Michael Whitaker grew up and lived in the small town of Buckley, Washington in the foothills of Mt. Rainier. It was the time he spent riding in these hills as a boy with his father that taught him a love for horses and to appreciate the beauty that was all around him. He began writing poetry at a young age and eventually started performing his cowboy poetry with his partners Alan Halvorson and Morry Walters as the Rockin’ HW. In 2010 they were awarded the Will Rodgers Award from the Academy of Western Artist for group or duo of the year. In 2005 Michael published his first book of cowboy poetry The Gathering a collection inspired by the horses, places and people that had made an impact on his life. Some poems come from life experiences and others come from a love of the cowboy way of life that he embraced and was devoted to preserving and sharing. His second book The Land Where I Come From combines the tradition of storytelling as a way of keeping the history of the cowboy alive as well as sharing his unique ability to find the cowboy in all of us.