Meet Gary Penney, the Cowboy Poet

Posted at 5:17 PM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 18:22:29-04

Gary Penney is an old cowboy that loves to look back on the good ol’ days. Instead of reminiscing with old westerns or taking the horse for a ride, Penney looks back the best way he knows how, with cowboy poetry.

“Cowboy poetry is rhyme and metered stories about life, usually centered around a cowboy’s life,” Penney said. “It’s just good old cowboy stories that just turn out to be a poem.”

Penney grew up a cowboy, learning the way of the ranch from his grandfathers who owned cattle. He said that much of his inspiration comes from this experience, but he could write a poem about anything.

“The good thing about poetry is it can be just pure fiction,” He said. “If you have a wild idea and you can make a story out of it in rhyme and meter that other people will enjoy, I just go with the flow. Whatever comes to mind.”

Penney has written cowboy poetry since 2008 when the wife of a family member asked him to write a poem for her husband to recite. After hearing his family member recite his work, Penney decided that he should be the one performing his work.

Since then he’s performed his poetry all across Central Texas. He’s written poems published in books and magazines. He’s even performed at national cowboy poetry competitions like the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Abilene, Kansas where he took home the golden belt buckle for best performance.  

But Penney said he doesn’t do it for the glory.

“It just takes you back to old days and how the world changes and how the cowboys are not the cowboys we used to know,” Penney said. “How tough they really were and what built our country.”

To hear Gary Penney’s work for yourself, you can purchase a CD of his poems by contacting Penney directly at Penney is also set to perform at the Hewitt Library next Tuesday at 6:00 pm. 

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