More comfortable on his ranch than in any town, cowboy poet and singer/songwriter Paul Bliss considers himself “just a cowboy.” That said, Bliss has been published in magazines and recognized across the West with awards for his brand of cowboy poetry. He writes from his home in Salem, Utah, where he, his wife and their two children live on a small ranch at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. Together, they operate a cow/calf and heifer development program.
Bliss performs throughout the West at poetry and music gatherings. He is a past winner of the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo (2011) and the Western Music Association Utah Chapter's Serious Poet of the Year in both 2001 and 2002. In March of 2013, the Brigham Young University's Modern Dance Ensemble created and performed a choreographed production based on Bliss's poem, "Cowboy Poetry in Motion,” which can be heard above.
Jeff Carson has been writing and performing cowboy poetry for more than 15 years. He lives in the Heber Valley, where he trains horses and mules and “spends as much time as life will allow in the saddle heading up a trail somewhere.” Carson performs at cowboy poetry gatherings around the West. This photo was taken at the Heber City Cowboy Poetry Festival on November 2.
Carson's poem "Tumbleweeds" can be heard on NPR here.
Photographer and award-winning journalist Austen Diamond specializes in creative portraiture, commercial photography and editorial photojournalism. For booking inquiries and to view his portfolio, go to www.AustenDiamond.com.