ST. DAVID — When cowboy poets took the stage at Buena High School for the 28th annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering last month, aspiring young poets from St. David Unified School District were recognized right along with the more seasoned professionals.
Seventh-grade students Miriam Allred and Regan Haynie were honored as second grand prize and honorable mention winners, respectively.
Along with the two seventh-graders, budding poets Canon Haynie, a third-grade student and his cousin Cody Haynie, a fourth-grader, won honorable mentions for their poems.
The Gathering’s Western Heritage Schools Outreach Program — now in its 25th year — turns to schools throughout Cochise County to promote western history and heritage through poetry. Students are asked to create poems, which are submitted and judged. Of the 500 poems created for the 2019-2020 Gathering, there were 39 student winners who “best represented the spirit of the West” through their poems.
“We highlight the winning students in the “Saddlebag of Poems,” which is a publication that we compile and sell every year at the Gathering,” said George Wheat, who co-chairs the annual event with Nancy Fusco. “The top two students in each category and our Gathering’s scholarship winners perform alongside the professional artists during the event’s headline performances.”
With this year’s “It’s Cool to be a Cowboy” theme, Miriam Allred was recognized as a second grand prize winner through her poem, “Remembrance of the West.”
Born in Utah, Miriam is the daughter of Dale and Amy Allred, and is one of eight siblings. Described as a voracious reader and an accomplished watercolor artist, Miriam finds inspiration from the western landscapes and Arizona’s fiery sunsets.
Another St. David Middle School seventh-grader, Regan Haynie, won honorable mention with her poem, “Hold On Girl, Hold On!” The daughter of Brad and Connie Haynie, she is the only girl of seven children.
Canon Haynie, a third-grader, is Regan’s younger brother. His poem, “When I was a Young Lad,” won honorable mention.
Fourth-grader, Cody Haynie, cousin to Regan and Cody, won honorable mention for “My Grandpa.” He is the son of David and Michelle Haynie and the youngest of five children.
For a full list of Saddlebag winners and to learn more about the student poetry Western Heritage Schools Outreach Program, go to www.cowboypoets.com/school-program.