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Cowgirl poetics: writing women in rodeo

Thatcher, Christina ORCID: 2022. Cowgirl poetics: writing women in rodeo. TEXT 26 (67) 10.52086/001c.37816

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Rodeo is both a sport and a cultural phenomenon in which the myth of the cowboy and the American West are lived out in the arena. And just as long as the sport has been alive, cowboys have been writing poetry about it (Bell, 2020). However, poetry that acknowledges the complex history of women in rodeo is still largely absent. As a poet, rider, and long-time rodeo fan, I have been working on a set of poetic biographies which I hope will help fill this gap. In this self-reflexive article, I explore the process of writing biographical poems which attempt to capture the dual role that female rodeo riders must play as both women and competitive athletes. For context, this article opens with a brief history of women in rodeo before discussing the absence of poetry written by and about them. Two poems I have written about famous female rodeo riders are then used to discuss how poetic biographies – as well as ekphrasis, segmentivity, and metapoetics – can uniquely represent women’s experiences in rodeo. At the centre of this article is an attempt to understand what it means to be a female rodeo rider and how poetry might help to document their experiences.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
ISSN: 1327-9556
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 31 July 2021
Last Modified: 10 May 2023 00:31

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