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Jessica Hedges

April 19, 2011

Jessica Hedges

When we wrote to cowboy poet Jessica Hedges, to ask her to help us celebrate Cowboy Poetry Week, we got this reply from her Blackberry:

I won’t have internet access again until next week (I live in a cow camp with no access) but I will fill this out then.

We knew then she was the real deal. Jessica spent most of her childhood on a cattle and hay operation in northeastern Nevada, about an hour west of Elko. She grew up listening to cowboy poetry and music while in the truck taking care of ranch work or on trips to town. When she attended the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko with her family, Jessica was inspired by the cowboy poets and declared, “I live on a ranch, I’ve got stories, I can do that too!” She started writing and performing her poems at age 12 at the open mic in the Sherman Station in Elko.

Jessica released her debut recording, History in the Barn, in January of 2010, which went on to win the 2010 Academy of Western Artists Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year.

Jessica lives with her husband, Sam, in a cow camp, about 120 miles southwest of Ontario, Oregon. Were glad she came down from the high lonesome long enough to answer 12 Questions.

1. What is your hometown?

Battle Mountain, Nevada, the official Arm Pit of America.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Ayla from Clan of the Cave Bear

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Sharon Stone.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Anything by David Stocklein or Kurt Marcus

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I am always recommending Last Buckaroo and The Shadow of the Wind by Mackey Hedges. I most recently finished reading The Purple Cow by Seth Godin though.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Wow, how behind the times am I? I am still using Windows Media Player! Anyhoo, it is all about Dave Stamey right now and his Tonopah CD.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Really the only movie that ever makes me cry is Pure Country. At the very end George Strait signing Cross My Heart just melts me every time.

8.  Cat person or dog person?

Dog person! Anyone who knows me, knows my red heeler, Belle, is my road tripping buddy 🙂

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Definitely truth! I don’t think you are doing a person any kindness if you have to lie or bend your story.

10.    How do you define sin?

To be honest, I am pretty much deferring to the Ten Commandments on this one.

11.    How do you define virtue?

Moral fiber.

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

I wouldn’t have one. I have spend most of my life outside in the Great Basin, so that’s where I want my ashes to be spread on the wind. I guess the passing of time would ultimately decide that one.

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Waddie Mitchell

Jessica Hedges’ website

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