Four Great Western Poets Come Together For A Special Evening Program

(Photo courtesy of High Desert Museum)

The High Desert Museum celebrates the spirit of ranch women as captured in the exhibit Tough by Nature: Portraits of Cowgirls and Ranch Women of the American West with an evening of cowgirl poetry, libations and music on January 8, 2016.

Listen to the rhythm of the trail and ranching way of life as poets Ellen Waterston, Jessica Hedges, Linda Hussa and Carolyn Dufurrena read from selected works. Their words will bring to life the essence of the ranching women whose portraits hang in the exhibit.

“Lynda Lanker captured the stories and images of the women and cowgirls in her exhibition, and Ladies’ Night Out will bring to life those portraits with words and music,” said Curator of Western History Laura Ferguson.

Author and Writing Ranch founder Ellen Waterson, is a poet and literary arts advocate who lived on a ranch in rural Oregon and wrote Where the Crooked River Rises: A High Desert Home, OSU Press, 2010.

Jessica Hedges’ poetry gives depth and soul to the simple daily chores of everyday ranching life. Her words connect to those who have lived the ranching lifestyle and to those that want to.

Rancher and Poet Linda Hussa lives in northeast California on the edge of the Black Rock Desert. An author of seven books of poetry and non-fiction, she artfully explores the way of life of rural Westerners.

Carolyn Dufurrena draws inspiration from the land and lives of her neighboring ranchers. Dufurrena has published two books of personal essays, and teaches grades 3rd to 8th in a two-room school, 25 miles from home.

In addition to the readings, local bluegrass band Bend n’ Strings will add their sweet harmonies and acoustic sounds to the festive evening.
Ladies’ Night Out: An Evening of Music and Cowgirl Poetry runs from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm and there will be a no-host bar and hors d’oeuvres. Cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. RSVP at or contact the Museum at 541-382-4754 ext. 241 for more information.

About the High Desert Museum: Through exhibits, wildlife and living history, the High Desert Museum creates learning experiences to help audiences discover their connection to the past, their role in the present and their responsibility to the future. The Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded in 1982.

Tough by Nature: Portraits of Cowgirls and Ranch Women of the American West was organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. Exhibition tour management by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.

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