just kidding about the last one). Kudos to our wonderful cook: the kind of gal who gets up to shoot at a grizzly bear and then puts the coffee on. Ladies...if you want a horseback wilderness trip of a lifetime, check out www.anchord.com for next year's ride.
Sky: as blue as the Ikea logo
Make a note of our new phone number (933-4434). Mailing address remains the same until our name moves up on the Turner Valley waiting list.
So long from the blue house at the end of the lane near Sheep Creek. Doris
On Life's Ladder of Happiness, I may have just hit the top rung. Thank you to the wonderful folks in Reno, Nevada for inviting me to be the headliner poet at this year's Rhythm and Rawhide gala with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra. I shared the stage with the dynamic, versatile, cute, incredibly talented Quebe (rhymes with maybe) Sisters from Texas, and of course with the orchestra and world renowned conductor Barry Jekowsky. And to all of you I met in Reno who said, "See you next year in Elko," the answer is now officially "Yes!" I got the call in late May that I am indeed invited and on the roster for the big National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada in January.
Calgary area folks, I have a public concert coming up: come one, come all and bring your friends and neighbours. All of my recent Canadian gigs have been private affairs and corporate functions. So to all of you who have asked, "when's your next Canadian concert?" the answer is on Sunday, July 8 with Eli Barsi, my cowgirl singer/songwriter friend from Branson, Missouri. Go to the website calendar for all the details.
Our little valley is as green as guacamole. Fishing season has started, my flower garden (six daisies, three pansies, some osteospermum and a bunch of green stuff)
is looking dandy, and I'm going to spend the summer writing. Best from the little farm house on the banks of the Bow, Doris
In 24 hours I've gone from sipping ice tea under the magnolia trees of Georgia to shovelling six inches of new wet snow to get to the woodpile. The only consolation is knowing that when July comes and we're enjoying pleasant summer days and cool mountain nights, the Georgia folks will be sweltering in the humidity. But enough about the weather!
It's been a great run of festivals: Elko, Spirit of the West (Ellensburg, Washington), the Texas Cowboy Gathering in Alpine and just now, the Southeastern Cowboy Festival in Cartersville, Georgia, where their motto is: Enjoy the West without ever leaving the South! Attention art lovers: The Booth Western Art Museum is a destination calibre museum...you owe it to yourself to visit. Even though I did my best to leave the school kids with a great cowboy poetry experience, I think I will forever be remembered not as the cowboy poet who visited from Canada, but as "the lady who never ate grits before."
Special thanks and greetings to old and new friends I met along the trail in Ellensburg, Alpine and Elko. You're the best--thanks for your nice notes and emails.
Hope to see many of you in Reno, Santa Clarita, Victoria and Ontario. Write on, keep it western, and watch for the rhymes along the trail. Doris
p.s. The biggest cowboy poetry festival in the world is ongoing right now in cyberspace. For more info on cowboy poetry in general, and to find out about the gathering nearest you. visit www.cowboypoetry.com.
Liz, Marianne and Becky really know how to throw a great festival. On Life's Ladder of Happiness, the Colorado Cowboy Festival is on the top rung, and one of many, many highlights this year for me was John Toedtli's birthday party. Thank you Ken and Joan for tracking me down for that one. Thank you also to the great team of volunteers who do any number of duties to make it all work.
If you're coming to Elko next week, be sure to say hello. I'm on the Thursday night show with the amazing Skip Gorman in the Three Bar Theatre; also various daytime sessions at the Convention Centre.
Have ruled out "money counter" as a possible career choice after working two nights this weekend at a Calgary casino for Pheasants Forever. Somehow, PF benefits (I have yet to figure it all out) by volunteering in the counting room. My job was to flip the Queen's head up and sort money as fast as I could into piles so the machines could count it; working at a furious pace, it took till 3 a.m. to count it all. The plus side is that there is very little traffic on the road home at 3:30 in the morning.
Best from the banks of the Bow; don't gamble unless it's to come to Elko or Ellensburg or Alpine or Georgia and then I guarentee you'll be a winner. -Doris
Merry Christmas from the Alberta frontier. What a treat to see many of you in Utah in November and Monterey in December. I did my last Christmas gig yesterday morning at a breakfast for a wonderful group of Rotarians, and now it's Domestic Diva mode as I fly around the house to get ready for Christmas. Vaccum cleaner hose in one hand, scotch tape in the other, mix master hasn't been off in 24 hours, our family motto is: "Let's keep one vehicle on the road at all times." In January I head to Winnipeg for a day, then to Colorado, then Ellensburg, Alpine, Elko, Georgia, and several others.
Cowboy poetry and the people I meet are the gift that I unwrap and delight in every day of the year. Follow the star. Bake with butter. Stay outta the wire. Sing along with the choir (that rhyme was unintentional). Get out the good dishes. Keep a flashlight and a chocolate bar in the cubby hole of your vehicle. Ride tall. Wash your neck. Keep a journal. Eat your vegetables. Get lots of sleep. Learn the constellations. Save your money. Take lots of pictures. Bring home the bacon. Wear good socks. Floss. Take chances. Don’t take chances. Be thankful for stuff. Read a good book. Learn a new word.
