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ELKO, Nev. -- The 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering begins a six-day run in Elko on Monday with a focus on the future of the rural West and on Nevada's 150th anniversary of statehood.

Under the theme Expressing the Rural West -- Into the Future, the celebration of the American West will feature poetry and musical performances, films, workshops, dances and exhibitions.

The event's first show, Home Means Nevada, will feature poets Waddie Mitchell and Walt Bimbo Cheney, writer Carolyn Dufurrena and singer Richard Elloyan on Monday night.

Mitchell and Eloyan will join other artists in expressing their love of Nevada at a Friday night show, Nevada in My Heart.

Storytelling sessions featuring local ranch families will round out Nevada 150 programs at the gathering.

The gathering also will feature discussions on various issues affecting the rural West, including how to keep young people working on the ranch and how social media and modern communication are helping young ranchers stay in touch and share experiences.

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