MANHATTAN, Kan. – Missouri and Manhattan are the homes of the two winners of the 2017 Kansas Cowboy Poetry contest held on June 9 at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. Danny McCurry from Ash Grove, Missouri won first place in the serious poem category and Tim Keane of rural Manhattan, Kansas won in the humorous poem category.

“These poets each did an outstanding job and we are proud that they have earned the coveted Governor’s Buckle,” said state poetry contest chair Ron Wilson of Manhattan, Kansas.

Final results were as follows:

Serious – first, Danny McCurry of Ash Grove, Missouri; second, Tim Keane of Manhattan, Kansas; and third, Dennis Russell of Cimarron, New Mexico.

Humorous - first, Tim Keane, Manhattan, Kansas; second, Dennis Russell of Cimarron, New Mexico; and third, Danny McCurry, Ash Grove, Missouri.

Only those who finished in the top tier of the regional qualifying contests could compete at the state finals. Others who qualified for the state finals included (towns in Kansas unless listed otherwise) are Terry Arnwine of Cherryvale; Betty Burlingham of Manhattan, Kansas; John J. Cannon of Fredonia; Barbara Lilyhorn of Hutchinson; Dana Moodie of Neodesha; Donna Penley of Haysville; and Carl Stueve of Olpe.

As Kansas state champions, McCurry and Keane received the coveted Governor’s Buckle, the Saddlejack Bradrick Award, discounts and gift certificates from leading western wear stores, a one-year membership in the Kansas Chapter of the Western Music Association, two tickets to the Symphony in the Flint Hills, and the opportunity to present their poems at the Ranchland Trust luncheon and at the story circle following the symphony.

For more information, go to