cowboy poetry

Cowboy poetry is a short film documenting the 2017 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. It follows cowboy poets both on the stage at the Gathering and off the stage in their homes to gain insight into the people, surroundings, and landscapes that inspire their work. 

cast and crew

Hannah Logan Peterson - director / creator

Hannah completed her BFA at the New School in New York where she studied documentary and experimental film theory. She worked as an apprentice to Alex Gibney on the feature documentary Going Clear, the Amazon series the New Yorker Presents, and the Netflix series Cooked prior to coming to California. Additionally, she served as a staff member for the 2015 Flaherty Film Seminar. Most recently she worked with writer and director Sean Baker on his forthcoming feature, The Florida Project as well as his award winning short film, Snowbird. In addition to working in various roles such as AD, DP and producer in several of her fellow students’ films, she is currently writing and directing a trilogy of narrative short films set in Los Angeles.


Alexander Girav - director of photography

Alex is a director/director of photography based out of Los Angeles. His aesthetic approach is meditative and atmospheric, often blurring the line between narrative and documentary. His short films have been shown at the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles as a part of the Calarts Film/Video Showcase in 2014 and 2016. He has worked with filmmakers Nathan Silver and Jack Dunphy, and his music video work as been featured on websites like Pitchfork, Fader, and Vice.


Mireya Martinez - second director of photography

Mireya is a filmmaker, aunt of two and photography aficionado. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communication from Cal Poly Pomona and is currently pursuing her MFA degree in Film Directing at the California Institute of the Arts. While at CalArts, Mireya has collaborated on numerous projects in the roles of producer, co-producer, gaffer and AC. Her past experiences include doing freelance photography, interning at a game show and, of course, babysitting. She is obsessed with trying to accurately capture the human in all of its tatteredness and beauty, and is currently working on writing and directing a narrative short film about a family. 


Pin-Hua Chen - sound recordist

Pin-Hua graduated from California Institute of the Arts with an MFA in sound design in 2015. Currently she works as a freelance sound editor for independent film studios, as well as a sound designer for independent film and animation. 


Andy Hedges is a songster, reciter and guitarist. His varied repertoire includes classic cowboy recitations, obscure cowboy songs, dust bowl ballads, and blues. Andy taught himself to play the guitar when he was 14 and began collecting classic cowboy poems and traditional cowboy songs. He has released nine albums including four joint projects with songwriter Andy Wilkinson. His latest album Cowboy Songster Vol. 2 is a recording of Andy performing old-time songs in the solo tradition with only guitar accompaniment. Andy lives in Lubbock, Texas with his wife and children. Don Edwards said that Andy “makes no claim to being a cowboy but he has the cowboy spirit, integrity, and the heart that makes his music so undeniably real. Andy could very well carry on the traditions when all us old guys are gone. I'd feel assured in knowing the music of our great American West was in good hands."


Hal Cannon is a songwriter,  musician, radio producer and folklorist. The founding Director of the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada, and its famous child, the Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Hal has published scores of books and recordings on the folk arts of the West including his best selling anthology, Cowboy Poetry, A Gathering. 


Gail Steiger is a songwriter, filmmaker, cowboy and foreman of the remote Spider Ranch in Yavapai County, Arizona, since 1995. He has been playing guitar and writing songs for over 30 years, and often recites works by his grandparents, Delia Gist Gardner and Gail I. Gardner. Gail also collaborates with his brother Lew on various film and multimedia projects, including the acclaimed documentary, Ranch Album. He’s released two CDs, The Romance of Western Life in 1999, and A Matter of Believin’ in 2015. Gail is a member of the Western Folklife Center’s Board of Trustees.


Ramblin' Jack Elliott chose the cowboy way at the age of 14, trading life at home for one on the rodeo circuit. By age 20, Elliott’s rough-edged enthusiasm and musical instinct drew the attention of his avowed idol, Woody Guthrie, initiating a close, invaluable and lifelong association. He was also a good friend of Johnny Cash. Ramblin’ Jack became a latter-day troubadour, whose love for a good song is equaled only by an abiding respect for his fellow man and a profound contempt for injustice. Along the way, he inspired several generations including a young Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger. This National Medal of Arts recipient and two-time GRAMMY winner is a truly unique American treasure.


Dom Flemons, “American Songster,” sings and plays banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum and quills. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Dom was a major producer and performer in the Arizona folk music scene, as well as a slam poet and founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a North Carolina-based GRAMMY-winning African-American string band. Dom focuses on music rooted in history, but with a contemporary approach, creating old-time folk music with a new sound. In July 2014, Dom released his third solo record, Prospect Hill, an informed and invigorated take on ragtime, spirituals, jug band music, Piedmont blues, fife and drum music, country music and ballads. He is joined by his duo partner, Brian Farrow.