Fa la la la la and warm Christmas wishes from Bob and me, near the banks of the Bow River. -Doris
Greetings and salutations on a snowy fall day from the hinterland:
A good day to watch the snow fall, build a fire, and catch up on poetry goings-on with all you good folks. Sincere thanks to the cheerful and generous-hearted folks at the Calgary Learning Centre for inviting me to be the 2006 Poet Laureate (Lariat?) at the recent Peter Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournament. American friends (with the exception of DW, who pulls in CBC from Regina): Peter Gzowski (a very hard name to rhyme, by the way) is/was a household name in Canada, especially among CBC listerners. For years he was the beloved voice and host of morning radio from coast to coast to coast. His cause was literacy. My job at the Calgary PGI was to attend the golf tournament and write a poem to present at the end of the day. I had a fabulous entourage of one (one more than any entourage I've ever had) who drove me around the course, explaining the difference between a wedge and a chip, and most importantly, pointing out where the mini-burgers and the rum crepes were being offered. Then it was off to the club house with my rhyming dictionary and Golfing For Dummies library book to write the poem. I include it below, minus the in-jokes that poked fun at various celebrities and which will mean nothing if you weren't there. The CBC is in my DNA and it was a very proud Canadian moment to be part of the tournament for such a great cause.
Congrats and thanks go, too, to the Wolking family (Sons and Brothers) who host theWestcliffe Wet Mountain Days festival in Colorado. The highest and prettiest festival in the west, and one of the best. Two churches, a good bar, and great music: what more do you need for the perfect western town. Thanks, Bill, for the maple leaf cookie!
We are in post-Thanksgiving mode here in Canada; I am thankful for each one of you who keep it western and keep the words spinning.
Poem for the PGI Invitational Tournament
They're wild and wooly and full of fleas
Never been curried beneath the knees.
They're cowboy true, they're cowboy tough
There's more to this outfit than powder and puff.
Their focus: intense. Their stance is king,
But you ain't got a thing if you ain't got that swing.
Finesse? Decorum? That's all applesauce-ski
It's the fabulous golfers on Team Peter Gzowski!
Full of grit and good will, full of blarney and beans
They chipped and they sliced on the Willow Park Greens
When this crowd starts rocking and letting 'er rip
It's with a Ping G2 cavity-backed, titanium-shafted, pitching wedge 5-iron with all-rubber grip!
They're at home on the range (the driving range that is)
Literacy's their cause; raising money's their biz.
They're a swinging, putting, reading and writing fund-raising machine,
All it takes is panache and a little rub of the green.
Golfing is tough. Illiteracy is tougher.
So here's to each slicer and chipper and duffer.
Here's to literacy, Peter, my beloved CBC
Here's to raising the bar from sea to sea to sea.
Here's to warriors and poets and cowboys and kings
Here's to bunkers and backspins and blasphemous swings.
Ride tall in the saddle, stay outta the sand,
Swing on for the cause; blast on for the brand.
Wiggle you waggle and as you ride down the trail,
Ride tall, ride true, and try to stay outta jail!
July 28, 2006
Hiya friends, fans, relatives, desperados, others...
Warm summer greetings from the banks of the Bow River. I'm back home from the Smithsonian...the festival of a lifetime. Congrats to the Smithsonian staff and volunteers who pulled it off despite record-breaking flood waters lapping at/over/through/around tree trunks, tent poles, electrical outlets, sound systems, stage sets and all manner of perilous obstacles just days before we descended on America's front yard--the Mall that runs from the Capitol Building to the Washington Monument. Snapshot memories: singing Stompin Tom's The Hockey Song with Corb Lund and Tim Hus in 90 degree weather; saskatoon pie bake-off in the Foodways Tent; waltzing in the Jubilee Tent to a Calvin Volrath fiddle tune; pancake breakfast on July 1 at the Canadian Embassy; figuring out the Metro system; breakfast every morning with a view of the Potomac River; meeting so many curious, happy, outgoing, generous-hearted Americans (about a million of them); Hal Eagletail's Tsu'u Tina victory cry (Bingo!); lunch at Union Station (it's a train station, for heaven's sake...but so grand that they hold inaugurgal balls here); hanging out with the Biggs girls (ranch family from Hanna).
So now I'm home, running herd on the domestic front while Bob is on the river. Upcoming gigs include the Stony Plain Cowboy Festival (just west of Edmonton) where I'm on deck to host the tall tales contest and also present my little writing workshop.
Check in to the Daley News from time to time; I'll update you as interesting details unfold and if nothing interesting happens I'll just make something up.
Ride tall, be brave, eat beef, do your best rain dance, learn to yodel, scrub your neck, stay outta the wire, and shoot for the moon (just don't shoot at poets).
“I haven't laughed so hard in a long time nor felt so marvelously entertained."
J. Perdomo, Big Hill Quilters
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