Baxter Black, described by the New York Times as “…probably the nation’s most successful living poet,”…thinks it’s an exaggeration. The former large animal veterinarian can be followed nationwide through his column, National Public Radio, public appearances, television and also through his books, CDs, videos and commercial radio. Black lives in Benson, Arizona, between the Gila River and the Gila monster, the Mexican border and the Border Patrol and between the horse and the cow—where the action is. He doesn’t own a television or a cell phone, and his idea of a modern convenience is Velcro chaps. Everything about him is cowboy; his cartoonish mustache, his personality and his poetry.
Baxter makes a living shining a spotlight on the flaws and foibles of everyday cowboy life, and demonstrates that it is the truth in his humor that makes it funny. So, in a nut shell (from where, some believe, he may have evolved) there is considerably more to Baxter Black than just entertainment. He is the real thing. Because, as he says, “It’s hard to be what you aren’t.”
Baxter Black can shoe a horse, string a bob wire fence and bang out a Bob Wills classic on his flat-top guitar. Cowboy poet, ex-veterinarian and sorry team roper, he has more hair around his lip than on his head. Raised in New Mexico, he spent his workin’ life in the mountain west tormenting cows. Now Baxter lives in Arizona and travels the country tormenting cowboys.
Since 1982, Baxter Black has been rhyming his way into the national spotlight, and now stands as the best selling cowboy poet in the known universe. He’s written many books (including a rodeo novel), recorded over a dozen audio and video tapes, and achieved notoriety as a syndicated columnist and radio commentator. From the Tonight Show and PBS to NPR and the NFR, Baxter’s wacko verse has been seen and heard by millions. His works are prominently displayed in both big city libraries and small town feed stores.
Yet Black, who still doesn’t own a television, fax machine or cellular phone, hasn’t changed a thing about his subject matter or his delivery. He continues to focus on the day-to-day ups and downs of everyday people who live with livestock and work the land. Driven by a left- handed sense of humor, Black evokes laughter just by being there.
“He could make a dead man sit up and laugh”
– Washington Post Book World
Baxter’s philosophy is simple enough – in spite of all the computerized, digitized, high-tech innovations now available to mankind, there will always be a need for someone who can think up stuff.