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Patricia Frolander


Patricia Frolander, Wyoming's fifth Poet Laureate, lives in the

Black Hills on her husband’s fifth- generation ranch. Family,

lifestyle, and stunning vistas provide wonderful subjects for

her poetry. Patricia nurtures young authors, presents her work

in a four state area, and is currently at work on her third

collection of poems.

Married Into It

Winner of:

The prestigious National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Wrangler Award 2011

Women Writing the West WILLA Literary Award 2012

High Plains Book Award Winner of Best Woman Poet 2012

“Patricia Frolander writes of a place and way of life where disaster can be measured in seconds and where the most harrowing loss can emerge from the simplest of mistakes. Frolander understands just how indifferent the world is to human presence, but she makes of that understanding a quiet grandeur. Against indifference, these poems insist on redemptive beauty and the power of relationship. They are unstinting and clear-eyed, poems about the world as-it-is and about how human beings live not in but with it, and with each other, in both endurance and mutual support.”

Laurie Wagner Buyer, Author of 14 books including When I Came West 

Grassland Genealogy

"The poetry in Grassland Genealogy draws heavily and effectively on Patricia Frolander’s authentic

knowledge of ranch  life. But these moving poems about family ranching in Wyoming also develop

a reader’s appreciation for her  understanding of the subtle strands of heart and mind that tie humans

and animals to each other and the grasslands they  share." Robert Roripaugh Wyoming Poet Laureate 1995-2002



Poetry Appearing in Anthologies:

The Absence of Something Specified by Harriot West  2016

Blood, Water, Wind and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers, Sastrugi Press, 2016

Our Last Walk: Using Poetry for Grieving and Remembering Our Pets, University Professors Press, 2016

Reflections of the West; Cowboy Painters and Poets, Editor C.J. Hadley  2015

Manifest West, Western Press Books, 2015

TallGrass Writers Anthology, Outriders Press, 2015

Black Hills Literary Journal: Random Variables, 2014

Women Writing the West, 2012

Open to Interpretation: Intimate Landscape,

 A Juried Book Competition of Photography, Poetry and Prose, Taylor and O’Neill, 2012

New Poets of the American West, Many Voices Press, 2010

Wyoming Fence Lines, An Anthology of Prose and Poetry, Wyoming Humanities Council, 2007

In the Shadow of the Bear Lodge, Editor, Bearlodge Writers, Many Kites Press, 2006

Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West, Houghton Mifflin, 2004

Hard Ground IV: Writing the Rockies, Pronghorn Press, 2003

Cowgirl Poetry: One Hundred Years of Ridin' and Rhymin', Gibbs Smith, 2001

Woven on the Wind: Women Write about Friendship in the Sagebrush West, Houghton Mifflin, 2001

Trail Dust: A Limited Edition Collection of Western Poetry, WY Agricultural Leadership Council, 2000


Awards and Recognition:

Women Writing the West Conference, 2017 

Writer’ Digest Poetry Contest, Fifth Place, 2014

Winner of the Emmie Mygatt Award, Wyoming Writers, Inc. 2014

High Plains Book Award Finalists, 2012

WILLA Literary Awards for Poetry, given by Women Writing the West. 2012

2011 Neltje Blanchan Award for poetry, coordinated by the Wyoming Arts Council

2009 winner of the 17th Annual National Senior Poets Laureate Competition, sponsored by Amy Kitchner's Angels Without Wings Foundation.

WyoPoets, Wyoming Paintbrush, 2007

Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2006

WyoPoets National Contest: First Place and Honorable Mention, 2006

WYOPoets Chapbook, Wind Whispers Down Wyoming, 2005

WYOPoets National Contest, Honorable Mention, 2003

WYOPoets National Contest, Honorable Mention, 2002

WYOPoets Chapbook, Seasons of Wyoming, 2002

Featured Poet at the 2007 Alzada Cowboy Poetry, Music and Art Show,  Guest Poet at the Matthews Opera House feature, Stars Shine, 2008

Literary Reviews, Magazines, Journal Publications, and Newspapers: 

Owen Wister Review, University of Wyoming, 2007

Wyoming Rural Electric News Magazine: 1999, 1998, 1995, 1993, 1992

Farm Journal: 1993

Cow Country: 1995, 1992, 1991, 1990

Wyoming Livestock Roundup, Sundance Times, Moorcroft Leader, Billings Gazette



Reading at the Wyoming Governor’s Arts Awards, 2013

Workshop Presentation at Casper College ARTCORE Literary Conference, September, 2012

Keynote speaker at Northwest Regional Conference of the DKG International Society of Women Educators



Wyoming Poetry Out Loud Competition, March 2012, 2013

Wyoming Writers Poetry Contest, March 2012, 2013

Women Writing the West Best Poetry Book, 2013

High Plains Book Awards best Poetry Book, 2013

Wyoming Writers Traditional Poetry 2010

Wyoming Writers Free Verse Poetry 2009

Range Writers Poetry Contest, 2006

Excerpt of Writing

Father when You call



let me be feeding horses in the big pasture

at five below zero

inhaling scent of alfalfa, breath frosting eyelashes

years written on my face 

not in my heart


or let me be fencing in the west pasture

pulling up wire from pungent earth

where snow bent its back

tightening each strand against errant calf,

while meadowlarks greet springtime’s blush


or let me be gathering in the hills

content to drink from a battered canteen

the sweetest water in Crook County

the Heeler quick to roust the cow from brush,

my mare eager to turn a stray


or let me be sleeping in the old ranch house

next to my partner

whose gentle snores match my own,

arthritic hands joined

horse-miles and hay-miles behind us.





I waken; it’s two in the morning,

time to feed her.


The rains came late this year.

the filly came late as well,

too large a foal with legs misshaped,

the color of butterscotch.

The old sorrel mare stands patiently

as I hold her off-spring to nurse,

a ritual that will continue

every three hours, day and night.


Storm brewing, my daughter helps me

move mare and filly to the barn.

We four females understand

love of mothers and daughters.


We splint the filly’s legs,

warm her with blankets, fall in love

with the nicker that greets each feeding

and the nuzzling she gives so freely.


It is not enough.


Getting to know Pat

"Laughter is always a gift worth giving."

Some Favorite Books: Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck | Cheyenne Autumn by Mari Sandoz
Graining the Mare; The Poetry of Ranch Women, edited by Tereasa Jordan | Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser

Favorite Children's Book: Where the Red Fern Grows

Favorite Color: Peach
Favorite Song: Amazing Grace
Favorite Place: Home
Dream Trips: Travel Ireland, Cruise Alaska, Rail Southern Canada

Quote Me: Laughter is always a gift worth giving.


Favorite Quote:

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all of your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fear." Cesare Pavese

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