Cowboy Dreaming on a Minnesotan Day

Two forewords are needed prior to your reading this post: One, I know that August 15 feels like a far, far ways away. Two, Christmas feels farther away yet.

Now that you’re thoroughly confused, I’ll explain myself. Troupe America Inc., a Twin Cities-based theatrical production company that puts on shows all over the country, wants your poems for their Christmas show. And not just any poems: cowboy poems.

I’ll let that soak in for a moment. (A Minnesota production company wants cowboy poems written by straight-faced, keep-to-yourself, yea-sure-ya-betcha saying Lutherans. Right. Got it.)

Here’s the deal: the show is called Christmas on the Ranch, and it opens November 1 at the Plymouth Playhouse in Minneapolis. Then, in Christmas seasons to come, it—and your poems—will tour the country as other theater troupes pick it up. The way I see it is as a sort of staged version of Garrison Keillor’s Lives of the Cowboys segment on A Prairie Home Companion. Keillor is the most Midwestern man alive—if he can pull off writing and performing cowboy poems, so can you!

If you’re still reading this, I’ll take it as a sign that you’re mildly interested (I know I am) and want the details before dismissing this post, and me, as completely ridiculous. Troupe America Inc. is looking for two poems per person: one funny, one sentimental, both from the perspective of a cowboy and both related to Christmastime.  Each should be no more than three minutes in length when read aloud.

Poems selected for the show will each be awarded $500. (Now you’re listening.) The deadline is August 15. I know it feels far away, but so did Memorial Day a few weeks ago, and now look: it’s almost here!

Even if you’ve never given poetry a chance before, there’s nothing to lose here. Give it a go. Who knows, maybe you’re the next Garrison Keillor and you didn’t even know it!

Submit poems to: Troupe America Inc., 3313 Republic Ave., St. Louis Park, MN, 55426

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