Contest announces local celebrity judges

By The Mercury

A diverse group of leaders in television, judiciary, public policy and the arts have agreed to serve as judges for the 2013 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest. The state contest finals will be at 7 p.m. June 14 at the St. John’s Lutheran Memorial Hall, 218 Kansas in Alma. There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend.

The 2013 judges include, Nate Hill, anchorman for Kansas First News,

KSNT-Topeka; senator, Jeff Longbine of Emporia; Chief Justice, Lawton Nuss of the Kansas Supreme Court; and Linda Weis, president of the Kansas Arts Foundation.

“We are pleased and honored that this distinguished group will serve as our judges for this event,” Ron Wilson, chair of the poetry contest said. “They are outstanding leaders and communicators. We appreciate their support for this contest which honors the great western history of Kansas.”

The 2013 contest is being held with support from the Kansas Arts Foundation and in partnership with the Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association. Only those poets who qualify at one of the state’s regional qualifying contests will be eligible to compete at the state contest June 14. Qualifying events are, Chisholm Trail Wild West Days at Wellington on April 26; Carnegie Center for the Arts in Dodge City May 31; and Echoes of the Trail in Fort Scott June 7.

At the state contest, there will be two divisions: serious and humorous poetry. First place winners in each division will receive the Saddlejack Bradrick Award, the coveted Governor’s Buckle, two tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills, and the opportunity to recite their work again in the Patron’s Tent at the Symphony. The Symphony in the Flint Hills will be Saturday, June 15 at historic Fort Riley.

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