2004 Will Rogers Medallion for Outstanding Achievement in the Publishing of Cowboy Poetry
Journeying into "the rugged breaks that skirt the eastern rim of the Llano Estacado--West Texas ranch country at once attractive and repellent to the uninitiated"--Steagall and Hagler prove unequivocally that verse and image are kindred spirits. According to B. Byron Price, director of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West, they have succeeded in unifying poetry and photography, allowing us to "understand and interpret the essence of a solitary land and its proud inhabitants."
Born to This Land examines traditions passed from generation to generation and explores the impact of cowboying on those who choose it as a way of life. Drawing us into their rich depiction of ranch life, Steagall and Hagler transcend prevailing convention and "prowl the remote ranges that lie beyond the deeply rutted main trails, listening for elusive, authentic voices carried on the wind."
from "To An Old Friend"
For most of an hour we rode at a trot.
We branded and shaped up the steers,
Drank gallons of coffee, ate sourdough bread,
And cowboyed for fifty-one years.
I tho't he's an old man when I was a kid.
At a time when I needed a friend,
He took me to raise, taught me all that I know,
'Bout horses and cattle and men.
Red Steagall, Texas's best-loved cowboy poet, has entertained crowds for more than thirty years with his music, poetry, and wit. He resides on his ranch west of Fort Worth.
Skeeter Hagler received the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for his series on the Western cowboy whole a photojournalist at the Dallas Times Herald. He is currently a freelance photographer in Dallas.