Arizona Author Richard Collins to Participate in National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Southwestern rancher and conservationist Richard Collins, author of the award-winning memoir, Riding Behind the Padre: Horseback Views from Both Sides of the Border, will discuss border issues and range conservation at famed western gathering.
By: National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
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Tucson - Arizona - US

TUCSON, Ariz. - Jan. 21, 2015 - PRLog -- Richard Collins, author of Riding Behind the Padre: Horseback Views from Both Sides of the Border, has been invited to participate in the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 26-31, 2015, in Elko, Nevada.

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an annual celebration of the ranching and rural West. Through poetry, music, and stories, ranch people express the beauty and challenges of a life deeply connected to the earth and its bounty. Every year, thousands travel to rural Elko, Nevada, in the heart of winter, to listen, learn, and share.

The 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will celebrate a little-known corner of Mexico – Baja California Sur – and its rich ranchero culture. The Gathering will welcome Baja’s rancheros, who will share with their American cowboy counterparts the traditional acoustic music, ranch cuisine, local art and craftwork, and traditional lore and humor of their California roots.

Collins, who will join more than 55 poets, musicians, and musical groups from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Mexico, will discuss his memoir, US-Mexican border issues, and with internationally-known author Gary Paul Nabhan, will discuss range conservation issues. Collins' presentations are scheduled for Friday, January 30 and Saturday, January 31.

Collins' book, Riding Behind the Padre, was chosen as a 2014 Southwest Book of the Year by the Pima Public Library and also as one of ten outstanding books of 2014 by the Arizona Daily Star. It is Collins' personal history of joining a group of Mexican horseback riders and retracing the pathways of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, the pioneering Jesuit priest who, 300 years ago, explored what is now the US-Mexico borderlands. The group took four rides, called cabalgatas, from 2008-2011. Collin's modern-day cowboy adventure reveals the beauty of the land and its people, and shows that dangers along the border are fewer than advertised.

Richard Collins is an Arizona native who has ranched and farmed on the borderlands for the past 30 years.  Educated at the University of Arizona (MS, PhD), he worked for the Centers for Disease Control during the 1970-80s in El Salvador, Guatemala, and southern Mexico where he witnessed the poverty, violence, and disease that are the root causes of much of today's turmoil on the border.  From 1998 to 2012, he organized the Canelo Hills Coalition, a rancher-based collaborative project in Red Rock Canyon, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, that generated over one million dollars in grants and projects, with an emphasis on vegetation monitoring, water development and dormant season grazing. Collins currently resides in Sonoita, AZ.

For information about the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering or to purchase tickets, visit or call toll-free 888-880-5885. For more information about Richard Collins and Riding Behind the Padre, visit

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