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Cowboy Poet and Humorist Baxter Black to Speak
at The Forum Dec. 5

RELEASED: Nov. 23, 2005

Baxter BlackEAU CLAIRE — Cowboy poet and humorist Baxter Black will speak on The Forum at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Dec. 5.

The presentation, titled "Horseshoes, Cowsocks & Duckfeet: An Evening of Cowboy Philosophy," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

Described by The New York Times as "probably the nation's most successful living poet," Black has achieved acclaim as a syndicated columnist and radio commentator. Black speaks of his poetry and other writings as remaining true to his Western heritage, his agricultural upbringing and "those stubborn, dedicated, honorable folks who make a living off the land." A former large animal veterinarian, Black doesn't own a television or a cell phone, and his idea of a modern convenience is Velcro chaps.

Publishers' Weekly calls his work "slightly irreverent, sometimes poignant, and always imbued with respect and admiration for the self reliance and independence a lot of us from the West are proud of."

"I used to wonder why someone who trained so long and hard to become a distinguished veterinarian would give it all up for a chance to speak at a Farm Bureau meeting," said Lee Pitts, editor of the Livestock Market Digest, in the forward to "A Cowful of Cowboy Poetry," Black's third hardback collection. "After becoming his friend I realized that Baxter could no more stop himself from being a great entertainer than a cow can keep from being a bovine. ... These days when Baxter takes his show on the road he's just as apt to end up on a stage in Las Vegas, Nevada, as he is one in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Only Baxter could make both crowds howl with laughter, jump to their feet and clap till their hands hurt."

Black's lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception. The program will be interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing. The University Bookstore will have Black's books available for purchase and signing by the author following The Forum.

Tickets are $7 for the public, $5 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $3 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets are available at the Service Center counter in the east lobby of Davies Center and also will be sold at the door. The Service Center is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Patrons may charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call (715) 836-3727 — or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free (800) 949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to telephone charge orders.

Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed promotional support to The Forum. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites Eau Claire at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for The Forum.

Funded by the students of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, The Forum is administered by the Activities and Programs office.

-30-

JS/JB

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